Australian Government Looks to Lose Majority in Parliament

Progressive Independent Likely to Win Former PM Malcolm Turnbull's Sydney Seat
October 20, 2018 Updated: January 29, 2019

SYDNEY—With votes still being counted, Australia‘s centre-right government looks poised to lose its one-seat majority in parliament after early counting in a crucial by-election on Oct. 20 showed voters deserting the Scott Morrison-led government.

The governing Liberals suffered a 21 percent swing against the party with just over 50 percent of votes counted in the by-election for the constituency of Wentworth, according to the electoral commission.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp forecast the early swing was enough to strip the seat from the government, with progressive independent candidate Dr. Kerryn Phelps emerging as the likely winner.

Should the projection hold, Morrison will be left relying on the support of independent lawmakers to continue to govern.

The next election is not due until May 2019, although it could occur earlier if the government can’t win the support of the independents.

Two independents have already ruled out supporting the government.

By Colin Packham

Additional reporting by Epoch Times staff

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