Independent Kerryn Phelps has claimed Malcolm Turnbull’s former seat of Wentworth following the byelection today, ending the Coalition Government’s majority in Canberra.
Claiming the victory, Phelps said the win should signal a return to decency, integrity, humanity, and “let’s hope a bit of common sense on climate change.”
“I would like to say to any young people, any women, any aspiring Independents out there, if you are thinking of running for Parliament or running for public office: yes, it can be tough, yes, the road can be hard, but it is so worthwhile that we have the right people stepping up to represent Australia.”
Phelps noted that her win was a David and Goliath battle that tapped into a sentiment of the Australian people wanting to talk about issues that are important to them, not the issues that are important to party politics.
Phelps’ win marks a massive loss for the Liberal Party, which has held the seat since Federation and leaves the Coalition government one seat short of what’s required to govern in its own right.
Phelps will now join a number of other cross-benchers in the house, including Rebekha Sharkie, Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie, Bob Katter, the Greens’ Adam Bandt and National Kevin Hogan.
Phelps thanked her ‘purple team’ of supporters, along with her campaign chair Wendy McCarthy, and her wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps.