Australia's ruling coalition forced into minority government

Independent candidate for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps. Image credit Dean Lewins  AAP

Independent candidate for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps. Image credit Dean Lewins AAP

"I would reject bad legislation", she told the Nine Network.

In a series of posts and videos, he said the Morrison government had been captured by right-wing "extremists" - he also created a "top 5 craziest Liberals" list. She also expressed amazement that government senators had voted by mistake for the Pauline Hanson "It is OK to be white motion". "But I respect them for doing so and they make a great contribution to Australia".

But the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull in yet another prime ministerial leadership spill gave Phelps the push she needed.

"I've said that the government, and all governments, should go full term unless there are exceptional circumstances".

"We can talk about whatever is in the middle in terms of negotiating better outcomes for Australians because I think the role of the cross bench is to hold government to account".

With Saturday's votes all counted from 43 booths in Wentworth, the turnout for the by-election was 73.91%.

Independent Kerryn Phelps has said she believes the "writing is on the wall" for Australia's offshore detention policies, as prominent members of the crossbench urge the major parties to strike a deal to get children off Nauru.

With several thousand postal votes still to be counted, Phelps appears to have an unassailable preference vote tally of more than 51 percent, compared with Sharma, at just below 49 percent.

However after postal ballots were counted on Sunday night, Dr Phelps held a lead of about 1600 votes.

While loyal Liberal members and voters admit victory for Sharma is still unlikely, they aren't in a hurry to re-declare a victor until the counting is properly finalised.

Morrison said if the vote gets as close as 100 votes an automatic recount would be triggered, giving his conservative coalition a slim chance of retaining its one seat majority in parliament. She attributes the large swing against Liberal to voter dissatisfaction surrounding how the Liberal government has been operating recently.

Green said Phelps' campaign peaked on polling day.

"In my electorate over the weekend, some people are extraordinarily cross with the Government and how it's behaving", Ms McGowan said.

"None of them have really got their mind on the job".

Phelps and partner Jackie Sticker-Phelps in 2017.

"I will encourage stable superannuation rules for at least 5 years to generate investment certainty and confidence", Phelps says in her policy manifesto.

"I don't want to see a dead child in the water and I don't want to see a child under duress or stress or unwell anywhere else".

Senior Labor figures have said that they will not seek to bring down the minority government on the floor of parliament, and have declared that Labor can offer an alternative to the "chaos and division" of the Coalition.

Australian politician Kerryn Phelps. She was the first woman elected president of the Australian Medical Association and and in 2011, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to medicine, especially for her work as a leader in education and community health.

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