The all-important Wentworth by-election is happening today, and the result could prove a big headache for the government, with the once-safe Liberal seat, held by conservatives since federation, looking likely to fall to independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps.
The coalition currently holds a slim one-seat majority in the House of Representatives, but that could be wiped away by the result of today’s by-election, making it potentially much more difficult for Scott Morrison to get any legislation passed.
Morrison himself seems pretty glum about the whole thing, conceding that Liberal candidate Dave Sharma is a underdog who is unlikely to win the seat – “the expectations are clearly set in this direction”, he told media on the eve of the vote yesterday.
The day got off to a bit of an odd start, with a trio of very noisy fighter jets swooping over Bronte, Waverley and Bondi, leading to a number of confused reactions on social media.
Was this some kind of blunt and vulgar show of force by the government to scare unruly swing voters back into line? Or just some random fighter jets doing fighter jet stuff, unrelated to the by-election?
GENTLE READER, YOU DECIDE.
The ever-present sausage sizzle, aka the one good thing about election day, was also there and accounted for, although Ten reporter Jonathan Lea noted that some vendors were charging five damn dollars for democracy sausages in hot dog rolls.
— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) October 19, 2018
The by-election was sparked by the resignation of former PM Malcolm Turnbull, after he was knifed by his Liberal party colleagues, and in a particularly hilarious twist, his son Alex Turnbull recently solicited donations for the other side.