Australia PM says business as usual despite minority gov’t | Lexington Herald Leader

Australian Government Loses Majority With Election Defeat

Australian Government Loses Majority With Election Defeat

"An independent and crossbencher is there to hold government to account, not to hold government to ransom", Dr Phelps said.

The gap between Sharma and Phelps, had narrowed to 884 votes as the postal votes heavily favoured the Liberal candidate.

"I support the lowering of company tax and compliance costs along all levels of business to attract higher domestic and global investment provided that all companies pay their fair share of tax", Phelps says. But with a quarter of the ballots still to be counted on Sunday the Liberal candidate was just 900 votes behind. As I now see it that was my first error.

Phelps is also shaping up to be a key government ally on the topic of company tax cuts - even supporting a controversial cut for the big end of town (which the Morrison government has actually backed away from).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is holding out hope Dave Sharma could still snatch a win for the government in the Wentworth by-election.

"I think what we've got to get used to is we're going to get more and more minority governments with coalitions working together", Roggeveen said.

She said running in the by-election was the "farthest thing from my mind" until Mr Turnbull was dumped as prime minister.

"This is on the Liberals, not on Dave Sharma", Mr Morrison told the packed function room.

This would mean the the Government would need to find support from the crossbench for legislation it wants to pass.

The contest had gathered worldwide attention after Mr Morrison's late attempt to garner support from Jewish voters, who account for 13 per cent of Wentworth's electorate, by suggesting Australia could recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

"Liberals are angry and they've expressed that", Morrison said.

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"We have paid a big price for the events of several months ago".

The disastrous by-election result has been seen as a major backlash from the public against the government, after the country's fourth change of prime minister in eight years via an internal party vote.

And as the results from the Wentworth by-election were announced, Mackerras yet again called it correctly - Phelps had done a Winx, coming from behind to win with a "leg in the air" but the question remains: Will the good doctor be able to keep on winning at future elections, like the great horse that goes after her fourth Cox Plate next Saturday? "The next election is due in May next year, and that's time enough", she told Insiders yesterday.

Bob Katter has put pressure on other crossbenchers to avoid an early election.

Independent Andrew Wilkie will not guarantee confidence, while Greens MP Mr Bandt said an election had to be called because "the sooner we turf out this rotten government, the better". "And we pay tribute to all of those who were there this evening and will contest over the next week", he said.

Media commentators and the Labor opposition asserted that Morrison's statements were aimed only at garnering votes from the large Jewish community within the Wentworth electorate. Wentworth is an unusual seat. "It's quite an extraordinary seat", Peta Credlin told Sky News. So they kicked out Malcolm Turnbull and confirmed their ruination forecast.

Mr Turnbull had held the seat with a margin of 18%.

The Wentworth campaign featured a kaleidoscope of issues - asylum seekers border policy, energy, climate change, coal, religious freedom, anger at the Canberra bubble and instability - that are all nettles for the Coalition. We saw that kind of recklessness last week with people voting on motions that they hadn't read and didn't understand, and that's not how I operate.

Ms Credlin said Mr Morrison's job would now be infinitely harder and his government would struggle to seem legitimate.

Former Liberal leader John Hewson says the defeated party needs to rethink and completely reset.

"The government is nearly seen as in exile, and the opposition gets a lot more currency out there in the community".

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