The Liberal Party looks set to lose wealthy heartland electorates previously held by prime ministers to climate change independents in Sydney and Melbourne.
The female ‘teal’ independents, funded by multimillionaire Simon Holmes a Court, are outpolling sitting Liberal MPs in wealthy suburbs near the city or by the beach – ending the careers of leading party moderates.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party has lost the seat of MacKellar on Sydney’s northern beaches, represented by MP Jason Falinski, as well as North Sydney, where MP Trent Zimmerman has conceded.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal Party’s deputy leader touted as a future potential leader, is behind in his Melbourne seat of Kooyong, along with Tim Wilson in nearby Goldstein and Dave Sharma’s in the Sydney eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth.
Meanwhile, independent Warringah MP Zali Steggall has cruised to re-election over gender warrior Katherine Deves.
The Liberal Party is in serious trouble of losing wealthy heartland electorates previously held by prime ministers as climate change independents put in a very strong challenge in Sydney and Melbourne (pictured is independent Wentworth candidate Allegra Spender)
Liberal Party scalps
TREASURER JOSH FRYDENBERG in Kooyong, in Melbourne, to paediatric neurosurgeon Monique Ryan
TIM WILSON in Goldstein in Melbourne to former ABC foreign correspondent Zoe Daniel
DAVE SHARMA in Wentworth in Sydney’s east to Allegra Spender
JASON FALINSKI in Mackellar on Sydney’s Northern Beaches to Sophie Scamps
TRENT ZIMMERMAN in North Sydney to Kylea Tink
Teal candidates are likewise ahead in three of those seats have previously been held by a Liberal prime minister – two during the past decade.
Female independents have beaten male MPs, with the Liberal Party having far fewer women in Parliament than Labor.
‘Climate 200 is a very small part of this movement … the credit goes to these amazing candidates,’ Mr Holmes a Court told the Nine Network.
Mr Frydenberg, the Liberal Party’s deputy leader and future leadership contender, looks set to lose Kooyong, in Melbourne’s east to independent Monique Ryan.
Dr Ryan, a paediatric neurosurgeon, is leading 52.1 per cent to 47.9 per cent, after preferences.
Mr Frydenberg is ahead on primary votes at 42.3 per cent to Dr Ryan’s 40.8 per cent but she is set to benefit from Labor and Greens preferences.
Kooyong was previously held by Australia’s longest-serving prime minister Robert Menzies, the founder of the Liberal Party, and former opposition leader Andrew Peacock.
In Sydney’s wealthy eastern suburbs, Allegra Spender is set to knock off Liberal MP Dave Sharma, a former ambassador to Israel, in Wentworth, once held by another former PM Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader John Hewson.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal Party’s deputy leader and future leadership contender, is in serious trouble of losing Kooyong, in Melbourne’s east
The daughter of the late fashion designer Carla Zampatti is leading 53.7 per cent to 46.3 per cent, after preferences.
Her primary vote of 38.8 per cent is ahead of her Liberal opponent’s 37 per cent.
The campaigner for climate action is the daughter of former federal Liberal MP John Spender, who himself lost to an independent three decades ago, and the granddaughter of post-war minister for external affairs Percy Spender.
Sharma won back Wentworth at the 2019 election after losing a 2018 by-election to another high-profile independent, former Australian Medical Association president Dr Kerryn Phelps.
In Melbourne’s bayside seat of Goldstein, Liberal MP Tim Wilson is also in serious trouble, with former ABC foreign correspondent Zoe Daniel leading 56.3 per cent to 43.7 per cent.
‘What we have achieved here is extraordinary,’ Ms Daniel told supporters.
‘Safe Liberal seat, two terms; independent.’
Mr Wilson, a campaigner for marriage equality, had a primary vote of 37.9 per cent to his opponent’s 35 per cent.
In Melbourne’s bayside seat of Goldstein, Liberal MP Tim Wilson is also in trouble, with former ABC foreign correspondent Zoe Daniel (pictured) leading 56.3 per cent to 43.7 per cent
Independent Warringah MP Zali Steggall has cruised to re-election over gender warrior Katherine Deves
Zali Steggall, a former Olympic skier, has been easily re-elected in former prime minister Tony Abbott’s old Sydney Northern Beaches seat of Warringhah, against divisive Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, who described transgender children as ‘surgically mutilated’.
She had 61 per cent of the vote after preferences to her controversial opponent’s 39 per cent, with 44.5 per cent of the primary vote to the Liberal Party’s 32.5 per cent in early counting.
In the neighbouring electorate of North Sydney, Liberal incumbent Trent Zimmerman has lost, with independent Kylea Tink ahead 55.7 per cent to 44.3 per cent after preferences.
Mr Zimmerman had a 13.4 per cent swing against him on preferences, leaving him with a primary vote of 36.3 per cent.
The Liberal Party is also in trouble in the Sydney Northern Beaches seat of Mackellar, stretching from Dee Why to Palm Beach.
In the neighbouring electorate of North Sydney, Liberal incumbent Trent Zimmerman has lost, with independent Kylea Tink (pictured) ahead 55.7 per cent to 44.3 per cent after preferences
Independent Sophie Scamps is leading 53.9 per cent to 46.1 per cent after preferences.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, a leader moderate in the Liberal Party from South Australia, said the electorate had sent a message about the need for more female MPs in his party.
‘Absolutely, that’s a very important message the electorate has sent us,’ he told the ABC.
‘We can’t just say preselecting more women is sufficient.’
Former rugby union player David Pocock is also set make history as the first-ever independent elected as a senator for the Australian Capital Territory at the expense of conservative Liberal senator and minister Zed Seselja.
The Liberal Party also looks set to lose the leafy Brisbane seat of Ryan to the Greens with the minor party candidate leading on first preferences with 38.5 per cent of the vote, compared with 30.6 per cent for sitting member Julian Simmonds.
Since the seat was created in 1949, the Liberal Party has never lost it at a general election, only briefing losing at during a 2001 by-election.
Ryan overlaps with the Greens-held state seat of Maiwar.