Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Liberals Victorious in Bennelong

Liberals Victorious in Bennelong

Mr Turnbull joined Mr Alexander onstage last night to claim victory in front of Liberal Party supporters in Bennelong.

"[Losing] would reduce the Government down to 75 seats out of 150 in the House of Representatives".

Labor candidate Kristina Keneally was joined by Mr Shorten and declared she was feeling "energised" by the campaign before handing out how-to-vote cards at Ryde East Public School and would campaign until booths closed at 6pm.

Former Liberal senator Cory Bernardi's new party, Australian Conservatives, is running a candidate, who appears to have has attracted around 4.7 per cent of the primary vote.

Several hundred party faithful, dressed in blue and surrounded by balloons, let out a rapturous cheer on Saturday upon news the Liberal Party had held on to Bennelong, and with it the government's one seat majority in parliament.

The campaign has been dirty and personal, and the major parties have thrown masses of resources at the battle.

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They were also unhappy with the performances of Mr Alexander and the prime minister, with Mr Stewart saying the same-sex marriage postal vote, which he considered unnecessary, was another issue that helped sway his decision.

On Saturday, an ecstatic prime minister thanked the jubilant crowd for returning Mr Alexander to Canberra.

The event then took on a more subdued tone with many long faces starting at the screens.

With voting underway in Bennelong, Australia's political class is holding its breath over the result of the crucial by-election that could not only determine the future of the Government, but also the fate of its leader.

'Bill Shorten starts next year facing a potential four by because he didn't get his house in order'.

The by-election in the northwestern suburban electorate in Sydney was called after Alexander resigned from parliament after he suspected he was a dual citizen.

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Meanwhile, the Liberals have continually reminded voters of Ms Keneally's time as NSW premier, when she led Labor to the biggest election defeat in the state's history.

Mr Shorten and Mr Turnbull spent many days campaigning in the seat, alongside many other high-profile government and opposition figures.

Talk has already turned to Kristina Keneally taking up Labor's vacant Senate seat following her loss in the by-election.

Ms Keneally refused during the last week of the campaign to rule out an interest in replacing Senator Dastyari who announced his resignation last Tuesday.

Senior Labor frontbencher Tony Burke told the ABC that Ms Keneally was unlikely to win.

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