Australian government braces for voter anger in make-or-break by-election

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas/via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could face a backlash in a by-election this weekend as voters in a once-safe seat weigh whether to strip the conservative government of its one-seat parliamentary majority.

Sharma denied that the proposal to move the embassy was related to the by-election. He also said he strongly supported “the emergence of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state, living alongside Israel in peace”.

Stretching from Bondi Beach to Sydney’s harbor, the Liberal Party’s economic credentials have traditionally been the dominant lure for most voters.

While the scores of ocean view mansions provide evidence of the electorate’s wealth, it also belies Wentworth’s progressive voter base.

More than 80 percent of the electorate voted for same-sex marriage last year, well ahead of the national average, while many in the area also want to reject fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy.

While nearly two-thirds of voters backed Turnbull in 2016, this time, Wentworth looks set to be a referendum on Morrison, a staunch conservative and supporter of the coal industry.

Should voters reject the government, Morrison will be left with a choice of either trying to form a minority government or calling an early election while trailing in the polls.

Bob Katter, one of two former ruling party members who are now independents in parliament who the government will mostly likely have to rely on to get any legislation through, warned he would exact a high price for his support.

“It’s not for me to call it a threat but when I don’t get a fair go, then it is mayhem time,” said Katter, who declined to specify what exactly he would demand.

More Stories