The second by-election caused due to the citizenship saga has resulted in a comfortable win for the Liberal-National Coalition, avoiding the need for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to form a minority government with John Alexander retaining the seat.
Alexander resigned in November upon finding out he was a possible dual citizen, inherited from his father.
Despite a hard fought campaign by the Labor party with high-profile candidate and former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, it was apparent last night that Alexander would retain the seat with a six percent swing against him, well short of the ten percent needed to take the seat.
Last night, Prime Minister Turnbull lauded Alexander saying:
“Thank you Bennelong, the people of Bennelong have put their faith in this man, Liberals have come from across the state, across the nation.”
In conceding defeat, Keneally warned Turnbull that he should be concerned about the swing to Labor.
“The verdict is in, the message is clear, we have had enough of your lousy leadership, Malcolm Turnbull injected himself in this campaign, he owns this result.”
The seat of Bennelong was established in 1949 and has had just four members since it’s inception, including former Prime Minister John Howard. The seat has only been held by Labor for one term when Maxine McKew snatched the seat from John Howard. It returned to the Liberals at the next election.