Devine says Phelps will "ram the rainbow agenda down Scott Morrison's throat"

"Thank you to the people of Wentworth for placing your trust in me", she said in her victory speech.

"For example getting kids off Nauru".

"When I took this job, I said there would be tough days and great days".

It is the biggest-ever swing in a by-election against a sitting government.

Sharma did well among voters who voted early, suggesting at least some support was pushed to Phelps by the Morrison government's performance over the past fortnight - in which Coalition senators voted in favour of Pauline Hanson's "it's OK to be white" motion, and the government had to scramble to clarify its position on discrimination against gay schoolchildren. This imperils the deeply-divided government and means that it will be dependent on support from cross-bench MPs to pass legislation in the lower house.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had welcomed Morrison's announcement, saying in a statement on Tuesday that he was "very thankful" the prime minister was considering the policy change.

The swing away from Sharma-of roughly 19 percent compared with the Liberal result in the 2016 federal election-is the largest ever against a government candidate in a by-election. The opposition Labor Party holds 69 seats, while independents have six.

It had been held by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull until his controversial ousting in the summer, which also saw him resign from parliament to trigger the by-election. The big issues of national importance.

More news: Two dead in Ukrainian fighter jet crash, U.S. pilot 'involved'

On top of that, Dr Phelps herself has repeatedly indicated she will oppose a no-confidence motion unless something dramatic happens to change her mind.

But Greens MP Adam Bandt said an election had to be called and the "the sooner we turf out this rotten government, the better".

While the government now has pledges of confidence from some crossbenchers, they would be in a strong position to demand concessions in a hung parliament.

It was not clear what would become of that plan following the election's results, but with Morrison now effectively a lame duck prime minister, its prospects appeared diminished.

"He has actually spent this whole campaign arguing that if we got the result we got last night it would cause instability in people's lives and in the economy", manager of opposition business Tony Burke told ABC Insiders on Sunday.

"Ideally, I'd like the government to go full term, but we, the crossbenchers, will have those discussions today with the prime minister, the treasurer and various other ministers", McGowan told ABC.

"We will continue to work closely with the crossbench members to get the right outcomes there".

Once Dr Phelps enters parliament, we can assume Labor will renew its push to have Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's eligibility referred to the High Court. Rather, it was an attempt by the most right-wing section of the Liberals, including former prime minister Tony Abbott and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, to install a government even more committed to the U.S. alliance and to attacking the social and democratic rights of ordinary people.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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