Election night is shaping as a resounding victory for a group of independents who have challenged both parties to do more on climate change and accountability.
- Liberal MPs Tim Wilson, Trent Zimmerman and Jason Falinski are likely to lose to independents
- A handful of new independents could become the power brokers in the next parliament
- Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong has not been called
The so-called “teal independents” are candidates contesting in typically safe Liberal seats on a platform of greater climate action and implementing a federal integrity commission.
These candidates were backed by a well-funded campaigning machine called Climate 200, which raised about $12 million from more than 11,000 donors.
And while many of these independents are challenging established Liberal politicians, the Labor party is watching closely too — these could be members they’re forced to negotiate with in order to form government, in a hung parliament.
Liberal MPs Tim Wilson, Trent Zimmerman and Jason Falinski are projected to lose their seats to teal challengers, with others also looking likely to fall.
Former Liberal Party apparatchik Tony Barry is calling the night, not a bloodbath but a “teal bath”.
Here are the results so far for some of the most closely-watched independent candidates contesting in Liberal heartland.
Sophie Scamps, Mackellar candidate
Sydney doctor Sophie Scamps was the first win among the teal independents tonight.
Dr Scamps was challenging Liberal incumbent Jason Falinski for the NSW seat of Mackellar.
With a third of the vote counted in Mackellar at 8.30pm, Dr Scamps is ahead with 53.9 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.
Dr Scamps was previously practising as a GP in the seat before announcing her candidacy.
The ABC has projected Dr Scamps will win the seat from the Liberals, and speaking to Channel Nine the candidate claimed victory.
“This is about genuinely trying to represent our community and take our voice and values to Canberra. We’re super excited. This is a win for democracy,” Dr Scamps said.
Kylea Tink, North Sydney candidate
Sitting Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman has conceded his loss to independent candidate Kylea Tink in the seat of North Sydney.
The ABC has also projected a win for Ms Tink, who was the chief executive of the McGrath Foundation.
The seat has been held by the Liberal Party since 1996, after it was briefly held by an independent.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the loss was a “devastating blow” for the Coalition.
Allegra Spender, Wentworth candidate
Allegra Spender looks likely to claim the NSW seat of Wentworth from Liberal MP Dave Sharma, who has previously faced tough contests against independents for the seat.
Ms Spender is a businesswoman who was the managing director for fashion labels Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender.
The seat of Wentworth was once represented by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, and fell to an independent when he quit parliament.
It was won back by Liberal MP Dave Sharma at the last election.
Monique Ryan, Kooyong candidate
If Monique Ryan wins in her seat of Kooyong, it will be one of the biggest stories of the night.
Dr Ryan is facing off against Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, not only one of the most senior members of the government, but also tipped as a future leader of the Liberal Party.
Dr Ryan has spent her career in medicine and public health, and says she’s “definitely not a politician”, but was driven to run over frustration at government inaction on climate change.
With more than a third of the vote counted at 9.30pm, Dr Ryan was leading in the two party-preferred race.
ABC election analyst Antony Green says his modelling projects Mr Frydenberg will lose the seat, although he stopped short of making a call.
The head of Climate 200, Simon Holmes à Court, who himself has been campaigning heavily in Kooyong, said the teal movement had seen a massive success.
“[Volunteers] have knocked on every knock-able door in the electorate,” Mr Holmes a Court said.
“The communities have seen through the fake moderate [Liberals]. These MPs have lost, or ex-MPs I guess, who have lost their seats have been seen through as fake moderates in electorates that want moderate politicians.”
Kooyong has been held by the Liberal Party and its conservative predecessors for its entire existence, most famously being the seat of party founder Robert Menzies.
Zali Steggall, Warringah MP
Zali Steggall has kept her seat of Warringah and appears to have increased her lead.
Ms Steggall drew massive attention when she claimed the seat of Warringah on Sydney’s North Shore from former prime minister Tony Abbott.
Her 2019 victory, partly funded by the then-nascent Climate 200 group, has been an inspiration for the group to drive a larger campaign this election.
Ms Steggall was widely predicted to win against Liberal contender Katherine Deves, who brought significant attention to the contest over her controversial views on transgender people.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the Liberal Party made a mistake running Ms Deves as their candidate, telling the ABC “we’ve paid a price in Warringah”.
Zoe Daniel, Goldstein candidate
Zoe Daniel was a foreign correspondent for the ABC who has made implementing a national integrity commission one of her highest priorities.
The ABC has projected Ms Daniel will win Goldstein.
The bayside seat of Goldstein in Melbourne has been held by the Liberal party since it was established in 1984, and by Mr Wilson since 2016.
“What we have achieved here is extraordinary,” Ms Daniel.
“This moment is a testament to the strength of our democracy. Community can make a difference.”
Kate Chaney, Curtin candidate
The count is early in WA but independent candidate Kate Chaney is in the lead.
Ms Chaney was most recently an executive for Anglicare in WA.
Curtin has been a Liberal-held seat since its inception, and was previously represented by former foreign minister Julie Bishop, and most recently by Celia Hammond.
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