Liberals lose majority in Australia, Jerusalem embassy move unlikely

The loss of the Liberal Party in the wealthy, heavily Jewish Wentworth district, means that Morrison’s Liberal government has lost its one-seat majority.

October 21, 2018 03:08
1 minute read.
Dave Sharma.

Dave Sharma Australian Ambassador to Isarel 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Australian Embassy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma lost a critical by-election in the Sydney area on Saturday, casting doubt now on whether Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go through with his announcement last week to consider recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the capital to Jerusalem.

The loss of the Liberal Party in the wealthy, heavily Jewish Wentworth district, which includes parts of Sydney and some of its wealthy suburbs, means that Morrison’s Liberal government has lost its one-seat majority.

The Wentworth by-election was triggered by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who held the seat since 2004, resigning after being ousted by his own party in favor of Morrison in August. This was the sixth time that a national leader has been replaced in Australia in the last decade. New national elections must be held by next May, and although the Wentworth defeat will not bring down the government, it will make it difficult to pass legislation.

Independent Party candidate Kerry Phelps, who is a convert to Judaism, won the seat in the traditionally Liberal district.

Last week, in the run-up to the election in the district which is home to an estimated 20,000 Jews, or 12.5% of the population, Sharma said that Australia should be open to moving its embassy to Jerusalem. This was echoed by Morrison, who on Tuesday announced that Australia was open to considering the move.

He even spoke about this last week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked him for considering the step. The Palestinians quickly lambasted Morrison’s announcement, warning that it would harm Australia’s ties with the Arab world.

Some attributed Morrison’s announcement – which represented a significant Australian foreign policy shift – to an attempt to woo Jewish voters in Wentworth.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid seem excited to be in Israel.
May 23, 2019
Atletico’s Israel visit a triumph for everyone