Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned Wentworth by-election voters to think “carefully” about voting for independent candidate Kerryn Phelps, after a new poll placed her far ahead of Liberal opponent Dave Sharma.
The poll by independent research organisation Voter Choice Project showed Mr Sharma trailing behind Dr Phelps and Labor candidate Tim Murray by about 9 and 11 points respectively. The final sample involved 736 people.
Researcher Raphaella Kathryn Crosby said the results revealed that Mr Sharma would lose the by-election if the Liberal primary vote was not over 40 per cent.
“It is unclear whether it will be Sharma vs Murray or Murray vs Phelps, but it doesn’t matter because whoever ends up [against Sharma] will win,” Ms Crosby said.
If Dr Phelps “survives the preference vote, she will win over Dave Sharma”, Ms Crosby said.
Dr Phelps said she found the results “heartening” and said she stood for “strong policies the people of Wentworth actually care about”.
“Like climate change action, like the treatment of asylum seekers, supporting small businesses, an economy considerate of all people, social justice issues and of course the religious freedoms bill,” she said.