Labor did not capitalise on the Liberal Party vote collapse: one hour after polls closed, the Greens' Dominic Wy Kanak was besting the opposition party's Tim Murray on the primary vote.
The result of the much-anticipated by-election means the Morrison government no longer holds majority, meaning there is now a hung parliament.
Voters in Malcolm Turnbull's old seat of Wentworth have passed a brutal judgement on the Liberal Party by electing independent Kerryn Phelps to replace the former prime minister, in a humiliating blow to the Coalition that leaves the government dealing with a hung parliament.
The biggest swing in Australia's political history has landed the nation with its second minority government in just over eight years. "The public in Wentworth were angry", he said.
"I know this is a tough day, but leadership requires you to turn up on the tough days and the good days, and that's what you will always get from me", Morrison said as Dave Sharma conceded defeat. "So I would encourage people to think about that carefully".
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And his gamble looked set to pay off despite falling behind to a Chelsea side now unbeaten in their first 12 games under Sarri. Martial's composed equaliser transformed a game in which United had been outplayed for the first 55 minutes.
The ABC reports, with almost 40 per cent of the votes counted, Liberal candidate Dave Sharma had won only 38 per cent of first preferences, while Dr Phelps won 33.
Dr Phelps said she would set two priorities: action on climate change and getting asylum seeker children off Nauru.
"While tonight is not an unexpected outcome for us, they have looked at Canberra and the Liberal Party has paid a big price tonight for the events of several months ago".
She might also lend support for a national integrity commission that has been promoted by Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers for some time. "But as a party, we will continue to rise again".
At midday AEDT the ABC's election count showed thatDr Phelps had a lead of 884 votes after preferences.
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For Mourinho, the frustration has been building with the team's poor start to the season, and he also has to react better. United's first-half performance was so poor that they could not have complained had they gone in two or three goals down.
If Dr Phelps does claim the seat, then the Opposition would still need an absolute majority of 76 votes to throw out the Government's agenda in the House - which means one Government MP would still need to cross the floor.
The by-election was triggered when Malcolm Turnbull quit politics after being deposed as prime minister in August.
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.
Turnbull's son, Alex, posted a pointed message of congratulations to Phelps on Twitter.
Earlier Dr Phelps pushed back against Labor's call for an early general election, saying the Coalition should serve a full term unless there were "exceptional circumstances".
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I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but you can't respect someone who plays the game like that". "It's a dirty play". Machado would later reach base in the 13th inning. "What happens on the field stays on the field". "One time is an accident".
"We will simply wait for that normal democratic, robust and credible process to follow it's course", Mr Morrison said.