Latest dispatches from the Wentworth front:
• GetUp! has published a poll conducted by ReachTEL on September 17 from a sample of 860. It shows Liberal candidate Dave Sharma on a dangerously low 39.3%, independent Kerryn Phelps on 22.5%, Labor’s Tim Murray on 17.4% and Donimic Wy Kanak of the Greens on 12.6% (after allocation of a forced response follow-up for the 9.7% who were initially undecided). A two-party result of 52-48 for Liberal over Labor is provided, although on these numbers the final count would almost certainly be between Sharma and Phelps, with the latter likely gaining a strong enough preference flow to win. However, Sharma has comfortably the highest share of respondents rating themselves “very committed”.
• Nominations closed last week, drawing a field of 16 candidates, including three independents and an array of minor parties, among them some unlikely prospects in an electorate like Wentworth (Katter’s Australian Party, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Australian Liberty Alliance). The independents include Licia Heath, who has the endorsement of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her state parliamentary ally, Alex Greenwich. Kerryn Phelps did not do well out of the ballot paper draw, landing second last place, with Sharma in the middle of the field at number nine.
• Kerryn Phelps’ campaign got off to a bumpy start when she reversed her initial recommendation that the Liberals be put last. Evidently this did not go down well, as she gatecrashed a Scott Morrison event to make the announcement that her how-to-vote cards would have Liberal ahead of Labor.