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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has admitted he faces a “difficult” path to victory in the Melbourne seat of Kooyong, as teal Independent Monique Ryan pushes towards an upset win.
With just over 44 per cent of the vote counted, Ryan is ahead on preferences by a projected 54.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent.
Speaking to supporters tonight, Frydenberg said he had been proud to serve 12 years as a local member, and of his work as Treasurer.
“It is mathematically possible that we win in Kooyong,” he said, noting “thousands” of postal votes were yet to be counted.
Speaking from her campaign headquarters later tonight, Ryan said she wasn’t presuming victory.
“No, I won’t be confident for days, I think,” she told Nine.
“I’m still hardly daring to believe this but, you know, we’re feeling really hopeful at this point in time.”
Ryan wouldn’t commit to supporting a Liberal minority government despite pointed questioning from former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
“At this point I’ll continue to say what I’ve said throughout the campaign, that I will talk to either of the major party in that instance about the things that matter to the electorate of Kooyong and I will deliver on those things for the people of Kooyong,” she said.
“The people of Kooyong have not brought the sitting member back at this point. If they have elected me, then they have elected me because they want action on climate change and an integrity commission and those are the things that I will try to deliver for them.”
Liberal and Labor HQs tell two different stories
Frydenberg was elected as MP for Kooyong in 2010, and was appointed Treasurer and deputy Liberal leader under Scott Morrison in 2018.
He was considered a potential leader-in-waiting of the Liberal party, but his likely exit from Parliament would leave Defence Minister Peter Dutton in the box seat.