Published On: Fri, Sep 14th, 2018

Scott Morrison’s own Liberal Party snubs his Wentworth preselection choice Katherine O’Regan

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The three-week anniversary of Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister has been a shocker with social media disasters and his own Liberal Party snubbing him.

Mr Morrison’s  preferred candidate to run in a crucial by-election received less than 10 per cent of preselection votes and to make matters worse, he misspelt the name of the victor, after having to delete a rude rap video.

The Prime Minister had wanted a woman to run in his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull’s Sydney eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth and had endorsed Katherine O’Regan as his choice for the October 20 by-election.

Mr Morrison’s preferred candidate Ms O’Regan, a former deputy mayor of Woollahra, received just 19 votes out of 201 in the first round and came fifth out of eight candidates, despite being anointed as the frontrunner.

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The three-week anniversary of Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister has been a shocker with social media disasters and his own Liberal Party snubbing him

The three-week anniversary of Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister has been a shocker with social media disasters and his own Liberal Party snubbing him

The three-week anniversary of Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister has been a shocker with social media disasters and his own Liberal Party snubbing him

Scott Morrison's (pictured with wife Jenny) own Liberal Party has snubbed him with his preferred by-election candidate receiving less than 10 per cent of preselection votes

Scott Morrison's (pictured with wife Jenny) own Liberal Party has snubbed him with his preferred by-election candidate receiving less than 10 per cent of preselection votes

Scott Morrison’s (pictured with wife Jenny) own Liberal Party has snubbed him with his preferred by-election candidate receiving less than 10 per cent of preselection votes

The PM's preferred candidate Katherine O'Regan (right with fellow contender Carrington Brigham), a former deputy mayor of Woollahra, came fifth out of eight candidates

The PM's preferred candidate Katherine O'Regan (right with fellow contender Carrington Brigham), a former deputy mayor of Woollahra, came fifth out of eight candidates

The PM’s preferred candidate Katherine O’Regan (right with fellow contender Carrington Brigham), a former deputy mayor of Woollahra, came fifth out of eight candidates

The other women in the preselection race Mary-Lou Jarvis, another Woollahra councillor, and rheumatologist Maxine Szramka also fared poorly against the male contenders.

In another blow to Mr Morrison’s authority, three weeks after he became PM, Mr Turnbull’s preferred candidate Dave Sharma prevailed, winning 119 votes after six rounds and seven hours of voting.

To make matters worse, Mr Morrison misspelt his name as David on Twitter, even though the victor, who is of Indian heritage, is Devanand.

‘Big congratulations to David Sharma, our new Liberal candidate for Wentworth,’ he tweeted before deleting the social media message. 

Scott Morrison's preferred candidate Katherine O'Regan received just 19 preselection votes out of 201 in the first round with Malcolm Turnbull's choice Dave Sharma prevailing 

Scott Morrison's preferred candidate Katherine O'Regan received just 19 preselection votes out of 201 in the first round with Malcolm Turnbull's choice Dave Sharma prevailing 

Scott Morrison’s preferred candidate Katherine O’Regan received just 19 preselection votes out of 201 in the first round with Malcolm Turnbull’s choice Dave Sharma prevailing 

To make matters worse, Mr Morrison misspelt his name as David, even though the victor, who is of Indian heritage, is Devanand

To make matters worse, Mr Morrison misspelt his name as David, even though the victor, who is of Indian heritage, is Devanand

To make matters worse, Mr Morrison misspelt his name as David, even though the victor, who is of Indian heritage, is Devanand

Mr Sharma, a former ambassador to Israel who lives outside the Wentworth electorate on Sydney’s North Shore, prevailed with the support of the moderate faction, which Ms O’Regan also hailed from.

He stayed in the race, despite pressure for the Liberal Party to preselect a woman, after speaking with former prime ministers John Howard and Mr Turnbull, who reportedly called him from New York urging him to continue. 

Mr Sharma on Thursday night beat seven other candidates, vying to run in the blue ribbon electorate which Mr Turnbull won with a 17.7 per cent margin in 2016.

Former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma was Malcolm Turnbull's preferred candidate to run for the Liberals at the Wentworth by-election

Former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma was Malcolm Turnbull's preferred candidate to run for the Liberals at the Wentworth by-election

Former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma was Malcolm Turnbull’s preferred candidate to run for the Liberals at the Wentworth by-election

Scott Morrison was on the hustings campaigning with Dave Sharma, hours after embarrassingly misspelting his name on Twitter 

Scott Morrison was on the hustings campaigning with Dave Sharma, hours after embarrassingly misspelting his name on Twitter 

Scott Morrison was on the hustings campaigning with Dave Sharma, hours after embarrassingly misspelting his name on Twitter 

He faced strong competition from Peter King, Wentworth’s former Liberal member who Mr Turnbull overthrew in a party preselection challenge in 2004. 

The endorsed candidate will now face a tough by-election battle on October 20, with early polling indicating a big swing against the Liberals, who have never lost Wentworth since it was created in 1901.

The electorate includes Australia’s most expensive suburbs of Point Piper and Vaucluse along with the world-famous Bondi Beach.

A loss in the seat to Labor, or a possible high-profile independent like former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps, would deprive the Morrison Government of its one-seat majority.

 Hours before the vote, Mr Morrison had to delete a rude 2006 rap video by Fatman Scoop which featured 'Who f***in Tonight? Who f***in tonight?

 Hours before the vote, Mr Morrison had to delete a rude 2006 rap video by Fatman Scoop which featured 'Who f***in Tonight? Who f***in tonight?

 Hours before the vote, Mr Morrison had to delete a rude 2006 rap video by Fatman Scoop which featured ‘Who f***in Tonight? Who f***in tonight?

Mr Morrison proceeded to delete the video following the backlash and apologised for the song choice

Mr Morrison proceeded to delete the video following the backlash and apologised for the song choice

Mr Morrison proceeded to delete the video following the backlash and apologised for the song choice

Ahead of the preselection vote at the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Club in Rose Bay, Ms O’Regan was originally tipped to triumph after frontrunner Andrew Bragg pulled out of the contest under mounting pressure from Canberra for a woman to be chosen.

He had quit the race on Monday after he commissioned polling which showed a woman had a better chance of winning the by-electiont.

The Liberal preselection for Wentworth started at 5pm at Woollahra’s Easts Rugby Club with Sharma’s candidacy being announced after 1.30am.

Hours before the vote, Mr Morrison had to delete a rude 2006 rap video by Fatman Scoop which featured the lyrics, ‘Who f***in Tonight? Who f***in tonight?’.

He had posted it on Twitter, complete with a possibly copyright infringing re-editing over footage of his Liberal and National colleagues in the House of Representatives during Question Time.

‘The full lyrics of the song used in my earlier video from QT today were just not OK,’ he tweeted.

‘When I found out, I asked the team to take it down. Apologies.’

Malcolm Turnbull (right), pictured with wife Lucy is on holidays in New York, had offered supported to the eventual victor Dave Sharma

Malcolm Turnbull (right), pictured with wife Lucy is on holidays in New York, had offered supported to the eventual victor Dave Sharma

Malcolm Turnbull (right), pictured with wife Lucy is on holidays in New York, had offered supported to the eventual victor Dave Sharma

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) let his predecessor know who's now in charge on Thursday morning

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) let his predecessor know who's now in charge on Thursday morning

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) let his predecessor know who’s now in charge on Thursday morning

Before the pre-selection decision, Malcolm Turnbull had been accused of trying to tear apart the party that sacked him as leader.

Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt attacked the former Liberal Party leader after he urged his successor Scott Morrison via Twitter to refer Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to the High Court over his parliamentary eligibility.

‘He is desperately trying to burn the party to the ground,’ Bolt told Sky News program on Thursday evening.

‘The point I have made to Scott Morrison and other colleagues is that given the uncertainty around Peter Dutton’s eligibility, acknowledged by the Solicitor-General, he should be referred to the High Court, as Barnaby was, to clarify the matter,’ Mr Turnbull tweeted on Wednesday night.

Mr Morrison hit back at his bitter predecessor on Thursday morning.

‘Someone once told me in this job, all contributions should be gratefully received. They are,’ he told reporters at Queanbeyan, just outside Canberra.

‘But as the prime minister, I’ll obviously make the decisions in relation to our government on what I believe is in the national interest and based on the most recent and most timely information that I have available to me.

‘Obviously I have a lot of respect for the former prime minister – but as the prime minister now, I’ll make the decisions that I believe are in the best interests of the nation.’

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