Up to Labor to test confidence after Wentworth loss: Cormann

Independent candidate for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps. Image credit Dean Lewins  AAP

Independent candidate for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps. Image credit Dean Lewins AAP

Postal votes, most of which are likely to favour...

There are still several thousand postal votes outstanding, which can come in up to 13 days after the poll.

In comments that will add critical momentum to the debate, Phelps said resettling asylum seekers in New Zealand was "an extremely good option" and refugee advocates had spoken to her about that being "a very good interim position, and so it's definitely on the table".

It had been held by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull until his controversial ousting in the summer, which also saw him resign from parliament to trigger the by-election.

Here is a quick rundown of how Kerryn Phelps will change parliament.

Mr Morrison admitted Liberals were angry and had expressed their frustration at the ballot box.

What impact that gambit had was unclear, but with his parliamentary majority hanging by a thread as the count continued, Morrison acknowledged that whatever the outcome, voters were clearly disillusioned with his party.

The massive swing against the Liberals, who held Wentworth by a 17.7% margin under Turnbull and have never previously lost the seat, is a blow to Morrison just two months into his tenure. Rather, it was an attempt by the most right-wing section of the Liberals, including former prime minister Tony Abbott and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, to install a government even more committed to the United States alliance and to attacking the social and democratic rights of ordinary people.

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.

When Dr Phelps takes up her seat, there will be a crossbench of six members in the lower house, with Labor holding 69 seats.

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If Dr Phelps is confirmed the victor, there will be a crossbench of six members in the House of Representatives with Labor holding 69 seats and the coalition one short of a majority with 75.

He said Saturday's voting booths where skewed to Dr Phelps, showing that there had a been a late surge for her.

If Dr Phelps were to side with the opposition and refer the matter to the court, it would only worsen the public's impression of a government in chaos. "I'm not sure we have an understanding of what is the vision of the Prime Minister and his team", she said, pointing to the chaos of last week.

But she has all but ruled out helping force an early election or supporting a no-confidence motion in the government. "The next election is due in May next year, and that's time enough", she told Insiders yesterday.

"Now, I don't see how he can argue that and not then say that we have to have an election".

"I've said that the government, and all governments, should go full term unless there are exceptional circumstances".

Independent Andrew Wilkie will not guarantee confidence, while Greens MP Mr Bandt said an election had to be called because "the sooner we turf out this rotten government, the better".

The biggest swing in Australia's political history has landed the nation with its second minority government in just over eight years.

"This is not about going one way or the other way, to the left or the right".

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