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Here are the strong, independent women marching into parliament


Zoe Daniel and Allegra Spender are each set to claim House of Representatives seats as independent candidates prepare to hugely impact the next parliament.

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Ms Daniel leads Liberal MP Tim Wilson 56-44 and Ms Spender leads fellow MP Dave Sharma 58-42, with the pair two of six independents leading incumbents at 8.30pm (AEST).

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is facing a strong challenge from Monique Ryan in Kooyong, in Victoria, trailing 53-47 with more than half the vote counted.

In NSW, independent Kylea Tink leads Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman 56-44 in North Sydney, while Sophie Scamps leads Jason Falinski 53-47 in Mackellar.

Another independent, Dai Le, leads Labor candidate Kristina Keneally 51-49 in Fowler.

Independent MP Zali Steggall, who is in a commanding position in the Sydney seat of Warringah, said the swing away from the coalition was clear to see.

“The community is frustrated, the major parties and the two-party system is broken,” she told Sky News.

“It’s failing to address the really big issues that communities want to see movement on, from integrity to respect for women to climate change policies, and the communities are speaking, they’re looking for alternatives.”

Meanwhile, incumbent MP Andrew Wilkie was the first candidate to claim victory in a seat on Saturday.

“I am delighted to be in a position to again hold the seat of Clark after today’s poll,” Mr Wilkie said on Saturday evening, referring to the Tasmanian seat.

“Elections are a wonderful celebration of democracy and to have secured a fifth term is tremendous validation that my consistent calls for greater fairness and action on many key issues have resonated in the greater Hobart community.”

Climate 200 convenor Simon Holmes a Court, who is supporting several of the independent candidates, said two-to-four of the independents he’s backed would win seats. He said making seats marginal was also important.

“The real thing to watch tonight is how many seats come down to a two-horse race between the independent candidate and the incumbent,” he told Sky News.

“We’ll see how many seats become marginal this election which will be very exciting.”

Mr Holmes a Court said it was unsurprising the independent candidates had not declared who they would support in a hung parliament.

“That’s absolutely a matter for each of the candidates to form a position, we were completely hands-off,” he said.

“No strings attached, completely up to them, but I understand … the successful ones will go into negotiations, and if you walk into a negotiation, you want to have as many options in front of you.”

Former Liberal minister Christopher Pyne labelled the teal independents “political deceivers” and “political frauds”.

“They have one purpose and that’s to remove small-l Liberal members from the party room and to make the Liberal Party more right-wing and therefore unelectable,” he told Seven News.

“Calling them independents is really quite false. It’s a very obvious campaign and I don’t think they’ll do as well.”

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