Sharma wins Wentworth preselection

JOSHUA LEVI

Australia’s former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma has been preselected as the Liberal candidate for Wentworth.

The AJN can exclusively reveal that Sharma, who was backed by Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister John Howard, former foreign minister Alexander Downer and other leaders, won all six rounds of voting in the early hours of Friday morning.

Maxine Szramka and Carrington Brigham went out in the first round, with 4 and 6 votes, respectively.

Michael Feneley was voted out in the second round, followed by Katherine O’Regan and Mary-Lou Jarvis.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison wanted to see a woman preselected, the fight came down to Sharma, former Wentworth parliamentarian Peter King and Woollahra Jewish councillor Richard Shields.

Shields edged out King by five votes in the fifth round of voting, but he couldn’t match it with Sharma, who won the last round 119-82.

“I’m honoured to have been preselected as the liberal candidate for the seat of Wentworth,” Sharma said after the vote.

“We have a tough fight ahead of us to hold onto this seat, but I’ll be throwing my all into it and I believe we can retain it.”

A by-election will be held on October 20, following Turnbull’s decision to resign from politics.