HomeBreaking NewsDuluk slammed: Ex-Lib knocked out as challengers face tight race
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Duluk slammed: Ex-Lib knocked out as challengers face tight race


Mr Duluk had recorded 16.5 per cent of the vote at 8.30pm but was behind Labor’s Catherine Hutchesson on 28.8 per cent and the Liberals’ Alexander Hyde on 27.7 per cent.Mr Hyde was narrowly ahead 50.9 per cent to 49.1 per cent two-party preferred.Almost 20 per cent of the vote had been counted. Mr Hyde said the seat was going to be difficult to call on the night.“I think a crystal ball is useless in Waite, you need more an Ouija board,” he said. “We will get an indication tonight but we will not get a result tonight I would have thought.“With two prominent independents running, one a local mayor and the other a popular MP, and a curtailed Liberal party campaign of only four months, we always expected votes to be split and to come down to the wire.’’Mr Duluk told the ABC from a closed function at the Torrens Arms Hotel that preferences were “going to go all over the place” and postal votes would be key to calling a winner.“I think there are a lot of postal and pre-poll votes to be taken into account,” he said.When quizzed about large swings against the government in favour of the opposition, Mr Duluk said that the reopening of borders last November could have played a part in influencing voters.Mr Duluk convincingly won Waite in the 2018 election – securing 57.8 per cent of the two-party preferred vote – as a Liberal. However, this year, he is facing a stronger field of competition and the fallout from a dizzying two years of accusations and scandals.Mr Duluk was charged with assault after a boozy 2019 Christmas Party, where he was accused of slapping MP Connie Bonaros on the bottom.He stood trial in the Adelaide Magistrates Court and was ultimately acquitted by Magistrate John Wells.However, Mr Wells pulled no punches in his judgment, acquitting the MP but described his behaviour that night as “insensitive, uncouth and disrespectful”.“You were behaving like a drunken pest,” Mr Wells said.The charges led to Mr Duluk leaving the Liberal Party, becoming the first of the party’s MPs to leave and diminish the government’s hold in the lower house.Independent candidate and Mitcham Council mayor Heather Holmes-Ross said she was “speechless” at the support she had been given. “I think being a local and having spent so much time in the community building a rapport is showing in the votes,” she said.She said that in light of large swings away from the government, it was not a disadvantage to be seen to be separate to the two major parties.

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