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First Chinese-Australian MP claims majority seat for Coalition

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After a frenetic campaign and a long count, Chisholm has finally made history.

Liberal Gladys Liu will become the first Chinese-Australian woman to sit in Federal Parliament’s Lower House after notching a surprise victory in the suburban Melbourne seat, securing Scott Morrison a majority Government.

It wasn’t meant to be this way. A few months ago Coalition strategists had almost written off Ms Liu’s chances.

The sitting MP Julia Banks had already damaged the Liberals and infuriated branch members when she spectacularly quit the party for the crossbench.

And Labor’s confidence quickly grew as Ms Liu’s campaign was battered by seemingly endless controversies.

First the Prime Minister had to defend his candidate after Ms Liu found herself in hot water over comments she made about same sex marriage in 2016.

Then she became enmeshed in a series of bewildering minor scandals, including an abusive online post about Jennifer Yang written by Ms Liu’s sister, and confusion over whether Ms Liu was still a multicultural ambassador for the AFL.

The constant barrage of headlines clearly frustrated Ms Liu, who suspected her political enemies were trying to sabotage her campaign.

“The negative news always came out of thin air,” she told the ABC on election day.

“It must have been started by someone and incited by someone.

“No matter who it is or what the motive is, it is aimed at distracting me from my campaign.”

All the noise might have taken some paint off the Liberals, with voters delivering a swing of around 2.2 per cent to Labor.

But that wasn’t enough for Ms Yang, who is now trailing by more than 1,200 votes with more than 80 per cent of the vote counted.

That means Ms Liu looks set to hand the Coalition its crucial 76th seat in the Lower House.

 

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