Australia

Turnbull to quit parliament on Friday, triggering by-election in Wentworth

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Deposed prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has told his constituents he will quit federal parliament on Friday, setting up an early electoral test for the Morrison government

Dumped prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has informed his local supporters he will quit the parliament on Friday and trigger a by-election in his blue-ribbon Sydney seat. 

SBS News has confirmed Mr Turnbull's imminent departure with his electorate office.

His decision to leave means the Liberal party will now need to pre-select a replacement to contest the seat as soon as October 6. 

The Coalition would be expected to hold the safe Liberal seat, but the contest will be seen as an early litmus test for the Morrison government ahead of the general election. 

“As you know, I have always said that the best place for former PMs is out of the Parliament, and recent events amply demonstrate why," Mr Turnbull reportedly wrote to his supporters. 

“Your support has enabled me to be a Minister and, for the past three years, Prime Minister,” he said.

“Everything I have achieved for Australia in public life has been due to you - built on the foundation of this community, which Lucy and I love and where we have always lived.”

“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.” 

Sydney city councillor Christine Forster, the sister of Tony Abbott, is running for Liberal pre-selection in the seat. But she will face competition from former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma. 

Tamarama Surf Lifesaving Club president and local businessman Tim Murray will run as Labor's candidate, while NSW MP Alex Greenwich and GP Kerryn Phelps are also both considering running as independents.

Waverley Deputy Mayor Dominic Wy Kanak has been announced as the Greens candidate for the seat.

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