Right-wing Australian politician who blamed Muslims for Christchurch mosque attack loses seat

‘Fraser Anning goes back to where he came from ... he won’t be in the Parliament’

Adam Forrest
Saturday 18 May 2019 16:08 BST
Australian senator Fraser Anning punches teenager after being egged for New Zealand attack comments

The anti-immigration politician egged by a teenage boy earlier this year has lost his seat in the Australian parliament following the country’s federal election.

Fraser Anning, who sparked outrage when he said Muslim immigration was to blame for the New Zealand mosque shootings, has been defeated in his bid to return to the Senate.

His party – Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party – failed to get the votes needed to win a single seat in either the upper or lower houses, according to Australia’s 9News network.

The result caused glee among mainstream politicians and pundits. “Fraser Anning goes back to where he came from ... he won’t be in the Parliament,” said ABC News commentator Antony Green. Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman called it “one of the great outcomes of this election”.

In March TV cameras caught 17-year-old Will Connelly breaking an egg on the senator’s head before being wrestled to the ground by Mr Anning’s supporters at a Melbourne news conference. The teenager was hailed by many as a hero and became widely known as “egg boy”.

Despite getting just 19 first preference votes during the 2016 federal election, Mr Anning was later chosen by the One Nation party to replace former senator Malcolm Roberts, who was declared invalid by the country’s High Court last year because of his dual citizenship.

The anti-immigration politician then switched to Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), before being kicked out of the party because his views on immigration were thought too extreme.

He was not the only high-profile figure to experience defeat following Saturday’s vote. Australia’s former prime minister Tony Abbott lost his seat in the House of Representatives to independent candidate Zali Steggall.

'Egg boy' Will Connolly reveals why he cracked an egg on Fraser Anning's head

“It’s disappointing for us here in Warringah, but what matters is what’s best for the country,” Mr Abbott told supporters in a concession speech. “And what’s best for the country is not so much who wins or loses Warringah, but who forms, or does not form, a government in Canberra.”

Australia’s ruling coalition won a surprise victory on Saturday, defying opinion polls that had tipped the centre-left opposition party to oust it from power.

Poll forecasts give 74 seats to the Liberal-led coalition in the 151-seat House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.

Prime minister Scott Morrison celebrates victory with his wife and daughters in Sydney (Getty Images)

Prime minister Scott Morrison described the result as a “miracle”. He added: “Tonight is not about me or it’s not about even the Liberal party. Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first.”

Labor Party leader Bill Shorten told distraught supporters: “It is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government and so, in the national interest, a short while ago I called Scott Morrison to congratulate him.”

There were 40 of 76 Senate spots also contested during Saturday’s election, the outcome of which will determine how difficult it will be for the next government to enact policy.

Additional reporting by agencies

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