Ke­neally shock pick for

The West Australian - - NEWS - Phoebe Wearne

La­bor has en­listed for­mer NSW premier Kristina Ke­neally to con­test the Ben­ne­long by-elec­tion, seiz­ing on the “un­ex­pected op­por­tu­nity” to threaten Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull’s par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity.

The star can­di­date claimed un­der­dog sta­tus yes­ter­day but had a strong chance of wrest­ing the north­ern Sydney seat from the Lib­er­als on De­cem­ber 16.

The shock an­nounce­ment of Ms Ke­neally’s can­di­dacy came as Lib­eral John Alexan­der scram­bled to re­nounce his Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship in time to re­con­test the seat, which he held by a 10 per cent mar­gin be­fore re­sign­ing on Satur­day over his sus­pected dual cit­i­zen­ship.

Ms Ke­neally, who has been work­ing as a Sky News pre­sen­ter, said she had de­cided to run on Mon­day af­ter­noon af­ter a “per­sua­sive” call from La­bor leader Bill Shorten at the week­end.

Her en­trance into the race turned nasty quickly, with se­nior coali­tion Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters crit­i­cis­ing her as­so­ci­a­tion with

Pic­ture: AAP

Tas­ma­nian Se­na­tor Jac­qui Lam­bie re­signs yes­ter­day.

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