Election 2022: Josh Frydenberg set to lose Kooyong to teal independent Monique Ryan

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An emotional Josh Frydenberg has spoken publicly for the first time since receiving the news he is likely to lose his seat.

The man often tipped to be the future leader of the Liberal Party has been moved to tears as he conceded he may not retain his seat.

Josh Frydenberg hasn’t quite conceded but he admitted after 10pm it would be “difficult” to hold onto Kooyong at this stage of vote counting.

The Treasurer is expected to lose his Liberal heartland electorate in inner Melbourne to “teal” independent Monique Ryan, a paediatric neurologist.

Mr Frydenberg spoke to his supporters from his election night event in Kooyong, with his wife Amie by his side.

“So while it’s mathematically possible that we win in Kooyong, it’s definitely difficult,” he said.

“But while votes are still being counted, I wanted to take this opportunity to be here with Amie to say a few thank you-s.”

Mr Frydenberg said he wanted to thank the people of Kooyong, the people of Australia, the Liberal party and his colleagues.

“But most importantly, thank you to my family,” he said.

Mr Frydenberg grew emotional as he reflected on his time in Parliament and said he was proud to have introduced the JobKeeper program to keep people employed during Covid-19.

“People have never voted for just Josh Frydenberg. They’ve always voted for the Liberal Party’s candidate in Kooyong,” he told the room.

“It’s the Liberal Party’s values that have driven us for more than 70 years and made us the most successful party in Australia.”

Mr Frydenberg’s speech was peppered with bouts of applause and cheers from the crowd that included one man shouting “You’re a bloody good captain, Josh” and another person yelling “You’ll be back”.

His likely successor as Kooyong MP, Dr Ryan, was one of 22 “teal” independent candidates who have claimed several metropolitan seats from incumbent Liberal MPs at this election by running on climate change and integrity platforms.

The man who helped bankroll these independents, Climate 200 founder Simon Holmes a Court, said earlier on Saturday night the MPs they defeated were not true moderates.

“There are barely any moderates left and I reject the claim that any of those who lost their seats tonight are moderate,” Mr Holmes a Court told the ABC from the Auburn hotel, also in the Kooyong electorate.

“The reason that the Liberal Party has lost these seats is because they left a great vacuum and these candidates have filled that vacuum.”

Dr Ryan later on Saturday spoke to her own supporters through loud cheers at her election night function in Kooyong.

“We started because we wanted action on climate change and we felt that it was the most important challenge of our time,” she said.

“It bloody well is. Our government was not listening to us, so we have changed the government.”

She said she hadn’t written a victory speech – “and this is not a victory speech” – but said thank you to all her supporters.

Mr Frydenberg has held Kooyong, which takes in a number of leafy inner-eastern Melbourne suburbs including Kew and Hawthorn, on a margin of 6.4 per cent.

The electorate had been held by the conservative side of politics since federation.

Originally published as Emotional Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says ‘difficult’ to retain Kooyong


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