Former NSW premier Kristina to stand for Labor in Bennelong by-election

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Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally will be Labor’s star candidate in the Bennelong byelection.

The shock announcement means Labor will have a strong chance of seizing the seat from the Liberals on December 16, putting the Turnbull government’s majority under threa, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

John Alexander resigned from the seat on Saturday after Fairfax Media revealed he was a dual citizen of the United Kingdom. He is now scrambling to renounce his foreign ties so he can recontest the seat, which he holds on a margin of nearly 10 per cent.

Labor in with a chance

Bennelong is no longer a safe Liberal seat, University of Sydney associate professor Michael Hogan said. “It’s not something the Liberals can be confident about. It’s normally regarded as a safe Liberal seat but it’s not.”

Labor has only claimed the seat once before when the then-Prime Minister John Howard lost to Maxine McKew.

Professor Hogan says it can be done again and will depend on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ratings during the campaign.