wentworth byelection
Image credit: Chris Pavlich/AAP

A few minutes before the close of polls on Saturday evening, a storm rolled into Sydney's eastern suburbs from the north-west. A proper Sydney storm, complete with ominous cloud front, torrential rain and Hollywood-style forked lightning and booming thunder. And a pretty apt metaphor for what was about to happen to the Liberals in Wentworth, because there was no surprise about the storm -- you could watch the front on radar coming in for hours beforehand.

In the event, the climatic theatrics only last 20 minutes, before petering out and giving way to a steady drizzle, which might have seemed a more promising metaphor for the Liberals, who woke to thoughts of an improbable victory yesterday morning on the back of postal votes. By last night, however, Kerryn Phelps had extended her lead. As you were: the angry recriminations within the right could continue. Those of us who thought that, at 18%, the Liberal margin in Wentworth was simply too big to conquer are left to eat a delicious serving of humble pastry from Sonoma.