Wentworth candidates vie for middle ground

·1-min read

Liberal MP Dave Sharma has urged voters to keep moderates like himself in parliament during a community debate in his NSW electorate.

The Wentworth MP's seat is under threat from 'teal' independent Allegra Spender, who shared the stage with Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite from the neighbouring suburban Sydney electorate Kingsford-Smith.

The coalition has ramped up its critique of so-called teal independents, who threaten to snatch away disaffected Liberal voters in the May 21 federal election.

Mr Sharma faced questions about his how-to-vote cards, which told voters to preference the United Australia Party second.

He said he'd have preferred the cards weren't numbered, telling voters to number their ballots however they liked as long as they put him first.

Ms Spender said government should be driven from the "middle" with the coalition being run by "minorities" from the political extremes.

Climate change was a central issue in the debate, with Mr Sharma admitting his party took a long time to reach consensus but that he hoped the climate wars were over.

Ms Spender didn't rule out working with either of the major parties in a hung parliament, saying she would work to maintain her independence.

The debate was hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

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