Australia's most prominent Jewish politician heading for defeat in election

Josh Frydenberg would have been in poll position to become Opposition leader after defeat of ruling Liberal-National coalition


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer of Australia, on May 21, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians head to the polls today to elect the 47th Parliament of Australia, with a tight battle between incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the Coalition party and Labor Leader, Anthony Albanese. The Coalition party has led government since 2013. (Photo by Naomi Rahim/Getty Images)

Australia’s most senior Jewish politician, Josh Frydenberg, looks to be one of the casualties of the electoral defeat of the ruling government coalition.

The treasurer of Australia and deputy leader of the Liberal Party had been tipped to succeed Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has announced his resignation as party leader after the reversal in the polls.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese, whose party has gained the most seats, is set to head the next government.

Mr Frydenberg has yet to formally concede defeat in his Kooyong constituency  while postal votes remain to be counted but acknowledged it would be “very, very difficult” to make up ground to the independent candidate currently in the lead.

In a recent interview with the Australian Jewish News, he said his Jewish identity was “central” and “fundamental to who I am. I love the tradition and I respect the history and I’m committed to the values that are part of the Jewish faith.”

Mr Morrison’s government was seen as one of Israel’s staunchest allies in the West and recognised West Jerusalem as the country’s capital in 2018.

Mr Albanese has rejected BDS and said it was “inappropriate” to describe Israel as an apartheid state, but he has been critical of West Bank settlements.

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