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Palmer Wins By 7 Votes, Triggering Recount; Final Senate Results Now On Way

Clive Palmer has won the Queensland electorate of Fairfax by 7 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

PalmerThe Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has completed a full distribution of preferences in Fairfax. Palmer has 42,337 votes and his Liberal National (LNP) opponent, Ted O’Brien, has 42,330. An automatic recount will now take place because the margin of victory is less than 100 votes.

Palmer’s victory comes off a primary vote of 26.49%. O’Brien polled 41.37% (down 8.08%), the ALP 18.21% (down 9.10%), the Greens 8.32% (down 9.68%) and Family First 1.67% (down 3.57%). Fairfax is a traditionally Coalition electorate. It was held since 1990 by Alex Somlyay, who retired at this election.

Fairfax is the only House of Representatives seat still undecided. However, counting in the safe Labor electorate of Wills, once held by Bob Hawke, has seen the Greens overtake the Liberals for second place after preferences. The AEC has yet to publish the preference distribution figures. Wills joins Batman and Melbourne as seats in which the Greens are Labor’s main competition.

The final result in the House of Representatives will be Coalition 90 or 91, ALP 55, Greens 1, Katter 1, Independent 2 or 3. After providing a Speaker, the Abbott government will have a majority of either 29 or 31.

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Victorian Senate Results

MuirThe sixth and final Senate position in Victoria was determined today, confirming that Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has won a seat, displacing the Liberal Party’s Senator Helen Kroger.

Liberal Senators Mitch Fifield and Scott Ryan have been re-elected.

Labor Senators Gavin Marshall and Jacinta Collins have been re-elected. Mehmet Tillem, who was appointed last month to serve out the rest of David Feeney’s Senate term until June 30, has not been elected. Feeney has transferred to the House as member for Batman.

Janet Rice has won a seat for the Greens, ensuring that the party will retain 9 seats. If Scott Ludlam holds on in Western Australia, the Greens will have an all-time record of 10 senators, despite a significant drop in their vote nationally.

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South Australian Senate Results

The AEC has confirmed the predicted result in South Australia. The Liberals will have 2 seats, the ALP 1, Greens 1, Nick Xenophon 1 and Family First 1.

DayThe Family First candidate, Bob Day, will become a Senator, after polling 3.76% of the primary vote. Day is a former Liberal and likely to be one of the most government-friendly of the new senators. He left the Liberal Party after failing to win endorsement for the seat of Mayo in 2008.

The Liberal senators Cory Bernardi and Simon Birmingham have been re-elected.

Labor Senator Penny Wong has been re-elected but Don Farrell has been defeated. With just 22.66% of the primary vote, this is the first time ever that the ALP has failed to win two seats in any state.

Senator Nick Xenophon has been re-elected. He polled 24.88% of the primary vote. Despite winning 1.74 quotas, his running mate, Stirling Griff, has not been elected.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has been re-elected from a base of 7.09% of the primary vote.

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Australian Capital Territory Senate Results

The AEC today confirmed the election of one Labor and one Liberal senator from the Australian Capital Territory.

Senator Kate Lundy has been re-elected to her seventh consecutive term representing the ALP. She was first elected in 1996.

Zed Seselja has been elected to his first term as a Liberal senator. Previously, he was a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly since 2004 and Opposition Leader between 2007-2013. He defeated his predecessor, Gary Humphries, in a hotly-contested preselection earlier this year.

As territory senators, Lundy and Seselja will take their seats immediately. Unlike the state-based senators, their terms are concurrent with the House of Representatives.

New senators from the states will take their seats on July 1 next year.

The Senate results for Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland are expected to be finalised in the next few days.

DOWNLOAD SENATE PREFERENCE DISTRIBUTIONS (PDF)

Text of media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Statement from the Australian Electoral Commission: Recount to proceed in the Division of Fairfax

The full distribution of preferences in the Division of Fairfax was concluded today resulting in a margin of 7 votes in favour of Mr Clive Palmer (Palmer United Party) who leads Mr Ted O’Brien (Liberal National Party).

As the margin of votes between the two leading candidates is less than one hundred, the Divisional Returning Officer Fairfax will now proceed with a formal recount of over 89,000 votes cast by electors for the division in the 2013 Federal Election.

The recount will take place at the divisional counting centre in Maroochydoore and will commence on Thursday 3 October 2013 at 9:00am. Work will commence immediately to prepare the counting centre and AEC teams to deal with over three times as many ballots in the recount as handled during the full distribution of preferences over the past seven days. The recount process will be open to candidates’ scrutineers, and updates will be issued by the AEC until counting is concluded.

Background

A full distribution of preferences in the Division of Fairfax commenced on Monday 23 September. This process is required to determine the winning candidate in any seat where the leading candidate has not received an ‘absolute majority’ of first preference votes (i.e at least 50% + 1). This has involved over the past seven days the re-examination of around 27,000 formal votes cast for the six candidates ranked lower than Mr Palmer and Mr O’Brien. The recount will look at votes received by all eight candidates as well as the informal votes.

Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Victorian Senators have been decided

The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the results of the count for the election of six Senators for Victoria was completed today.

The successful candidates in order of their election for the six Senate vacancies for Victoria are:

  1. Mitch FIFIELD – Liberal/The Nationals
  2. Gavin MARSHALL – Australian Labor Party
  3. Scott RYAN – Liberal/The Nationals
  4. Jacinta COLLINS – Australian Labor Party
  5. Janet RICE – The Greens
  6. Ricky MUIR – Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party

The State Manager for Victoria, Jeff Pope, said the Senate count had included the data entry of below-the-line ballot papers into the AEC’s EasyCount computer system from which the distribution of preferences had been conducted to elect the six Victorian Senators.

“As with all aspects of the count, the automated distribution of preferences undertaken today was open to scrutineers appointed by the candidates,” Mr Pope said.

“Over 92,000 electors chose to vote below-the-line in Victoria which represents approximately three per cent of formal ballots cast,” he said.

The successful candidates will be formally declared at 10:00am on Wednesday 2 October 2013, at Level 7, 477 Collins St Melbourne. All candidates, members of the media and the public are welcome to attend.

Statement from Senator Eric Abetz, Government Leader in the Senate.

Tribute to Senator Helen Kroger, Coalition Chief Senate Whip

All Coalition Senators regret that Senator Helen Kroger, their Senate Whip, will not be joining them in the Senate after the 1st of July 2014, given the results of the recent Senate election in Victoria.

Senator Kroger quickly established herself as a Senator gaining her colleagues’ support in a Party Room ballot to become Chief Senate Whip.

Senator Kroger is a valuable contributor in many areas of public policy – especially in Foreign Affairs.

Her support for the State of Israel is legendary, as is her questioning at Senate Estimates on a range of foreign affairs issues.

Her broad interests included being a founding co-Convenor of PACAN – Parliamentarians Against Child Abuse and Neglect.

Senator Kroger took a strong and principled stand in exposing the Greens – which saw their vote collapse in both the Victorian State Election and the recent Federal Election.

Coalition Senators look forward to working with Senator Kroger in her various roles until her Senate term expires on the 30th of June 2014.

The Coalition congratulates Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party on winning the sixth spot.

Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

ACT Senators have been decided

The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the count for the election of two Senators for the ACT was completed today.

The successful candidates for the two Senate vacancies for the ACT are (in order of their election):

  1. Kate Lundy – Australian Labor Party
  2. Zed Seselja – Liberal

The Australian Electoral Officer for the ACT, Ian Gordon, said that the Senate count had included the data entry of below-the-line ballot papers into the AEC’s EasyCount computer system from which the distribution of preferences had been conducted to elect the two ACT Senators.

“The distribution of preferences undertaken today was open to scrutineers appointed by the candidates” Mr Gordon said. “This is the final step in the count for the ACT Senate, each of which has been open to scrutineers.”

“Just over 49,000 electors chose to vote below-the-line in the ACT which represents approximately 20% of formal ballots cast” he said.

The successful candidates will be declared at 2pm today, Tuesday 1 October 2013 in Kings Hall at Old Parliament House, King George Terrace, Parkes ACT. All candidates, members of the media and the public are welcome to attend.

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