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The New Senate: The Defeated, The Retired, The New And The Returning

There will be 14 new faces in the new Senate when it meets for the first time on August 30.

This represents 18.42% of the Senate’s 76 members. Each state has 12 senators, whilst the territories have 2 each, who serve terms concurrent with the House of Representatives. The double dissolution meant that all 76 positions were up for election on July 2.

The fourteen new senators include two (Louise Pratt and Don Farrell) who were Labor senators defeated in 2013.

Ten of the fourteen departed senators were defeated in the election, whilst four retired.


Those Who Were Defeated Or Retired

The table below shows the senators who were defeated (def) or retired (ret) at the election. Their state and party affiliation is shown, as is the year in which they first took office.

State/Territory Liberal ALP Greens Others
Bill Heffernan (1996, ret)
John Madigan (MFP) (2011, def)
Ricky Muir (AMEP) (2014, def)
Joanna Lindgren (2015, def) Joe Ludwig (1999, ret)
Jan McLucas (1999, ret)
Glenn Lazarus (GLT) (2014, def)
David Johnston (2002, def) Dio Wang (PUP) (2014, def)
Sean Edwards (2011, def) Anne McEwen (2005, def) Robert Simms (2015, def)
Richard Colbeck (2002, def)
Nova Peris (2013, ret)
Defeated: 4
Retired: 1
Defeated: 1
Retired: 3
Defeated: 1
Defeated: 4

The Liberal Party’s Bill Heffernan was the only Coalition member to retire and the party lost his position in NSW. Four other Liberals were defeated: Joanna Lindgren (Qld), David Johnston (WA), Sean Edwards (SA) and Richard Colbeck (Tas). The Coalition’s overall numbers have declined from 33 to 30.

The ALP fared better in the election, increasing its numbers from 25 to 26. The only sitting Labor senator to be defeated was Anne McEwen (SA). The ALP, Liberals and Greens each lost one seat in South Australia, due to the surging Nick Xenophon Team, although McEwen also suffered from being placed below Don Farrell on the ALP ticket. Farrell was first elected in 2007 but lost his seat in 2013.

Three Labor senators retired at the election: Joe Ludwig (Qld) and Jan McLucas (Qld). Nova Peris (NT) announced her departure shortly after the election was called. She was replaced by another indigenous woman, Malarndirri McCarthy.

The Greens senator Robert Simms was defeated in South Australia, where the party polled just 5.87% of the primary vote. Sarah Hanson-Young secured election to the 11th position.

Four of the crossbenchers in the previous parliament were defeated. Following the collapse of the Palmer United Party, only Dio Wang (WA) campaigned under the PUP banner. Glenn Lazarus struck out on his own in Queensland, securing 1.66% of the primary vote. With Clive Palmer’s decision not to contest the lower house seat of Fairfax, Jacqui Lambie (Tas) is the sole survivor of the Palmer debacle. She won 8.30% of the vote and a quota in her own right under the banner of the Jacqui Lambie Network.

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir was soundly defeated in Victoria. He secured just 0.91% of the vote, up 0.40% from the 0.51% that saw him elected in 2013 as a beneficiary of the former group voting ticket system. He had served just two years of the six-year term he won in 2013.

John Madigan (Vic), the Democratic Labour Party senator elected in 2010 ran as a candidate of John Madigan’s Farming and Manufacturing Party. After five years in the Senate, he secured just 0.15% of the primary vote (5,268 votes).


Those Who Have Arrived Or Returned

There are 14 new senators, including two previous senators.

The ALP has 5 new members, One Nation 4, Liberals 2, NXT 2, plus Hinch.

State/Territory Liberal ALP One Nation NXT Others
New South Wales Brian Burston
Victoria Jane Hume Derryn Hinch (DHJP)
Queensland Murray Watt
Anthony Chisholm
Pauline Hanson
Malcolm Roberts
Western Australia Louise Pratt (returning) Rodney Culleton
South Australia Don Farrell (returning) Stirling Griff
Skye Kakoschke-Moore
Tasmania Jonathon Duniam
Australian Capital Territory
Northern Territory Malarndirri McCarthy
New: 2
New: 3
Returning: 2
New: 4
New: 2
New: 1

There will be five new senators from the ALP, including two who were are former members who lost their seats in the 2013 election: Louise Pratt (WA) and Don Farrell (SA). They will be accompanied by Murray Watt (Qld) and Anthony Chisholm (Qld), who are replacing the retired Joe Ludwig and Jan McLucas.

The Liberal Party has two new members, Jane Hume (Vic) and Jonathon Duniam (Tas). Hume won an extra seat for the party, whilst Duniam replaces Richard Colbeck, who was relegated to a difficult position on the Senate ticket.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party enters the Senate for the first time, with four members: Pauline Hanson (Qld), Malcolm Roberts (Qld), Brian Burston (NSW) and Rodney Culleton (WA). Culleton’s position remains in doubt pending court decisions on a theft charge.

Nick Xenophon is joined in South Australia by two more members of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT): Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke. With One Nation, NXT has a potentially crucial role in the new Senate.

The well-known broadcaster, Derryn Hinch (Vic), will take up a seat on behalf of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.


The New Senate

The new Senate has seen an overall decline in the combined numbers of the Coalition, ALP and Greens, falling from 68 to 65.

The crossbench has risen from 8 to 11. Including the Greens, the non-major party numbers have risen from 18 to 20.

With 30 votes, the Coalition is 9 short of a majority in the Senate. Support from either the ALP or Greens will guarantee the passage of any measure.

Without the support of the ALP or Greens, the Coalition needs 9 of the 11 crossbench votes. This means that at least two One Nation senators will be needed on any legislative measure or procedural motion opposed by the ALP and Greens.

A blocking majority requires 38 votes. Even if the ALP and Greens are opposed, they will still need 3 of the crossbenchers to block a government proposal.

Party 2014 2016
One Nation
Nick Xenophon Team
Family First
Liberal Democratic Party
Jacqui Lambie Network
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
Democratic Labour Party
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
Palmer United Party

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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