Andrew Leigh: “If They Can’t Manage The Census, How Can They Manage The Other Arms Of Government?”

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh has attacked the government over its handling of the census, following last night’s closure of the website used for online submission of census forms.

Leigh

“Millions of hours of Australians’ time has been wasted,” Leigh told a media conference. “I’m not sure Australians can have faith in anything the government says about the census… If they can’t manage the census, how can they manage the other arms of government?” [Read more…]


Greens Leadership Team Re-Elected Unopposed

The Australian Greens have re-elected their leadership team, following the federal election.

Di NataleAt a partyroom meeting today, all positions were spilled and then filled without contest.

Senator Richard Di Natale remains leader, with two co-deputy leaders, Senator Larissa Waters and Senator Scott Ludlam.

Senator Rachel Siewert remains as Whip, whilst the party’s sole lower house MP, Adam Bandt, continues as Party Room Chair.

The Greens partyroom has 10 members, comprising 9 senators and Bandt.

One previous senator, Robert Simms, failed to be returned in South Australia at the July 2 election. [Read more…]


Getting Things Done In The New Senate

The Senate has 76 members. Unlike the House of Representatives, where the Speaker only votes in the event of a tie, all members vote on all matters. Therefore, the magic number to get anything done is 39.

A tied vote (38-38) is lost, so the government must have 39. Once it gets to 39 votes, everyone else has only 37.

On appearances, the new Senate is arithmetically more difficult for the Turnbull government than the one it had to deal with in the 44th Parliament. [Read more…]


One Nation Wins Another Seat In NSW; Coalition Loses One More, Leyonhjelm Returns; Crossbench Grows To 20

The Senate results for New South Wales were finalised and announced this morning.

The Coalition retained 5 of its 6 senators, the ALP 4, the Greens 1 and Liberal Democrats 1. The final place was taken by One Nation.

The final composition of the Senate is now:

  • Coalition 30 (-3)
  • ALP 26 (+1)
  • Greens 9 (-1)
  • One Nation 4 (+4)
  • Nick Xenophon Team 3 (+2)
  • Liberal Democrats 1 (-)
  • Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party 1 (+1)
  • Family First 1 (-)
  • Jacqui Lambie Network 1 (-1)
  • TOTAL = 76

The Coalition polled 35.85% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of its 5 senators – Marise Payne, Arthur Sinodinos, Fiona Nash (Nats), Connie Fierravanti-Wells and John Williams (Nats).

The Coalition has failed to replace Bill Heffernan, who retired at the election. Hollie Hughes, who at one stage threatened the Fierravanti-Wells’ position, has not been elected.

The ALP polled 31.28%, enough to return its 4 incumbent senators: Sam Dastyari, Jenny McAllister, Deborah O’Neill and Doug Cameron.

The Greens polled 7.41%, re-electing Lee Rhiannon to a second term.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation polled 4.10% of the vote and elected Brian Burston. His election means that One Nation will have 4 senators in the new parliament.

The Liberal Democrats secured the re-election of David Leyonhjelm, off a primary vote of 3.09%. [Read more…]


One Nation Wins Two Queensland Senate Seats; Coalition Loses Ground; ALP And Greens Unchanged

The Senate results for Queensland were finalised and announced this morning.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is the big winner, securing two positions, taking its national tally to three. The Coalition has retained 5 of its 6 seats, the ALP has retained 4 and the Greens 1.

The Coalition polled 35.27% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of 5 senators – George Brandis, Matthew Canavan (Nats), James McGrath, Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan (Nats).

Joanna Lindgren, who entered the Senate in May last year, filling a casual vacancy created by the retirement of Brett Mason, has been defeated.

The ALP polled 26.35%, enough to elect 4 senators: new members Murray Watt and Anthony Chisholm, and returning members Claire Moore and Chris Ketter. Watt and Chisholm replace Jan McLucas and Joe Ludwig, who both retired.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation polled 9.19% of the vote, securing two places. Pauline Hanson will return to the parliament for the first time since she he held the lower house seat of Oxley between 1996-98. She will be joined by Malcolm Roberts.

One Nation has secured a stronger preference flow from other minor and micro parties. It now stands a reasonable chance of winning a fourth position in NSW.

The Greens polled 6.92%, re-electing Larissa Waters to a second term

Aside from Joanna Lindgren, only one other previous senator, Glenn Lazarus, was defeated. Elected in 2013 as a Palmer United Party candidate, Lazarus ran under his own banner of The Glenn Lazarus Team, polling 1.66% of the primary vote. [Read more…]


Victorian Senate Results Finalised; Liberals Gain 1, Greens Keep 2, Hinch Elected

The Senate results for Victoria were finalised and announced today.

The Coalition picked up one seat to hold 5 (Liberal 4, Nationals 1), whilst the ALP retained its 4 seats. The Greens held their 2 senators and the remaining seat was taken by Derryn Hinch.

The Coalition polled 33.11% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of its 4 sitting senators – Mitch Fifield, Bridget McKenzie (Nats), Scott Ryan and James Paterson – plus a new member, Jane Hume.

The ALP polled 30.73%, enough to re-elect its 4 senators: Kim Carr, Stephen Conroy, Jacinta Collins and Gavin Marshall.

The Greens polled 10.87%, re-electing the party’s leader, Richard Di Natale and Janet Rice. Rice’s election means that the Greens have lost just one senator in the election, Robert Simms, in South Australia. With its 9 seats, the party will hold a vital balance of power position in the Senate, with the Coalition expected to finish with 30 seats.

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party polled 6.05% and has secured the election of Derryn Hinch. The former broadcaster was elected on largely state issues related to sex offences and sentencing.

Two previous senators were defeated. Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party managed just 0.91% of the vote. Muir was elected in 2013 off a primary vote of 0.51% and a complex series of preference deals permitted at the time through the system of group voting tickets. John Madigan, who was elected as a Democratic Labour Party candidate but subsequently sat as in independent before forming his own party, was also defeated. Madigan won just 0.15% of the primary vote. [Read more…]


South Australian Senate Results Finalised; Xenophon Soars As Liberals, ALP And Greens Lose Ground; Bob Day Re-Elected

The Senate results for South Australia were finalised and announced today.

The Liberals, ALP and Greens all lost one seat each, whilst the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) picked up three seats and Family First’s Bob Day was re-elected. It is now clear that whilst results in NSW, Victoria and Queensland have not yet been declared, there will be at least as many crossbench senators in the 45th Parliament as there were in the 44th.

The Nick Xenophon Team was the big winner, polling 21.74% of the primary vote and recasting the electoral landscape in South Australia. Nick Xenophon, who was first elected to the Senate in 2007, will be joined by Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

The Liberal Party polled 32.58% of the primary vote and elected 4 senators, with Sean Edwards missing out. Edwards served one term after winning a seat at the 2010 election. He was an outspoken critic of the Abbott government over its attitude to submarine building in South Australia.

The ALP polled 27.32% and elected 3 senators, with Anne McEwen missing out. McEwen was first elected in 2004 and served two full terms. She was well-regarded by progressive elements in the ALP and received tributes today from the Greens. McEwen was displaced by Don Farrell, who was first elected in 2007 but lost his seat in 2013.

The Greens polled 5.87% and returned Sarah Hanson-Young, who was first elected in 2007. Robert Simms missed out, after serving 9 months in the casual vacancy created by Penny Wright’s resignation in 2015.

Family First’s Bob Day, who was first elected in 2013, was returned in the 12th position off a primary vote of 2.87%. One Nation polled 2.98% but missed out. Ironically, Day unsuccessfully challenged the Senate voting reforms in the High Court in May, on the basis that votes would exhaust and micro parties would be unable to win seats. Moreover, Day has cause to be amused by the Liberal Party’s loss of Mayo to NXT, since Day’s defeat in the Liberal Party preselection in Mayo in 2008 led to his joining Family First. [Read more…]