Speaker Sets July 28 As Date For Five By-Elections; Opposition Outraged

The Speaker, Tony Smith, advised the House of Representatives this afternoon that he had set July 28 as the date for the five by-elections caused by recent resignations relating to dual citizenship.

Smith

Smith told the House that because of new regulations to refine the nomination process and because of imminent schools holidays, July 28 was the “optimal” date for the by-elections in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Fremantle and Perth.

The ALP opposition accused the Speaker of inordinate delay and said the by-elections coincided with the ALP National Conference in Adelaide.

  • Listen to Speaker’s statement to the House (21m)
  • Watch the House proceedings (21m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings relating to the calling of five by-elections on July 28.

The SPEAKER (15:12): If members could cease interjecting, could I please have the attention of the House on this important matter: I’d like to read a fairly lengthy statement, and then I’ll be tabling some documents. Earlier in the week, I advised the House I would provide an update on possible dates for by-elections in the seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. This update follows further consultation with the Australian Electoral Commissioner and party leaders. Under the Constitution, it is my responsibility alone to issue a writ for a by-election when a vacancy occurs, and generally it has not been the practice to provide an explanation for the exercise of this responsibility. I have varied from the usual practice because of the quite unusual—quite unique—circumstances surrounding these by-elections. [Read more…]


Writs Returned And The 2016 Federal Election Is Officially Over

With its announcement that all the election writs have been returned, the Australian Electoral Commission officially brought the 2016 Federal Election to an end today.

The AEC has returned the writs for all 150 seats in the House of Representatives and for Senate elections in the ACT and the Northern Territory.

Normally, the writs would be returned to the Governor-General, but Sir Peter Cosgrove is attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, so the writs have gone to the Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, in his capacity as Administrator to the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Writs for the Senate elections in the six states have been returned to the State Governors.

The election writ is a legal document issued by the Governor-General. It commands the AEC to conduct the election. It sets out the various dates that apply during the election, such as the close of enrolments, nominations, polling day, and the return of the writ.

The process leading to the election began on May 8 when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull advised the Governor-General to dissolve the parliament in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution. The dissolution documents are available here.

On May 9, the Governor-General’s proclamation dissolving the parliament was issued. The election writ was issued on May 16. It specified that the writ should be returned on or before August 8. [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 (-)
  • 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…]


ACT Senate Results Finalised: One-All, No Change

The Senate results for the Australian Capital Territory were finalised and announced today.

With just two senators to be chosen, the proportional system ensures that the ALP and Liberal Party will usually take one senator each. The ALP’s Katy Gallagher was re-elected, as was the Liberal Party’s Zed Seselja.

The ALP polled 37.94% of the primary vote, up 3.50% from the 2013 election. The Liberals polled 33.21%, up 0.13%. The Greens received 16.10%.

Gallagher has been a senator since replacing Kate Lundy in March, 2015. Previously, she was a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (2001-14) and Chief Minister from 2011 to 2014.

Seselja has been a senator since 2013. He defeated the former member, Gary Humphries, in a bitter preselection contest. Previously, Seselja was a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (2004-13). He was Opposition Leader from 2007 until 2013. [Read more…]


Western Australian Senate Results Finalised; One Nation Wins Second Seat

The Western Australian Senate election results have been finalised and announced by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Liberals have won 5 seats, a loss of one. The former Defence Minister, David Johnston, who was dumped by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in December, 2014, has lost his seat.

The ALP has won 4 seats, re-electing its 3 sitting senators and returning Louise Pratt, who lost her seat in 2013.

Both Greens senators, Scott Ludlam and Rachel Siewert, have been re-elected. With the return of two Greens senators in Tasmania, the party may now be able to hold 9 of its 10 seats, with the second seat in Victoria remaining in doubt.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has secured one seat. Rodney Culleton joins Pauline Hanson in winning the party’s second seat. A third seat is possible in NSW. Culleton is facing theft charges in the Perth Magistrates’ Court later this month. If convicted, he could be disqualified from taking up his seat. [Read more…]