W.A. Senate Election Result Now Finalised; Liberal 3, ALP 1, Greens 1, PUP 1

The result of the re-run of the Western Australian Senate election is now final, with the Liberal Party winning three seats and the ALP winning just one.

One position was taken by Zhenya Wang of the Palmer United Party, taking its Senate numbers to three.

The Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was re-elected.

Western Australia joins South Australia in electing only one senator out of six available positions. This is the first time one of the major parties has failed to win two positions since proportional voting was introduced at the 1949 elections. [Read more…]


The New Senate Numbers And The Abbott Government

As counting of the 2013 federal election winds down, the Senate election result is now clear.

There is a small chance of change in Western Australia where the Greens have asked for a recount following Scott Ludlam’s defeat.

Because of the fixed terms of the Senate, it will be another nine months before the complexion of the Senate changes. Current senators remain in place until June 30, 2014.

The current numbers are:

The Current Senate – until June 30, 2014
Party/Group No.
Coalition
34
A.L.P.
31
Greens
9
D.L.P. (Madigan)
1
Independent (Xenophon)
1
TOTAL
76

In this configuration, the Greens hold the balance of power. The Greens-ALP combination has a blocking majority. It ensures that Abbott government legislation to repeal the carbon pricing arrangements and the mining tax will most likely be rejected by the Senate.

This will be the state of the parties in the Senate after July 1, 2014:

The New Senate – from July 1, 2014
Party/Group No.
Coalition
33
A.L.P.
26
Greens
9
Palmer United Party
3
D.L.P. (Madigan)
1
Liberal Democrats (Leyonhjelm)
1
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (Muir)
1
Family First (Day)
1
Independent (Xenophon)
1
TOTAL
76

 

In this configuration, the ALP-Greens combination becomes less important and power shifts to a collection of minor groups and independents. [Read more…]


The Balance of Power in the Senate

The Federal election has made little change to the composition of the Senate. However, some interesting possibilities exist in the next six months before the new senators take up their places.

Senate
State of the Parties
Party Now July 1
2002
ALP
28
28
Liberal/CLP
32
32
National
3
3
Democrats
9
8
Greens
1
2
Harradine
1
1
One Nation
1
1
Independent
1
1
Total

76

76

There are 12 senators per State, regardless of the size (population or geographic) of the State. The Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory have 2 senators each.

Senators are elected for fixed six-year terms. Terms commence on July 1 and run until June 30 six years later. Half of the Senate face the people every three years, although ACT and NT senators serve the same term as members of the House of Representatives.

Senators elected at the elections on October 3, 1998 took up their places on July 1, 1999. They expire on June 30, 2005.

Senators chosen on November 10, 2001 take up their places on July 1, 2002. Until then, senators elected on March 2, 1996 (who took up their places on July 1, 1996) will remain in place until June 30, 2002.

Of course, many Senators were re-elected, so little will change next year. Senators who were defeated on November 10, such as Vicki Bourne (Democrats, NSW) or Chris Schacht (ALP, South Australia) know that they have a job until midnight on June 30, 2002. [Read more…]