How The Turnbull Government Lost Control Of The House

The absence of nine members of the Coalition caused the Turnbull government to lose control of the House of Representatives for nearly two hours last night.

House

When a procedural motion to adjourn the House was put at 5.00pm, the ALP surprisingly voted No and called for a division, which it won by 69 votes to 67. The ALP then took control of the proceedings of the House and initiated a debate on a Senate resolution calling for a royal commission into the banking system.

Over the next 45 minutes, the government lost two more divisions and did not regain control of the House until 6.50pm, after coalition MPs were brought back into the chamber.

It was the first time since 1962 that a majority government has lost votes in the House of Representatives. Like the Turnbull government, the then Menzies government also governed with a one-seat majority. [Read more…]


Day 32: Look, They’re Voting

Julia Gillard launched her election campaign on Monday but people have been voting for the past two weeks. By the time Saturday dawns, up to two million voters will already have cast their votes.

As the party leaders and the media embrace each other in an orgy of events, pretend debates and a welter of press conferences, out in the 150 House of Representatives seats an election is taking place.

In the 2007 elections, 1,062,339 people cast their votes before election day. They turned up to an Australian Electoral Commission office, most likely took a how-to-vote card from party campaign workers, and voted. Another 706,466 people submitted a postal vote. In all, 13.68% of the electorate voted before the official polling day. [Read more…]