Coalition-Labor Deal On Rotation Of Members Confirmed By Senate

The Senate has voted to confirm the agreement between the Coalition and the ALP on the rotation of senators following the double dissolution election.

As has occurred on each of the previous six occasions when double dissolutions have been held (1914, 1951, 1974, 1975, 1983 and 1987), the first six senators elected in each state have received six-year terms, whilst the second group of six will serve for three years. The rotation is required under Section 13 of the Constitution.

The major parties rejected the recount method whereby the Senate votes are recounted as if it was a half-Senate election. This method would have meant that the Liberal and Labor Parties each lose one long-term senator (Scott Ryan and Deborah O’Neill) in favour of minor parties (Derryn Hinch and Lee Rhiannon). [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of the first day of the 45th Parliament, August 30, 2016. The Liberal, Nationals and ALP positions are unchanged from those that applied immediately prior to the July 2 double dissolution election. Senate parties with more than one senator have been included for the first time. [Read more…]


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…]


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…]


Election Gets Willing As Preference Deals Announced; Turnbull Says Libs Will Put Greens Last

The Liberal Party has announced that it will preference the Labor Party ahead of the Greens in every electorate in the election.

The ALP has announced that it will preference the Liberal Party ahead of The Nationals in the rural seats of Murray (Vic), Durack and O’Connor (WA).

The Liberal Party decision is particularly important since it makes it very difficult for the Greens to make up ground in Batman, Wills and Melbourne Ports (Vic), and in Sydney and Grayndler (NSW). The decision all but guarantees that the ALP candidates will win these seats. Late last week, the Greens announced that they would preference the ALP ahead of the Liberals in the inner-city Melbourne seats.

The decision could make Melbourne difficult for the Greens member Adam Bandt, who will need to maintain his primary vote to overcome the lack of Liberal preferences.

The ALP’s preferences in the three rural seats will also prevent The Nationals increasing their numbers in the Coalition, relative to the Liberal Party. ALP preferences will be of particular value in Murray, where the new Liberal candidate, Duncan McGauchie, faces a strong Nationals contender, Damian Drum. [Read more…]


Turnbull Announces Senate Voting Reforms; Group Voting Tickets Abolished

Senate group voting tickets are to be abolished and optional preferential above the line voting is to be introduced, in electoral reforms announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The reforms are the result of an agreement with the Australian Greens and independent Senator Nick Xenophon. The agreement guarantees 44 Senate votes to pass the legislation.

The key change is the abolition of Senate group voting tickets. This will mean that political parties will no longer control the direction of preferences cast by electors who vote above the line in the Senate. This eliminates the preference harvesting that has resulted in candidates with tiny first preference support being elected as the result of complex preference swaps. [Read more…]