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Greens Seek Recount After Scott Ludlam Loses Western Australian Senate Seat

The Greens have asked for a recount after its one-term Western Australian Senator Scott Ludlam lost his seat today.

LudlamPredictions since election night have held that Ludlam and the Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, would win the final two seats in WA. However, when the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) computer distributed preferences today, the ALP’s Senator Louise Pratt and the Palmer United Party’s (PUP) Zhenya Wang emerged victorious.

Ludlam’s defeat was caused by a 14 vote difference between Australian Christians and Shooters and Fishers candidates that ensured preferences flowed to the ALP and PUP ahead of the Greens and Sports Party.

Clive Palmer’s party will now have 3 senators after next July. Palmer has won the House of Representatives seat of Fairfax by 7 votes but a recount will begin tomorrow. PUP won 709,076 primary votes – 5.49% – nationally in the House. In the Senate, it won 658,892 votes, or 4.91%. By any measure, this is the most successful performance by a new party since the Australian Democrats won two Senate seats in 1977.

The final result in Western Australia sees the re-election of the Liberal Party’s two senators, David Johnston and Michaelia Cash. However, the Liberals have lost one seat by failing to replace retiring Senator Alan Eggleston.

Aside from incumbent Senator Louise Pratt, the ALP has also elected Joe Bullock. Pratt’s narrow victory reflects the low ALP vote of just 26.59%.

No decision has been reached about a recount. A close result is not of itself sufficient grounds for a recount. Evidence of irregularities in the count is required.

Text of a media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Australian Electoral Commission statement: Declaration of Western Australia Senators deferred

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has deferred the formal declaration for the six Senators for Western Australia.

The deferral of the declaration follows formal requests for a recount made to the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia, Peter Kramer, by the Australian Sports Party candidate Wayne Dropulich and Greens (WA) candidate Scott Ludlam this afternoon.

The AEC was originally due to formally declare the result at 3:00pm (AWST) this afternoon following the distribution of preferences for the Western Australia Senate contest that occurred at 11:00am (AWST) today.

Section 278 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 states that at any time before the declaration of the result of a Senate election the Australian Electoral Officer may, on the written request of any candidate setting forth the reasons for the request, or of the officer’s own motion, direct or conduct a re-count of the ballot papers contained in any parcel or in any other category determined by the Australian electoral Officer.

As with all aspects of the count, the automated distribution of preferences undertaken this morning was open to scrutineers appointed by the candidates.

The AEC will provide further advice when it is available.


New South Wales Senate Results

The ALP has lost one Senate seat in NSW where Senator Ursula Stephens was number three on the ticket. The former Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, was re-elected, as was Senator Doug Cameron. Carr is expected to resign soon. Defeated House members Deborah O’Neill and Mike Kelly are in the running for the casual vacancy. Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary Paul Howes has ruled out nominating for the position.

The three incumbent Coalition senators, Marise Payne, John Williams and Arthur Sinodinos have all been re-elected.

The sixth position in NSW has gone to the Liberal Democrats candidate David Leyonhjelm. The Liberal Democrats polled 9.50% of the primary vote. Their number one position on the ballot paper is likely to have increased their vote with some electors confusing them with the Liberal Party. There may also be a small element of a donkey vote.


Queensland Senate Results

The Liberal National Party (LNP) has won 3 Senate seats in Queensland, the ALP 2 and Palmer United Party 1.

Incumbent LNP Senators Ron Boswell and Sue Boyce retired at this election. Senator Ian Macdonald was re-elected and will be joined by James McGrath and Matthew Canavan.

The ALP won 3 of the 6 senators in 2007 when Kevin Rudd led the party to victory. Senate President John Hogg retired at this election and Chris Ketter has been elected in his place. Senator Claire Moore has been re-elected but Senator Mark Furner has been defeated.

The sixth position has been taken by Glenn Lazarus for the Palmer United Party.


Final Senate Result

Assuming the Western Australian result stands, the numbers in the Senate from July 1, 2014, when new senators take their seats, will be:

  • Coalition: 33
  • ALP: 26
  • Greens: 9
  • Palmer United Party: 3
  • DLP: 1
  • Liberal Democrats: 1
  • Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party: 1
  • Family First: 1
  • Independent (Xenophon): 1
  • TOTAL: 76

For the first time since 2008, the ALP and Greens will not have a Senate majority.

The Abbott government will most likely be able to pass legislation to abolish the carbon tax and the mining tax by gathering support from any 6 of the other 8 crossbench members.


Media release from Senator Scott Ludlam

Provisional Senate result in Western Australia

The Greens are disappointed with the provisional result of the Western Australian Senate count.

Scrutineers have identified the result may have come down to a 14 vote margin and will likely require a recount before the final result is known.

Senator Ludlam has thanked the 124,000 people who voted Green in WA, and the Western Australian and national campaign teams for their work during the election campaign.

“In particular, I acknowledge Senator Christine Milne for her dedicated and tenacious leadership: the role of the Greens has never been more crucial than now,” Senator Ludlam said.

The Greens will provide an update on the provisional count once scrutineers have assessed the grounds for a recount.

Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

South Australian Senators have been decided

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has announced that the count for the election of six Senators for South Australia was completed earlier today.

The successful candidates for the six Senate vacancies for South Australia are (in order of their election):

  1. Cory Bernardi – Liberal
  2. Nick Xenophon – Nick Xenophon Group
  3. Penny Wong – Australian Labor Party
  4. Sarah Hanson-Young – The Greens
  5. Bob Day – Family First
  6. Simon Birmingham – Liberal

The Australian Electoral Officer for South Australia, Ms Claire Witham said that the Senate count had involved the keying-in of votes into a computerised scrutiny system, and today an automated process was used to distribute preferences and determine the six elected candidates.

“As with all aspects of the count, the automated distribution of preferences undertaken today was open to scrutineers appointed by the candidates,” Ms Witham said.

“Approximately 93.5% of voters cast their ballot Above-The-Line on the Senate ballot paper while 6.5% voted Below-The-Line,” she said.

The successful candidates will be formally declared elected at 11.30 am, Wednesday 2 October 2013, at Stamford Plaza Hotel Crystal Room, Level 2, 150 North Terrace, Adelaide. All candidates, the media and members of the public are welcome to attend.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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