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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.

The Senate has 76 members. The numbers after July 1 will be:

  • Lib-Nats – 33
  • ALP – 25
  • Greens – 10
  • Palmer United Party – 3
  • Motoring Enthusiast Party – 1
  • Family First – 1
  • Liberal Democratic Party – 1
  • Democratic Labour Party – 1
  • Independent – 1

The significance of the result for the Abbott government is that after July 1 it will require the support of any 6 of the 8 crossbenchers to ensure passage of any legislation opposed by both the ALP and the Greens. The PUP senators will effectively hold the balance of power in this situation.

The government will be able to pass any legislation if it is supported by the ALP or the Greens.

A blocking majority lies in the hands of the ALP, Greens and any 3 of the crossbenchers.

Text of a media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Senators for Western Australia have been decided

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

The six successful candidates in order of their election are:

  • David JOHNSTON – Liberal
  • Joe BULLOCK – Australian Labor Party
  • Scott LUDLAM – The Greens (WA)
  • Michaelia CASH – Liberal
  • Zhenya WANG – Palmer United Party
  • Linda REYNOLDS – Liberal

The Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia, Kathy Mitchell said the Senate count had included the data entry of ballot papers marked below-the-line into the AEC’s EasyCount computer system from which the distribution of preferences had been conducted to determine the six candidates elected.

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

“Around 58 000 voters chose to vote below-the-line on the Senate ballot paper which represented approximately 4.5 per cent of formal votes cast.”

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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