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Sen. Malcolm Roberts (One Nation-Qld) Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Malcolm Roberts, one of two Queensland One Nation representatives.

  • Listen to Roberts (25m – transcript below)
  • Watch Roberts (25m)

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts. [Read more…]


So When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The Parliamentary Library has published a research paper setting out Federal, State and Local election dates over the next few years.

According to the paper, the earliest possible date for a joint House of Representatives and half-Senate election is August 4, 2018. The last possible date for such an election is May 18, 2019. Assuming no unforeseen events, the next federal election is almost certain to fall between these dates.

The last possible date for a double dissolution is May 4, 2019. A double dissolution of the parliament cannot be called later than February 27, 2019.

The paper shows that there will only be two state or territory elections over the next eighteen months: in the ACT on October 15, 2016 and in Western Australia on March 11, 2017. [Read more…]


Turnbull Addresses LNP Conference In Brisbane

In the aftermath of the federal election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has addressed the Liberal National Party annual convention in Brisbane today.

Turnbull

The LNP lost two seats in the July election but still holds 21 of Queensland’s 30 seats in the House of Representatives. One of the seats it lost, Herbert, may be subject to challenge in the Court of Disputed Returns.

Turnbull thanked LNP candidates and praised Michelle Landry for winning re-election in Capricornia, the first time in 60 years that the Coalition has won the seat at two consecutive elections.

Turnbull reiterated his intention to secure the passage of the Building and Construction Commission legislation, to “restore law and order” to the construction industry.

He called upon the ALP to support the government’s omnibus bill to cut government spending.

Much of the speech was taken up with itemising infrastructure projects planned or underway in Queensland. [Read more…]


2016 Senate Votes: A Higher But Fragmented Vote For Minor And Micro Parties

Aside from the Coalition, ALP and Greens, 47 parties contested the Senate at July’s double dissolution election.

Just 8 of the 47 parties polled above 1% nationally. Five of these 8 parties elected senators: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (4 senators), Nick Xenophon Team (3), Liberal Democrats (1), Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (1) and Family First (1). The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Christian Democrats and the Animal Justice Party did not elect any of their candidates.

There were 39 parties that nominated candidates in at least one state or territory but failed to poll above 0.74%. Fourteen failed to even reach 0.1% nationally and did only marginally better in individual states. Another 25 polled between 0.14%-0.74%.

The Jacqui Lambie Network was the only party in the latter group that managed to elect a senator. Lambie polled just 0.50% nationally, but she only ran candidates in three states and polled a full quota in her own right in Tasmania. With 8.30% of the vote, Lambie won a place in the first group of senators who will receive six-year terms.

The election of Derryn Hinch in Victoria is somewhat comparable to Lambie. His party only polled 1.93% nationally, and less than 1% in all states except Victoria, where Hinch secured election off a primary base of 6.05%.

The combined Coalition-ALP-Greens vote was 73.62%, down 2.85% from the 2013 result. This delivered 65 of the 76 Senate positions (85.5%) to these three groups.

The remaining 26.38% of the vote was split between 47 parties. These parties won the remaining 11 seats (14.4%).

Independent and ungrouped candidates below-the-line received just 0.18% of the vote.

The figures in the table below are consistent with the previous election. In 2013, there were 46 parties that polled less than 1% each.

The overall proportion of the vote flowing to the Coalition, ALP and Greens fell once again at the 2016 election. It fuels the argument that voters are disillusioned with the major parties and looking for alternatives. However, the figures indicate that this is a simplistic analysis.

Voters have failed to coalesce around more than a handful of minor and micro parties. Outside the top 11 groups, the votes for other parties are derisory. The so-called fragmentation of support for the major political groups is more than matched by a fragmented voter rebellion.

Group voting tickets were abolished for this election. Without them, all but a handful of parties were incapable of winning seats. Those elected more closely represent the parties with the highest primary votes. The Family First party in South Australia elected Bob Day from the lowest primary vote of 2.87%. [Read more…]


The New Senate: The Defeated, The Retired, The New And The Returning

There will be 14 new faces in the new Senate when it meets for the first time on August 30.

This represents 18.42% of the Senate’s 76 members. Each state has 12 senators, whilst the territories have 2 each, who serve terms concurrent with the House of Representatives. The double dissolution meant that all 76 positions were up for election on July 2.

The fourteen new senators include two (Louise Pratt and Don Farrell) who were Labor senators defeated in 2013.

Ten of the fourteen departed senators were defeated in the election, whilst four retired. [Read more…]


Government And ALP Agree On Senate Terms; First Elected To Get 6 Years

It was reported today that the government and the ALP have agreed on the allocation of terms for the new Senate.

The reports say the Coalition and the ALP have agreed that the first six elected in each state will get 6-year terms, whilst the last six will get three-year terms. This is the procedure that has been adopted following previous double dissolutions.

The ALP and the Coalition easily have the numbers to impose this decision on the Senate. Its effect is to give six-year terms to a majority of senators from the Coalition (16 of 28), ALP (13 of 24) and Nick Xenophon Team (2 of 3).

Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie will also get six-year terms. Both polled a Senate quota in their own right.

Only three of the Greens’ nine senators will receive six-year terms. Each of them – Richard Di Natale (Vic), Scott Ludlam (WA) and Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas) – represents a state where the Greens won two places. The other six senators, one in each state, will all face the electorate before June 2019. This means it is all but impossible for the Greens to increase their overall numbers at the next election. Instead, they will face the danger of losing incumbents. [Read more…]


One Nation Wins Two Queensland Senate Seats; Coalition Loses Ground; ALP And Greens Unchanged

The Senate results for Queensland were finalised and announced this morning.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is the big winner, securing two positions, taking its national tally to three. The Coalition has retained 5 of its 6 seats, the ALP has retained 4 and the Greens 1.

The Coalition polled 35.27% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of 5 senators – George Brandis, Matthew Canavan (Nats), James McGrath, Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan (Nats).

Joanna Lindgren, who entered the Senate in May last year, filling a casual vacancy created by the retirement of Brett Mason, has been defeated.

The ALP polled 26.35%, enough to elect 4 senators: new members Murray Watt and Anthony Chisholm, and returning members Claire Moore and Chris Ketter. Watt and Chisholm replace Jan McLucas and Joe Ludwig, who both retired.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation polled 9.19% of the vote, securing two places. Pauline Hanson will return to the parliament for the first time since she he held the lower house seat of Oxley between 1996-98. She will be joined by Malcolm Roberts.

One Nation has secured a stronger preference flow from other minor and micro parties. It now stands a reasonable chance of winning a fourth position in NSW.

The Greens polled 6.92%, re-electing Larissa Waters to a second term

Aside from Joanna Lindgren, only one other previous senator, Glenn Lazarus, was defeated. Elected in 2013 as a Palmer United Party candidate, Lazarus ran under his own banner of The Glenn Lazarus Team, polling 1.66% of the primary vote. [Read more…]