We’ve just had our Federal election and the result is uncertain, with neither of the major parties coming out of it with a majority.
It looks like a deal will have to be done with a string of independents to form a workable government. The major parties are neck and neck and who’s slightly ahead depends on the source of information.
Media outlets put the Liberal-National Coalition in front but at the time of writing, the official Australian Electoral Commission results show the Labor Party ahead by 71 seats to 67 (with two of the projected Labor seats and three of the LNP seats listed as “close”). It doesn’t seem like either will reach the necessary 75-76 seats to gain a majority allowing them govern without relying on an independent ally.
There will also be an increase of minor/independent parties in the senate, which will make for interesting times. The election also brought about the resurgence of our own “Donald Trump” in the senate, a woman echoing Trump’s ban on Moslems entering the country as well as other racist attitudes.
It’s possible that along with herself, she could have up to three candidates from her party entering the senate. So complicated is the senate voting system, the final make up won’t be known for sure for a few weeks.
While most commentators seem to think the incumbent Prime Minister will slip back into power, I’m not so sure, because:
1) support in his own party is deeply divided, with hostility towards him from a “Tea Party”-like faction. If stability is questionable within his own party, how stable could his government be?
2) I can’t see his Liberal/National party ever having a working relationship with the Senate. Reportedly he’ll need the support of at least 9 out of 10 independents within the senate to get any legislation passed, whereas the other major party, Labor, with the support of the Greens will need only two independents to come on board. The latter seems much more likely to provide a workable relationship with the Senate.
Australian Electoral Commission count: