Monday, 23 August 2010

Senate Elections 2010 - Bump Out

As I write this, the federal election is still up in the air and likely to stay that way for a while, with neither of the major parties being able to form a majority government, and Australia looks certain to be ruled by its first minority government since Menzies' disasterous WWII United Australia Party colation with two independents that then abandoned the government and put the Labor party in power. While we wait to see which of the major parties can successfully negotiate with the three (possibly four) independents and single green in the lower house to form government, let's go look at the provisional results in the Senate, and see just how off-the-mark last weeks predictions actually were...

In my home state of South Australia, the Greens fell just short of being elected in their own right with 13% of the primary vote, but got over the line on Sex Party preferences (the Sex Party, in a sad reflection of Australians current opinion on mainstream politicians, got a massive 1.7% of the primary vote and came 5th overall). Family First got within half a percentage point of stealing last Senate seat from the liberals after preferences, but failed to get as much primary vote as I anticipated (though they got more than I hoped), and so fell just short. Thus, SA has returned 2 Labor Senators (goodbye to current Senator Wortley), 3 Liberals and 1 Green. Am I the only one who thinks it would be fun to return to conventional latin language roots and call female Senators Senatrices?

Nationally, the Greens did well at the expense of the major parties (the Coalition lost three seats and the ALP lost one), taking a Senate seat in every state, and the Liberals managed to just scrape through on the primary vote in the ACT to keep them out there. The other party to win out was the DLP, who overcame a highly-publicised potential split, almost nonexistant finances and finally my scathing commentary of their chances compared to Family First to oust the sitting Family First member Stephen Fielding and elect the DLP's first Senator since 1974.

Generally, it was an election for records. Not only did we see 20-year-old Wyatt Roy elected as our youngest ever parlimentarian for the Liberals in Longman in Queensland, we saw our first ever Muslim MP in Ed Husic for Labor in Chifley in NSW, our first ever Indigenous MP in Ken Wyatt for the Liberals in Hasluck in WA, the Greens took their first ever seat in the electorate of Melbourne, it's our second-ever hung parliament, possibly our closest-ever election, and the aforementioned re-election of the DLP to the senate after a 30-year absence.

Labor=Red, Greens=Green, Xenophon=Grey, DLP=Vomit, Blue=Coalition in the worlds uglist graphic (if you know how to make it less small without it pixellating up the whoopsie, please let me know)

This result means that, as expected, the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate, and the major parties will need either the support of each other or of the Greens to pass any legislation, whichever party ends up forming government is undoubtedly going to have quite a fight on their hands. We'll have to wait and see if the Australian people are the winner or the loser in this arrangement.

In conclusion, I am a pretty good predictor, I just wish that I was female so that I could be a predictrix.


Michael5000 said...

So, just to home in on the really significant and meaningful bit, what are the key planks in the Sex Party platform?

And doesn't Xenophon look uncomfortably like a typo for Xenophobe?

Michael5000 said...

Hmm, you'll probably be disabling comments again any day now.

UnwiseOwl said...

Seems unlikely. I have to give you an opportunity for revenge after all my comments over at Life and Times...

I have no idea what the Sex Party's platforms are, as my ISP blocks their website for explicit content. As much as I can gather (which is mostly speculation) is detailed in the "trenchant" post.

And yes, it does. But SA has enough Xenophobes already without adding Xenophon to the list.