Labour, the Greens and rugby union big David Pocock set to hold the cards in the Senate


“We’ll just have to wait and see, there’s quite a bit to be reckoned with,” Pocock said. “This campaign has shaken up politics in the ACT…We don’t want to be taken for granted.”

Ben Oquist, a former political adviser and executive director of the Australia Institute, said the takeaway from the Senate tally so far was that he had delivered a “climate majority” with Labour, Greens and Pocock.

“What you have is a radically realigned and more progressive Senate. Whoever is more inclined to support stronger climate action and more inclined to also support stronger integrity measures,” he said.

On the current results, Labor will retain 26 seats in the upper house, which, combined with the Greens, will give them a blocking majority of 38 in the 76-seat Senate.

Labor still has an outside chance of a third seat in Victoria, as it battled with the micro parties for sixth place, which would give it a Labor majority along with the Greens.

During the last Parliament, the Coalition was often forced to rely on the two One Nation votes and a third crossbench to pass contentious legislation.

Greens leader Adam Bandt triumphed on Sunday, saying the party would be the “biggest third party in the Senate”, with former NSW MLC David Shoebridge to be vaulted in the upper house alongside newcomers Barbara Pocock in Australia -Southern and Penny Allman- Payne in Queensland.

“The Greens will be in the balance of power in the Senate and potentially in the lower house as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Liberals have lost key conservative figures, with veteran Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz’s career seemingly at an end. Also missing were WA Liberal Ben Small and Coalition for Women Deputy Minister Amanda Stoker.

In South Australia, the re-election of independent senator Rex Patrick failed, as did Center Alliance’s Stirling Griff.

Labor Senator Tony Sheldon said the party would work with all unregistered people.

“Whether crossbenchers are 17 or 18, which at this early stage seems to indicate where it is headed, good government reaches out to all crossbenchers, consults, discusses,”


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