Australian government seized by gang of four!

ABC is only slightly less dramatic than F&V:

Australia’s political future hangs in the hands of a disparate gang of four independents and one Greens MP.

The linked item has backgrounds of the MPs whose support is being wooed by the top two party leaders.

10 thoughts on “Australian government seized by gang of four!

  1. I’d add the slim chance of a Green win in Grayndler. Although the AEC says Labor will retain the seat, they have not yet posted the two candidate preference flow. I’d also add Tony Cook, the WA National to the mix because the WA Nationals do not belong to the federal Coalition.

  2. I have to add to the bizzaro election we have just had – or are still having – that the resurrected DLP looks like getting the sixth Senate seat in Victoria – 40 years after Frank McManus’s record victory with 19 per cent of the vote. So we have or possibly have:
    The first Muslim elected to the House of Reps
    The first Aborigine elected to the House of Reps
    The first Green elected to the House of Reps at a general election
    The youngest MP in the country ever (20 years old) – but only because the good burghers of Templestowe Province did not vote for me in 1973
    The first federal DLP win since 1970
    The first woman PM
    The first one-term government since 1931
    The highest two-party preferred vote for Labor in Victoria since 1949
    The Greens achieving the record national third party vote at 14 per cent for the Senate (cf the Democrats’ 12 per cent in the 1990s – I think – and the DLP’s 11 per cent in 1970)
    The first hung parliament since 1940 (even though the Sex Party did not get a single member elected)

  3. You forget the first unmarried atheist feminist PM who believes that respect for the Christian heritage of the country requires her to oppose gay marriage but allows her to happily live in sin.

  4. ‘… There have also been notable landmark individual performances, including those of the two Wyatts (Ken Wyatt who is likely to become the first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives by winning Hasluck in Western Australia for the Liberals; and Wyatt Roy who, at 20 years of age, has become the youngest ever member by winning Longman in Queensland for the Liberals)…’

    – John Warhurst, “The election Rudd could have won,” Eureka Street (23 August 2010).

    Plus election comment here from Tony Kevin. Raul Julia could not be reached, presumably.

  5. It looks like:

    71 ALP
    73 Coalition
    1 Green
    3 country independents
    1 other independent

    I am assuming that Labor retains Corrangamite and loses Dension, Boothby and Hasluck. The magic number to govern is 76.

    The Green says he would support a Labor government. The country independents are consulting on who they would support. The fourth independent is unpredictable. Whoever forms the government goes down a vote because the speaker only has a casting, not a deliberative vote.

    On television last night former ALP apparatchik Graham Richardson said the whips are going to have their MPs on a constant regime of diet and exercise to ensure there are no by-elections.

    So we have a gang of five.

  6. PS The increasingly complicated Coalition now includes:

    Liberal Party of Australia 43
    Liberal National-Party of Queensland 21
    The Nationals 6
    The Country Liberals 1

    Liberal Nationals and Country Liberals decide whether to sit with the Liberals or Nationals when they reach Canberra. The Coalition does not include the National Party of Western Australia which took a seat from the Liberals on Labor and Green preferences.

    PPS It looks like Gillard will at least get to meet the parliament and life gets complicated if she then gets defeated on the floor of the House. The governor-general would then send for the opposition leader.

    PPPS The newly-elected state senators do not take office until next July. One can imagine the opposition being tempted to refuse supply to a Gillard government some time during the next 10 months.

    PPPS The AEC has Labor winning the two party preferred vote, but that is a very early figure and could change. This may prove to be a case of a reversed plurality.

  7. Much of this mess seems to be due to the slow implosion of the National Party, or its swallowing by the Liberals.

    National politicians seem to be divided into people happy to be swallowed by the Liberals, hence monstrosities like “the Liberal-National Party of Queensland”, or they are unhappy, in which case you have National politicians sitting as independent MPs who might support a Labor government. And maybe some National voters are no longer automatically preferencing the Liberals ahead of Labor.

  8. There’s an underlying globalisation issue. The federal Nationals have tended to fold to the Liberals on any and all issues of economic reform, and that’s been resented at home. The federal Nats, for instance, lost Bob Katter over dairy and sugar deregulation and the privatisation of Telstra (the former government monopoly telco ) (now the private monopoly telco).

    However, although the country independents are all ex-Nationals the policies they propose are now radically different from the Nationals’ program. That has not stopped the Coalition arguing that the country independents hold seats that are ‘really’ National seats and they should therefore support the Coalition.

    The major parties share of the vote has been declining over the long-term. There have, for instance, also been a number of urban independents in the NSW legislative assembly who hold traditional Labor and Liberal seats. I would be unsurprised if the the NSW election next March returns more independents in Sydney as well as the bush. The short-term element contributing to this mess was the worst Labor campaign and program that I can remember.

  9. > “Whoever forms the government goes down a vote because the speaker only has a casting, not a deliberative vote”

    Unless the PM “gives” Speaker to the Opposition (as was tried in Tasmania in the 1940s before switching from 6-seat to 7-seat STV-PR).

  10. Windsor and Katter declined the speakership. Katter is also a little too much of a wild man. The others are too new to the parliament.

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