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The Senate scenario Turnbull is praying against

Malcolm Turnbull will face a tough time in getting legislation through the Senate.
Malcolm Turnbull will face a tough time in getting legislation through the Senate. Trevor Veale

IT IS now 100% clear that the Coalition has won enough seats to form a majority government in the House of Representatives.

This means the Turnbull led government will be able to put up new legislation in the lower house and pass it onto the Senate for consideration. 

However, that is where things look set to get complicated as the upper house presently looks set to present just as much of a nightmare if not more of a nightmare for Turnbull, than it did before we had the double dissolution election. 

The Senate has 76 seats - 12 for each of the six states and two for each of the two territories.

This means you need 39 Senators to vote in favour of a piece of legislation for it to become law. 

In terms of what we know so far that presents some interesting scenarios, or frankly some massive headaches for the new government.

So far the Australian Electoral Commission has counted about 11 million Senate votes.

There are about 15 million people enrolled but due to the large number of candidates there will be a large informal vote and portion of people who didn't make it to a booth.

At present the AEC has posted its running tally - how close parties are to capturing enough of the votes required to win a seat.

Using this it is possible to more or less been confirm that six seats will go to the following candidates who are either independent or from a minor party:

  • Pauline Hanson has won a seat in Queensland
  • Derryn Hinch has one in Victoria
  • The Nick Xenophon Team looks set to grab three seats in South Australia
  • Jacqui Lambie is about to be returned in Tasmania

What few commentators have mentioned so far however is that it is looking like the Greens may have fewer seats in the Senate. 

The Greens at this stage look guaranteed to win six seats - they are certain to have seats in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania and it also looks as though they're highly likely to grab one seat in South Australia. 

Any more seats will depend on preference deals, which, the major parties made sure would go against the Greens this time by putting them last. 

Before the election the Greens held 10 Senate seats, the Coalition had 33 and Labor had 25, with the remaining eight belonging to independents, the Palmer United Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, Family First and the Motoring Enthusiast Party. 

This meant to get the 39 votes needed to pass new laws the Government had to get the support of either Labor or the Greens - something which rarely eventuated. 

The other option was to try and wrangle a deal with six of the eight independent and minor party candidates, 

Under the new scenario this looks set to play out a little differently. 

Remember the magic number to pass legislation through the Senate is 39 votes, so, the Coalition needs to keep all of its Senate seats just to be able to do a deal with the six minor party and independent candidates to get things through. 

However, at this stage on the primary vote every branch of the Coalition - except the Liberals - has copped a swing against it of between 1.29% and 0.08%.

On the primary vote the Coalition has 3,9860,077 against Labor's 3,278,525.

The big question now for the Coalition is whether or not the swing will be enough to cost them one seat.

Under that nightmarish scenario for PM Malcolm Turnbull, whereby his government only has 32 seats - not even a deal with the six cross benchers reaches the magical number of 39.

And the only way to get new laws through would be to reach a consensus with the Greens and Labor. 

Topics:  derryn hinch editors picks government pauline hanson senate



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