Daily Bulletin

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  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has won four Senate seats – two, including Hanson’s, in Queensland, one in New South Wales and one in Western Australia.

The non-Green crossbench in the new Senate will number 11, three more than in the last parliament.

The Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) has three senators, all from South Australia.

To pass legislation opposed by Labor and the Greens the government will need nine of the 11 crossbench votes.

The Coalition has secured 30 seats, down three, and Labor 26, up one. The Greens have nine senators, one less than in the last parliament.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm has crept back in last place in NSW. Independent Jacqui Lambie has been re-elected in Tasmania, and Family First’s Bob Day is back in South Australia.

Former broadcaster Derryn Hinch has a Victorian seat.

The government’s desire to clean out the old crossbench had only limited success. Of the eight, four are back – and all except Xenophon are “micro” players. The Senate voting reforms were partially negated by having a double-dissolution election with its small quotas.

The new Senate will present major challenges for the government but the Coalition believes it will be easier to deal with because there are blocs and it is more conservative-leaning.

On the other hand, both the NXT and One Nation have protectionist views, which are at odds with the government’s economic policy. How Hanson will operate is also an unknown. The Greens will have the numbers to enable the government to pass legislation on the rare occasions when there is a common interest, as happened in the last parliament.

The government has been anxious to make early contact with incoming senators, mindful of how the Abbott government failed in establishing relationships with the former crossbench.

An early test of the new Senate will be whether it passes the enabling legislation for the same-sex marriage plebiscite, if Labor opposes.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/pauline-hanson-the-big-winner-as-senate-finalised-63504

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