SENATE CHAOS: Double dissolution may not be solution

Pauline Hanson could be a powerful force if elected into the Senate.
Pauline Hanson could be a powerful force if elected into the Senate. Rob Williams

A DOUBLE dissolution election may not solve Malcolm Turnbull's senate problem.

With the entire senate up for grabs candidates need half the vote they would have needed otherwise.


Long-time South Australian independent Nick Xenophon is poised to pick up at least three senate seats in the state under his new Nick Xenophon Team party.

Mr Xenophon today arrived to the polling station on an orange tricycle.

"It's almost over, bar the counting," he said.

Griffith University senior lecturer Dr Duncan McDonnell told ARM Newsdesk last week voters in regional areas were not looking to traditional parties like they once did.

"I think Hanson's appeal is to the voters in provincial and rural areas particularly - those people who feel they've been left behind by the major parties, who feel the elites in Canberra or Brisbane have no understanding," he said.

"Really all these groups are looking to capitalise on that - the interesting things this election are that Hanson comes with a side dish of anti-immigration, while the NXT is challenging both major parties of the left and right from the centre."

Dr McDonnell said the Palmer United Party vote is expected to drop significantly. PUP won three senate seats at the last election - but only Western Australian PUP senate Dio Wang is considered likely to win a seat.

In Queensland PUP is expecting to battle for final senate seat against Pauline Hanson, former PUP senator Glenn Lazarus and NXT candidates.

The number of minor parties may also impact the Greens vote as voters move away from established parties.
The outcome of the senate is unlikely to be known on Saturday.


Topics:  editors picks federal election 2016 senate

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