NEXT week's double dissolution election is driven partly by the Coalition's desire to clean out the Senate crossbench, but research indicates increasing diversity in the Upper House is a symptom of voters' disillusionment with Labor and the Coalition, not a cause of it.
A report from The Australia Institute released yesterday showed some 40% of voters did not vote Liberal or Labor in 2013.
It said that result was part of a long-running trend of people voting for independents such as Nick Xenophon or Glenn Lazarus, minor parties such as the Greens, or "donkey voting" rather than supporting the major parties.
TAI's Richard Denniss said most voters were seeing the Senate crossbench as "the norm" and the trend away from the majors was likely to be "more pronounced" next week.
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