Clive Palmer In Control: What You Need To Know After WA's Weekend Senate Election

PUP Leader Clive Palmer, whose party looks set to secure a WA senate seat (Photo: Getty)

Western Australians returned to the polls for a special Senate election at the weekend, with support for the major parties taking a dive.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • A 6.7% swing in favour of The Greens should see Scott Ludlam keep his Senate seat. Ludlam lost his seat after the first count in September, and then regained it after the lost votes were not counted
  • Clive Palmer’s PUP could have won another Senate seat as well, following a 7% swing
  • If Palmer does get a WA seat his party will have three Senate seats. After a previous deal with the Motoring Enthusiast Party, the bloc could control the passage of legislation through the Upper House once the new Senate sits later this year
  • According to The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green, the Liberals suffered a 5.6% swing against them
  • There was also a 5% swing against Labor
  • Based on projected results, the Liberals will have two seats, while Labor, the Greens and PUP would have a seat each
  • The outcome for the sixth seat is still too close to call, with the AEC saying it could be weeks until we know

Some of the biggest issues raised going into the poll were voter fatigue, and election spending, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott likening Clive Palmer’s huge advertising campaign to an attempt to buy Senate seats.

Commentators also pointed out this poll was the third for WA in just over a year (excluding local elections). There was a state election in March, as well as the federal election in September 2013. Many predicted this would lead to voter fatigue, and lower turnout.

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