When the Half-Senate changeover takes place on July 1, 2014, the true impact of how Australia voted will be on show.
As it stands, the Coalition holds 34 Senate seats, Labor 31, Greens 9, Independent 1, and the Democratic Labour Party 1.
Initial counting after Saturday shows the major party make-up will change to Coalition 33, Labor 25 and the Greens 10, with South Australian Independent Nick Xenophon easily holding his seat.
The other seven seats will be shared amongst an eclectic mix of sportsmen, businessmen, ex-soldiers and Christians.
The takeout from all this for the major parties is a) the fact that one in four Australians voted against them, and b) there’s probably going to be a long, hard look at how easily the preference system can be manipulated.
This year, the real powerbroker has been “preference whisperer” Glenn Druery, who has rallied the election’s 30 minor parties into a preferences-harvesting collective known as the Minor Parties Alliance.
Everyone who signed on agreed to directed preferences only to each other, resulting in farcical situations like Western Australia, where the Australian Sports Party looks like claiming a seat despite polling only 0.22 of the initial vote.
In Victoria, the Motoring Enthusiasts Party polled 0.52 pc and will likely take a seat next to someone who had to pull more than 43 per cent of the vote to get there.
But the standout stunner among all of them is Liberal Democrats candidate, David Leyonhjelm, who pulled an extraordinary 8.5 per cent of the vote. Even he admits that was largely by fluke, given the party appeared in the top left hand corner of ballot papers.
He also admits a lot of voters may have thought they were voting Liberal, which has been a sore point for the Liberal Party in the past. In 2007, the party was forced to run as the Liberty and Democracy Party after the major party objected.
As a result, these are the people that Tony Abbott will have to make deals with in order to realise his vision for the country.
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