Ludlam loses

Fremantle-based Greens senator Scott Ludlam has lost his seat and will vacate the senate in June 2014.

Echoing other Greens party members reeling from the loss of one-third of the party’s national vote, he says the Abbott government must “do away with all the crap” surrounding senate preference deals.

On Wednesday the AEC confirmed Palmer United Party candidate Zhenya Wang had taken the fifth spot while Labor’s Louise Pratt had crawled on her hands and knees like a woman dying of thirst into sixth. The pair joins Liberals David Johnston, Michaelia Cash and Linda Reynolds and Labor’s Joe Bullock on the red leather.

Senator Ludlam, elected in 2007, says his primary vote of 124,268 nearly doubled Mr Wang’s 65,511.

“I’m impressed 124,00 people trusted me with a vote but I’m extremely disappointed it looks I might fail on some fine and arbitrary margins,” he says.

“The main thing we need to to do is take the main vote power out of the hands of the preferences negotiators and back into the hands of voters.”

Given the tight result he asked for a recount of some pivotal preference stages but late Thursday the AEC turned down the request: “There are two principle ones: Firstly if you are counting well over a million votes and there is a margin of 14 votes in there it needs a second look,” he said before the refusal. “It’s a very tiny fraction of a percentage that would need to go onto a different pile.

“Statistically it’s worth a second look.

“In the second round a very strange thing has happened with two parties (Shooters and Fishers and Australian Christians) and we have identified to the AEC particular vote patches which we think need a second look.”

He says he has no plans for beyond June 30, when he vacates his seat: “For the next eight months we are still in a progressive balance of power in the senate. We’ve got a really important job, to protect the green energy act, stop them from completing stuffing up the NBN, try to be bring some humanity into the refugee debate.

“The work goes on.”

The Greens say they’ll appeal the decision not to recount.


Leave a Reply