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The Sydney Morning Herald is now reporting that Pauline Hanson is set to win the final NSW Legislative Council seat. The article in itself is an unusual development, since Hanson has been in the lead for some time and Anthony Green blogged that it was slightly misleading, since it didn’t account for preferences. That suggests to me that the SMH now believes the result is sufficiently final that Hanson will win. Or, its a slow news day. For the record, Anthony Green believes the result will remain too close to call until the ‘count preferences’ button is pressed.

What would happen if Hanson won the final seat? I argued before that the result would not be a total disaster because each time they wished to pass a Bill, the Liberals had a choice between allying with 2 feuding right-wing parties, or with the Greens. In many cases, it might have been easier to negotiate with the Greens (assuming they are reasonable) than to cobble a compromise acceptable to 4 political parties (Liberals, Nationals, the Shooters and Christian Democrats). In other cases, their interests may intersect quite easily.

If Hanson is elected, the Greens will still hold 4 seats. Since the Liberals have 19 seats and need 22 seats to pass a Bill, their choice remains between negotiating with the Greens alone, or with 2 of the 3 right-wing parties. So looking at the issue on a purely numerical basis, it appears that Hanson’s victory makes it easier to negotiate a right-wing coalition on any individual Bill (since if one party is stubborn, the Liberals can negotiate with the other 2 parties).

But politics is never purely about numbers. Whenever Hanson is the final vote, the Greens and Labor will yell red fury and say the Liberals are kowtowing to the racists in Hanson and the CDP. This may make it preferable for the Liberals to negotiate more often with the Greens (or even Labor) to maintain good relations with them, and to offer plausible deniability when negotiating with Hanson.

This will certainly make for an interesting legislative council.

Edit: The final count has been finalised for the final LC seat. The Greens have won a 5th seat.

Apparently, the Greens won on the back of preferences from the Family First candidate, Gordon Moyes. Despite the reputation of Family First due to Parliamentary dunce Steve Fielding Gordon Moyes is a relatively upstanding candidate. A former CDP MLC, he quit the party due to Fred Nile’s authoritarian attitudes and his Islamophobic/racist policies that he described as unChristian. No wonder many Family First preferences would move to the Greens rather than One Nation, but it is a surprising result.

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4 Comments

  1. I am fairly sure the Greens won 2 seats in 2007 and at least 2 this time for a total of 4. Also it is spelled Hanson 🙂

  2. OOps, yes. Two typos. haha. This is what happens when I write articles just before sleep.

    (I have a friend called Hansen, hence the confusion). The miscounting of the Greens is just plain studidity though.

  3. As is par for the course the SMH got it wrong. 5 Greens in the LC now. And plenty of public $$$ for Hanson

  4. How did Hanson get public money? I thought that only recouped expenses, and only if they won a certain percent.


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