A good article from ABC Online:
Election analyst Malcolm Mackerras has told Lateline the Greens will be in a very powerful position in the Senate after the election.
“I believe that the result of this election in the Senate will be that we’ll finish up with 34 Coalition, 33 Labor senators, seven Greens, one Family First, and one senator, Nick Xenophon, independent from South Australia,” he said.
ABC election analyst Antony Green says the Greens are polling roughly the same as they did at the last election, when they elected two senators.
“The difference this time is the balance of power between the Liberal and the Labor Party is very different, and this time the Greens aren’t competing with Labor for seats, the Greens are competing with the Liberals for seats,” he said.
I’m very happy for the Greens, and hope by hell that the non-majors do hold the balance of power in the Senate, but I’m sad to see that the experts are not seeing much chance for the Senate seats currently held by Democrats Senators to be retained by the party. Damn you, Meg Lees!
Still, if you think fondly of Don Chipp’s original vision and like your Dems candidate’s policies, then remember that the preference deals mean that you can cast your primary vote for the Dems candidate in your State (which will ensure that they receive a large enough quota to continue collecting Electoral Commission funding) and that it will still be counted as a vote for the Greens in the Senate once the preferences are distributed. And who knows? The Dems might win a seat despite the pundits. This way you at least have a chance of contributing to confounding a psephologist by electing a Dems Senator after all, and confounding is good for psephologists once in a while.
Particularly with Family First going for pragmatism after all, rather than principle, in their preference deals (much to the disgust of Fred Nile’s CDP), perhaps Family First won’t get that Senate seat after all. We can only hope.