A seat in NSW Upper House requires above the 4.5% quota. Mark Latham scored an assuring 5.85%. That should have both Labor and the Coalition worried about One Nation’s performance in the federal elections expected in May, particularly in Queensland where they are making ground.
Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham will make a return to politics as a One Nation MP in the NSW upper house, with a small possibility the party could win a second seat. One Nation had already received enough votes to secure Mr Latham an eight-year term in the NSW Legislative Council with counting expected to continue for more than a week. Psephologist Kevin Bonham said with half of all primary votes for the upper house counted, Mr Latham had received more than a quota.
Source: Fairfax Media
Latham elected to NSW Parliament but ‘long way to go’ for final upper house result
“He’s got enough votes already. If he gets no more votes from here he still gets in. Whether he gets number two over we’ll have to wait and see,” Dr Bonham said.
By Sunday afternoon One Nation had received 5.85 per cent of the vote, well above the 4.5 per cent quota needed to guarantee a seat in the upper house.
The NSW Electoral Commission had on Sunday limited its focus to counting the votes for seven of the bigger parties on the ballot – Liberal, Labor, Nationals, Christian Democrats, Animal Justice Party, Shooters Fishers and Farmers, and One Nation.
This means the results for a slew of minor parties – including Keep Sydney Open, the Voluntary Euthanasia Party and the Liberal Democrats – may not be known for over a week, with all of their votes sitting in an “others” pile.
Dr Bonham said the Electoral Commission would not begin counting the “other” votes until Wednesday.
“We’ve got a very long way to go and there are a lot of uncertainties and a lot of vagaries,” Dr Bonham said.
He said Keep Sydney Open appeared to be “in the mix” for a seat, based on the 1.4 per cent vote the party had received in the lower house.
“At the moment they are a maybe/maybe not,” Dr Bonham said.
Election analyst Ben Raue said about 13-14 per cent of the vote was sitting with the “others” group, and up to three seats could be claimed by the smaller parties.
“It’s just a question of whether those votes are concentrated behind someone, or whether they are all over the place,” Mr Raue said.
Mr Raue said on the current upper house count the Coalition had won at least seven seats, Labor had claimed six, the Greens at least two, the Shooters one seat and One Nation one seat.
Greens MLC Mr Shoebridge, who will be re-elected for another term, said it was evident One Nation’s Mark Latham would not gain the kingmaker role in the Legislative Council that many had thought was a possible result of the election.
“There is a real opportunity to freeze out Mark Latham. There is likely that there are two or three ways to gain a majority on the crossbench which doesn’t involve Mark Latham,” Mr Shoebridge said.