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Is time up for Eric Abetz?

With a hostile Senate, a Labor government would be severely hamstrung in pursuing their legislative agenda.

We have seen the irrational demands and horse-trading from One Nation in the current Senate, withholding their vote on everything until they get their way on their latest attention-getter.

At the moment, the Senate is comprised of 36 Coalition Senators, 26 Labor, 9 Greens, 2 PHON, Jacquie Lambie, Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff.

The Senators who are not up for re-election are 17 Coalition, 11 Labor, 6 Greens, Jacquie Lambie and Malcolm Roberts – a 50/50 goodies v baddies split.

A state-by-state analysis of the 40 seats up for grabs shows there is some work to be done if we don’t want to be controlled by the far-right nutters.

In the ACT, Labor’s Katy Gallagher and Liberal Zed Seselja will be returned.

In the NT, Labor’s Malarndirri McCarthy will win and Sam McMahon, who lost endorsement, will be replaced by Country Liberal Jacinta Price, two Aboriginal women with very different views. I would suggest anyone considering voting for Ms Price reads up on her opinions and past performance.

NSW should see Labor’s Deb O’Neill and Jenny McAllister returned but Kristina Keneally’s spot (she is running for a lower house seat) could go to the Greens who are running current state member David Shoebridge. Marise Payne is number 1 for the Liberals. The Nationals have reclaimed the second spot with state party director Ross Cadell as their candidate, leaving Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells in the vulnerable third position. If Jim Molan decides to recontest, he will be in the unwinnable 4th spot and lose yet another election.

The Coalition Victorian ticket offers Sarah Henderson, Bridget McKenzie and Sophie Mirabella’s husband Greg who replaced the retired Scott Ryan. Lidia Thorpe should hang on for the Greens. Labor, in typically disappointing fashion, are still arguing over their ticket with Shorten pick Kimberly Kitching likely number 1 and Kim Carr #2.

The Queensland LNP ticket is James McGrath, Matt Canavan and Amanda Stoker – a group that make the Vic crowd look good and that takes some doing. Labor’s Murray Watt will be returned but Anthony Chisholm may be in danger to the Greens Penny Allman-Payne, a Gladstone teacher. Sad to say, Pauline should get back in. The wild cards up there are Clive Palmer and Campbell Newman. I would say they are no chance but I’m not from Qld.

WA have Michaelia Cash, Dean Smith and Ben Small lining up for the Liberal Party. Normally they would be safe but the abysmal state election result could see the Nationals take a seat from them for the first time since 1975. On the Labor side, Sue Lines and Glenn Sterle have been re-endorsed with the unlikely third spot going to Fatima Payman, president of WA Young Labor. The Greens Rachel Siewert resigned in September and was replaced by Dorinda Cox who should hold the seat for the party..

In SA, the Liberals Simon Birmingham and Andrew McLachlan should be returned as should Labor’s Penny Wong and Don Farrell. It remains to be seen what will happen with Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick (who is a hard-working honest Senator and would be a loss) but they could be replaced by the third Liberal candidate, Kerrynne Liddle, a businesswoman and company director who if elected would be South Australia’s first Indigenous federal member, and the lead Greens candidate, Barbara Pocock, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of South Australia.

Labor’s Helen Polley and Anne Urquhart should be returned in Tasmania as should Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. After an unsuccessful tussle with his former staffer Jonathon Duniam, Eric Abetz has been relegated to third spot on the Liberal party ballot with Wendy Askew at #2. There is a slim chance Eric could be gone and Labor pick up a seat but unlikely. It’s a nice thought nevertheless.

Putting all that together, the likely end composition of the Senate is 37 Coalition, 24 Labor, 12 Greens, and Jacquie Lambie, with Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts as the deciding votes on legislation.

I would suggest we all get very active about discussing the importance of the Senate vote with friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and anyone who will listen.

A hung parliament is one thing but we don’t have time for a paralysed one at the mercy of PHON.


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  1. Keitha Granville

    VOTE LABOR, no other result is even thinkable

  2. Michael Taylor

    That was very informative, Kaye.

    The importance of the Senate vote is lost on some people. I know that from experience. ☹️

  3. GL

    Is time up for Eric Abetz?

    I bloody hope so, this prick (like the rest of the LNP here) is a burning blight on Tasmanians.

    Anyway, off to listen to Relayer by Yes and Radioactivity by Kraftwerk then off to sleepy bo-boes.

  4. Bruce White

    Vote ALP ticket 1 and Greens ticket 2 in the Senate

  5. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye.

    For once in a rare while, I hope you’re wrong about some of this. I’m a funny fing who’s still hoping for a landslide.

    But I hope you’re on the ball about some other things. If only Eric Abetz could go away and quietly evaporate!!!


    My older son used to go to sleep with Kraftwerk (when he was a baby). He’s been a musician ever since.

  6. corvusboreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Immensely helpful article, solid research info, very logically formatted.

    Keneally vs Shoebridge presents a major preference dilemma, in that both have some relative merits, but both are also pretty much guaranteed to seriously disappoint.

  7. Kaye Lee


    Keneally is contesting a lower house seat. She switched. (I will go back and make that clearer.)

    Kate, I am always wrong about elections.

  8. Cheryl Tonkin

    I’m from Qld. Newman will not get in.

  9. wam

    To get a senator, in a half election, needs almost 14.3% for the states and a vote over 33.3% for the nt/act. The latter have the luxury of voting below the line.
    For the greens to get 12 they must win one in every state.
    What an awful thought, lets hope your prediction ability stays consistent..

  10. Max Gross

    Wingnut Abetz should have been discarded alongside the Lying Rodent. So much of the Howard Era (Error!) detritis continues to pollute the Parliament

  11. corvusboreus

    Is voting below-the-line a luxury only afforded to the territories?
    I was led to believe it was a option for voters in every state as well.

    I thought Senate BTL voting required the sequenced numbering of at least as many boxes as seats are up for grabs (6 in standard election, 12 in double dissolution).

    I also seem to have recollection that reform occured changing from a previous model where each & every BTL square [all 528 of em] had to be numbered for a BTL vote to count.

    Damn, did I accidentally invalidate my last few senate ballots as informal by voting below-the-line?

  12. John Lord

    A more media nerd there has never been.

  13. New England Cocky

    Excellent analysis as usual, thank you KL. Abetz has long passed his ”used by” date.

    The solution to the problem your article so deftly illustrates is at every election:
    Vote anyone but Liarbrals in city electorates;
    Vote credible Independent or SFF in country electorates &
    Vote BELOW THE LINE numbering every candidate in my order of preference;
    so that we may have a chance of restoring Australian democracy for our grand kids.

  14. Terence Mills


    As a regional Queenslander I think can do Campbell has no chance : you can fool a Queenslander once – he’s seen as having no substance and as just looking for a steady income and a pension but he is a SKY Regional regular !

    Clive’s mind-numbing advertising is very prominent on free to air SKY Regional after dark which many of you may not see in urban Australia but which is targeting a very specific disgruntled audience in regional areas. The feeling I get is that he may grab a senate seat at the expense of the Nationals who are generally considered as directionless unless you are a coalminer ; and we are not all miners .

  15. Kaye Lee

    Unfortunately, I think Canavan will be safe with the number 2 spot. Stoker is not a certainty and would not be missed if she trundled off into obscurity but Clive would be even worse. He never turned up to the HoR. Could you imagine him sitting through Senate estimates or committees? I don’t think so. What a waste of a seat that would be.

  16. Phil Pryor

    Abetz was born rancid, off. His old distant uncle advised Ribbentrop, one of history’s brown droppings (to match the uniform) and perhaps some genes, culture, pride swell up under the surface. The Australian Senate has become a vomitously sick joke, from long ago when Harradine, a papist romanist ratbag scheming dealer got to control a crucial vote too often. One Tassy political madam controlling law and voting…and some of the cunning ones in now are brazenly ignorant, loudmouthed peddlers of probable lies, mischief, misinformation and propaganda, for cunning money and preferments. it stinks, is totally wrong, but remains, a blot.

  17. GL

    Just because Scummo’s WeChat got hacked…aaawww…that little creep James Paterson says that Albo and others should boycott their WeChat until Scummo’s is restored. ‘straya, ‘straya, ‘straya, oi, oi, oi. If I was Albo I’d tell the little shit where to go in no uncertain terms.

    The Beetroot is basically trying to blame the public for their RAT’s screwups. What a surprise.

    Friedeggburger is spewing his usual bullshit.

    Um, Joshyupoos, how many under 34’s earn $60+k a year to be able to get the supposed tax cuts of $2160 – $3400? The bullshit just keeps piling up higher and higher. Must be an election due very soon.

  18. Terence Mills

    Canavan has to be the only politician who, before a media appearance, has coal smudges applied in the makeup department.

  19. wam

    hahaha, good stalking corvus, another foot shot? Any idea what luxury could mean in context? Have you seen our senate card compared to yours? Think positively young man, don’t abrogate your responsibility to a PARTY and vote below the line. Start with UNG?? Then you will see the context and why ‘luxury’ fits.

  20. GL


    Common old coal smudges? How dare you, he only uses the exclusive Chanel Coal Extraordinaire with lightly scented Gina perfume and Twiggy Creme Moisturiser with just a hint of Clive.

  21. Kaye Lee

  22. Harry Lime

    GL,we’ll know when Albo gets a summons to New York to fill in his employment form,with all the correct answers already provided by Morgue bait Murdoch.If Albo has any sense, he’ll send the Dirty Digger a photo of his arse.Autographed “kindest regards,Albo.” “Is time up” for Herr Abetz? You bet your arse it is,as well as every other useless shitkicker in the Liar’s omnishambles of incompetents.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I’d love to see his hands in the same shot. No doubt they won’t be smudged, bruised, or have the odd cut here or there.

    Squeaky clean is my guess.

  24. Henry Rodrigues

    This morning I bumped into my local fed member in the shopping center and I passed on to him the most heartfelt honest message i could think off, for him to pass onto Albo……” Get tough Albo or you are not going to win. Nice guys always finish last.” To his credit, the local member has already said that to Albo many times.

  25. Michael Taylor

    Henry, a friend in the AFP was assigned to accompany the Mark Latham team during the 2004 election campaign.

    While having drinks after a hard day’s campaigning one senior Labor figure (whose face I remember, but whose name I forget) asked Latham why he isn’t running a dirty campaign like Howard was.

    The answer will surprise many, as it shows that Latham once had morals:

    “I’m not going to stoop to the c#nt’s standards.”

    History will show that a decade later he did just that.

  26. Kaye Lee


    Canavan went straight from uni to the Productivity Commission. He must have had a mini-crisis turning 30 because he cold-called Tony Abbott and asked for a job.

    “Abbott didn’t need an economist. But Barnaby Joyce, who had endured a tumultuous stint as shadow finance minister, had an opening. So Canavan, previously a member of the Liberal Party, went to work for the outspoken Nationals senator. After a little more than three years as Joyce’s chief-of-staff, he was elected to the Senate. ”

    Canavan was also a Marxist when he was younger. Now he claims to be religious.

    Despite growing up living and then working in the city, Canavan know purports to be a champion for regional Australia. He only moved there when he got the gig. Time for a new hat.

    The coal dress-up is all part of the chameleon who will turn whatever colour his continued ride on the gravy train requires.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, if he worked for Joyce then his hands certainly are dirty.

  28. Terence Mills

    Have you noticed the coalition talking points are to minimise the number of deaths from COVID since Morrison let it rip.

    None of the senior ministers will front the media but Barnaby did this morning and probably regrets doing so now :

    Barnaby Joyce on COVID :

    Well, people aren’t dying

    ABC Host Patricia Karvelas:

    People are dying. People are dying every day


    Sorry, sorry sorry. Yes, you are correct, I shouldn’t have said that. But the number in which – the fatality rate is very low.

  29. The AIM Network

    Terry, and this:

  30. corvusboreus

    Good link.
    I usually chuck [1] to a ‘hopeless cause of good intent’ (probably SA this time round) as an encouragement aeard. I forget the exact number, but there is a threshhold of primary votes that allows a party to access electoral funding.
    Then it is a matter of trying to best ensure my actual vote ends up landing where it will give least putrid the best chance.
    Best gameplan i can make based on the rules as i know them.

    Ps i remember a whole bunch of shirt-rendy pearl-clutchy wailing & gnashing (including on this site) when the BTL voting reforms came in, mainly from staunch party faithful.
    I was bemused that a welcome increase in my voting options would cause so much angst in others. . .

  31. GL

    Gosh, I’m so thrilled that I will be able to get 10 free RAT’s, maybe. I’m putting my chances at a number between -1 and 1 for the foreseeable future. 10 free RAT’s means I’ll be able to test myself once every 9 days for 3 months. Super Rubber Spine Moron Monstrosity Putrescent Mentality Man will backflip again as he has done some many times before as the election date looms and he sees his (please let it be so although I very much doubt it) future as leader and PM hitting the event horizon of the LNP black hole..

  32. Kaye Lee

    My numbers above assume, for this election, 3 Coalition Senators per state. 2 Labor in every state except Qld (1), a Greens in each state and Pauline Hanson. (Territories split 1 each to the majors) That could be wildly wrong of course.

    If Rex Patrick hangs on in SA, it could be all square in the votes with him and Jacquie vs Pauline and Malcolm.

    The 3rd spot could be vulnerable for the Coalition anywhere though who it might go to could be even scarier. I’d like to hope that Labor might hang on for 2 in Queensland (double bonus of seeing the unelected Stoker gone).

  33. Henry Rodrigues

    Kaye… Just a question, part concern and part curiosity, why doesn’t Labor do better in the lower house in Qld ? What is it about the mentality or thought processes on the voters there that makes it seem so difficult to get through to them. Does One nation have such a hold or is it that they like be contrary ?

  34. Kaye Lee


    A large part of Queensland is rural or regional, relying on primary production – which is probably why the Libs chose to amalgamate into one party. They also don’t have a state upper house so can make sweeping changes when in power (think Joh).

    Being a teacher, I would also point out historical inadequacies in the Queensland education system. A friend who lives there says there is quite a strong bible belt as well.

    Having said all that, they have a Labor state government, so who knows?

  35. Cheryl

    Henry, your correct – contrary and beligerently and ignorantly stupid . Their choice. Sorry to say I’m a Queenslander and ashamed of it.

  36. Henry Rodrigues

    Kaye Cheryl…..Thanks for enlightening me somewhat into the mysterious workings of the Queenslander’s mind. Curious though, that they still elect State Labor govts and very successful ones too.

  37. Kaye Lee

    It helped that Campbell Newman was mad.

    I can’t believe people are suggesting Clive is a chance after he has swindled so many employees and investors. The fact that those two are even running shows how short people’s memories really are – or maybe lack of interest in anything except today?

  38. newhy

    KL, voters might be prepared to risk the short term pain of Clive etc just to get rid of a lethargic and corrupt Lib-Lab duopoly forever.

  39. Michael Taylor

    newhy, I’ve worked for three governments; Howard’s, Rudd’s and Gillard’s. The only one I’d consider lethargic and corrupt would be Howard’s.

    Apparently it got worse under Abbott.

  40. GL

    Kaye Lee,

    Think of all that sleep time the fat man would be able to catch up in while in parliament.

  41. Kaye Lee

    By September 2014, Palmer had voted in only 15 out of a possible 196 votes since his election, putting his attendance rate at 7.7%.

    Palmer was absent from Parliament more than any other MP in the 44th Parliament; he attended only 64 percent of sitting days in 2014 and 54 percent in 2015. He was rarely seen in his own electorate, preferring to reside at his Gold Coast residence. At one point, he went seven months without setting foot in Fairfax.

    If he got in, he would make sure he got tax cuts and red tape reduction for himself and his businesses…he’d only turn up for stuff that benefitted him and would blackmail the government to get what he wanted. Then off he’d go again just like he did after he got rid of the carbon price and mining superprofits tax.

  42. corvusboreus

    There is no risk in voting [1] Clive or UAP, it is a guaranteed vote for stupidity fronting putridity, with coalition preference flows.

    The bullhorned yellow blimp is a denier of the overwhelming scientific consensus on evidence that human activities have altered atmospheric composition in ways that have warmed the globe and radically destabilised the climate.

    The persistently intrusively braying jowl-flapper probably also denies that documentable fact that the planet’s oceans are rising at an accelerating rate.
    Craig Kelly, his malodorous windbag 2IC (“Your next PM! FREEDUM! FREEDUM!”) certainly brays denial of that basic oceanographic fact (google if sceptical).

    Nah, Newhy, I’m not enough of a crayon eater to contemplate voting for the yellow blimps (aka Dodgy’n’dumb from them yewchoob ads).

  43. Michael Taylor

    GL, I’m almost stunned at the excessive number of dills in Australian politics these days.

  44. Canguro

    Michael, the late Bob Ellis had a theory that the most disagreeable person in the room is the one who prevails; softer kinder more polite temperaments will stand aside rather than tackle the monster. Given the hypercompetitiveness of the LNP clique and their scramble for a share of the swill in the trough, it’s hard to see how things can change for the better… apart from voting the bastards out of office, everywhere.

  45. Cool Pete

    I remember Niklas Frank (youngest son of Hans Frank, who was seven when his father walked into the gymnasium at Nuremberg Prison with a smile on his face, minutes before dropping to his death at the hands of Staff Sergeant John C. Woods and his assistant, Joseph Malta) appearing on SBS Insight and he was disgusted, putting it mildly, with Eric Abetz’s brother, Peter.
    Eric Abetz’s time should run out, when one considers his arrogant response to the Postal Survey on Marriage Equality. The dinosaur by the name of Lyle Shelton claimed that if people voted no then God’s will was being obeyed, but people voted Yes, and Abetz said that he wouldn’t listen but would vote the way he wanted to.
    Botty claimed to have been the political lovechild of Bronwyn Bishop and John Howard, and to that, I say, he had his love daddy’s arrogance in that the latter allegedly said, weeks before the 2007 Election was called, “Well, sack me,” to members concerned about his waning popularity and he lost a general election and his seat simultaneously. Botty carried on about a noble vocation, but consider this, Julia Gillard has had a successful career post-politics, being with Beyond blue, writing books and working for education and empowerment of girls internationally. What has Botty done? He scored a part-time job for a British Prime Minister whose popularity is going down the gurgler and has joined the IPA (the organization whose agenda he implemented) as a fellow! Bring out the snuff boxes, we could all do with a good sneeze!
    Heaven help us if Hanson gets back in! My three year old nephew has displayed more maturity than she has! And Roberts, well, he’s a bloody idiot, and would be a harmless old kook were he not in the senate!

  46. Henry Johnston

    Circumvent the lot and hold joint sittings a la Gough and crash through. And you know what? I reckon Albo’s got the goolies to do just that!

  47. Michael Taylor

    Henry, Gough was a man before his time. We need him in 2022.

  48. Mark Shields

    We have seen enough Political Hatred from the Far-Right; any intelligent person with a basic IQ will know that the Far Right is driven by religious factions!

  49. Mark Shields

    Far-Right Religions have been humiliated by the 70’s recognition that Science has more to say than the Bible. But in truth, Science has done more for our civilisation, than any religious bigotry: Science is more important than Religion, because scientists have achieved far more than religious belief. SCIENCE still manages to outscore RELIGION…

  50. Mark Shields

    Science will always prevail ignorance…

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