It is now 73 seats each as Labor have won a seat back off Andrew Wilkie – a former Green candidate. WIlkie was very likely to back Labor over the coalition anyway, so in one sense doesn’t change the overall dynamic.
However it does help perceptions, with Labor and Coalition now having the same number of seats. The Green MP will back Labor, so Labor can govern with at least two of three three Independents, while the Coalition needs all three.
If the Coalition loses a seat on specials, then Labor will retain power. The most marginal seat is Hasluck, where the current margin to the Coalition is 382 votes. It was 363 on election night so to date they are doing okay on specials.
Incidentally the coalition candidate is Ken Wyatt, who if confirmed will be the first indigenous Australia to be elected to the Federal House. I was staggered when I heard this.
NZ has had indigenous MPs since 1868. We currently have 20 MPs who are of Maori descent. As of 2004, NZ has had 79 Maori MPs (probably now over 90), so hard to comprehend how Australia is just about to have their first indigenous Federal MP.
Bob Katter is a hard fit for a Labor Government. Here is what he said on climate change:
“I mean, if you could imagine 20 or 30 crocodiles up there on the roof, and if all that roof was illumination, and saying that we wouldn’t see anything in this room because of a few croco-roaches up there,” he continued stating that “Are you telling me seriously that the world is going to warm because there’s 400 parts per million of CO2 up there?”
Yes he seriously argued that because crocodiles don’t totally block out all light, then carbon dioxide can’t be keeping heat in.
The other two Independents are more friendly to Labor, and there are reports they may split from Katter.