Fraser Anning And Clive Palmer Won't Win A Senate Seat

It was a surprise swing to the right in Queensland, but two high-profile conservative politicians won't make it to the Senate after all.

At this stage, with still a lot of counting to go in the upper house ballot, neither Clive Palmer nor Fraser Anning look like they will be taking seats in the 46th parliament.

Maybe take that headline with a grain of salt, as we are still a long way from a final Senate result, but that's the way things are pointing right now.

Photo: AAP

Palmer had poured in an estimated $60 million into his own campaign, running candidates in nearly every electorate nationwide. His unprecedented investment appears to have come to naught -- at least in terms of pure parliamentary numbers -- but his influence might reap other rewards.

“We’ve saved Australia from a trillion dollars of extra taxes and costs,” Palmer said at a function in Townsville on election night, claiming at least partial credit for the Coalition's strong showing. His billboards and ads attacked both major parties, but Labor came in for a stronger belting from his blanket media buys, which didn't help their chances.

Anning, the controversial far-right senator, was standing under his own steam at an election for the first time. He famously received just 19 votes to his name at the 2016 poll, when he was third on the One Nation ticket for the QLD Senate, but did a bit better this time -- as of 11am Sunday, his party scored 17,000 votes in the state, or around 1.35 percent of the vote.

ABC election guru Antony Green said he was gone.

Fraser Anning was famously egged at a press conference earlier this year.

Despite all the hoopla and media attention on both men, neither are likely to score the QLD Senate seat they were hoping for. It's likely that, of the six seats up for grabs in the state, two will go to each Labor and Liberal, with the remaining two split between the Greens' Larissa Waters and One Nation's Malcolm Roberts.

Oh yeah, Malcolm Roberts is coming back.

Photo: AAP

The climate sceptic, Hanson-worshipping, leftie-hating, sovereign citizen, and (former) dual citizen, is on his way back to Canberra. One Nation has scored around 10 percent of the vote in QLD, as of Sunday morning, and preference flows are likely to see him tip over the mark for a full Senate quota.

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One Nation was also hoping to grab a Senate seat in NSW, where they won at the 2016 election with (now departed) senator Brian Burston -- but it was not to be, with the Senate makeup likely to be two Liberal, two Labor, one Nationals, and the Greens' Mehreen Faruqi.

Oh, and Burston? He seems to be gone as well.

Hanson and One Nation have gloated they could claim a NSW seat at Faruqi's expense, but it was not to be -- and they also failed to make the promised impact in South Australia, where their campaign against the Green's Sarah Hanson-Young also fizzled.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. Photo: AAP

Hanson-Young will likely return to the Senate in SA, currently placing fifth on on the vote, where she will join three Liberals and two Labor members.

The Greens have another seat in Victoria, with Janet Rice returning to parliament. Again, it looks like three Liberals and two Labor will be there as well. Former broadcaster Derryn Hinch seems like he will fall short in his re-election bid, based on current numbers.

In Western Australia: three Liberals, two Labor, one Greens.

In Tasmania: two Liberals, two Labor, one Greens, and former Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie looks to be on her way back too, scraping into the sixth spot at this stage.

In the Northern Territory: one Labor, one Liberal.

In the ACT: one Labor, one Liberal.

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The unruly crossbench of the 45th parliament may be slightly smaller this time around, with a few less wildcards to navigate for the government -- but only a few.

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The government needs 39 votes in the Senate for a majority. On the current numbers, which may very well change again, they have 34 -- winning 18 seats in this half-Senate election, added to the 16 continuing senators. Labor has 27 (14 new) and the Greens have nine (six new).

The rest of the crossbench are conservative or centrist parties, meaning the government may be able to tempt them over to their side.

That's two for One Nation, two for the Centre Alliance, and one each for Jacqui Lambie and Cory Bernardi. To pass votes, the government needs to win over five of these six members.

Again, we stress, these numbers are early and could change. The Senate is tricky, and preference flows are hard to predict. But this is at least a rough idea of where things stand -- and we will update you when we know more -- so plan accordingly.

Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol. 

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