23 May, 2024
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Controversial senator ousted as Qld vote is confirmed


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Controversial Queenslander Amanda Stoker is out of parliament, with the final results for the state’s senate seats confirmed on Friday.

Senator Stoker had been in a race for the final two Queensland spots with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

Senator Hanson just edged out the LNP senator when the Australian Electoral Commission officially called the results from the May 21 federal election late on Friday afternoon.

Senator Stoker’s parliamentary future appeared limited she was relegated to the LNP’s third spot on the upper house ticket a year ago – making her highly unlikely to win a spot.

Her fate looked sealed on election night. But she rallied in counting of postal and absentee votes in recent weeks.

It wasn’t enough, however, to take the sixth Queensland spot from Senator Hanson.

The other spots were already decided in favour of Liberal Senator James McGrath and the Nationals Matt Canavan, and Labor’s Murray Watt and Anthony Chisholm. The Greens also have an additional senator, with Penny Allman-Payne joining parliament.

Senator Stoker, who was assistant minister for women in the Morrison government, is a conservative and often controversial figure. Weeks before the election she attended an anti-abortion rally in Brisbane (along with Senator Canavan and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts).

She has also been a vocal opponent of euthanasia, and has clashed with abuse survivor advocate Grace Tame.

The Greens will hold the balance of power in the new Senate, alongside former Wallaby captain David Pocock who has been elected as an independent ACT Senator, the Jacqui Lambie Network (which gained another member this week) and One Nation.

The tally of the Senate’s 76 seats currently sits at 32 to the Coalition, 26 to Labor, 12 to the Greens, two to both One Nation and the Jacqui Lambie Network and one to Mr Pocock.

The final seat in Victoria is a race between the United Australia Party’s Ralph Babet and incumbent Liberal senator Greg Mirabella, who was sworn in in February after filling a casual vacancy. It remains too close to call.

Either the Jacqui Lambie Network, One Nation or Mr Pocock’s vote will be needed alongside the Greens for the government to reach the 39 votes necessary to pass legislation in the Senate without the support of the Liberals.

-with AAP

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