Australian Greens get 10% of votes but just 0.7% of seats
In Australia’s national election, the Green Party has received 9.8% of the vote, a 13% increase on the last election.
Despite this increase, it was only able to win one seat as Adam Bandt easily retained the seat of Melbourne.
In two other Melbourne seats though, the party narrowly missed out to the Australian Labour Party. In one of these (Batman), the Green candidate even got the most first preference votes and would have won under the British system. However Australia has a run-off between the top two candidates and the Labour Party received more second preference votes, mostly from centre-right voters.
In elections for the Senate though, which is a more powerful version of the House of Lords and whose members are elected under the single transferable vote system, the Green Party gained six of the 76 seats with seven left to declare.
Overall, the election was one of the closest in Australian history. At the time of publication, with seven house of representative (like the house of commons) seats yet to declare and 76 needed for a majority, the centre right coalition had 74 seats while the Labour Party had just 71.
It is thought that the centre-right coalition will be able to govern with a tiny majority in the house of representatives, which will give the Green Party and the smaller parties a lot of power over any government proposals which divide the ruling coalition.
In the senate, it is highly unlikely that any party will have a majority so the Green Party’s senators could have significant power.