Back to top

Stinging nettle

Kerry Nettle's defeat in the New South Wales senate race is one of the disappointments of this federal election. She was squeezed out by the major parties who between them seem certain to claim all six NSW senate seats. It represents remarkable good luck for Ursula Stephens, who was booted down to number three on the Labor ticket. Her return represents a nett gain of one NSW senator for the ALP at the Greens' expense.

Senator Nettle claimed her place in the pantheon of Australian political history when she was ejected from a special joint sitting of Parliament in 2003 for heckling the guest speaker, a Mr GW Bush of Crawford, Texas. On 1 July 2008 she becomes an ex-senator at the age of 34.

Nationally, the Greens appear set for a nett increase of one, with gains likely in South Australia and Western Australia. This, however, does not offset the eradication of the Democrats, losing all four spots, two to retirement and two (Andrew Bartlett and Lyn Allison) to electoral defeat.

Adelaide showpony Nick Xenophon has breezed into the next Senate on a No Poker Machines platform. Family First had minimal impact in this election, and unless they can forge an alliance with the Fred Nile Big Band, they will vanish when Steve Fielding's term expires in 2011.