By Andrew Bolt ~
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull looks like falling a couple of seats short of majority government and is even in danger of losing office.
Alan RM Jones crunches the numbers:
Looking at the 13 in-doubt seats this hour, the Libs lead in 8, Labor leads in 5. Labor are likely to hold their leads in Capricornia (991), Cowan (959), and Herbert (1084). The Coalition are likely to hold their leads in Dickson (1158), Grey (1109), La Trobe (1306), Petrie (1305) and Robertson (1183). They could claw back Labor’s lead in Forde (150) and Hindmarsh (432, up from 380 a couple of hours ago). But likewise, the Libs are still vulnerable in Chisholm (66), Dunkley (438) and Gilmore (405).
If those seats don’t shift in the postal counting, Labor will have 72 seats and the Coalition will take 73 out of 76 seats needed to govern in their own right. The Coalition could get to 75, but likely not more than 74 seats.
So it’s minority government and a Star Wars bar scene in the Senate.
But if Turnbull does win only 73 seats, he is still three MPs short. So which three independents could he get to prop him up?
The choices are grim:
Adam Bandt, the Greens – extreme Left, anti off-shore detention and the return of the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Andrew Wilkie, independent – Left, anti off-shore detention of boat people.
Cathy McGowan, independent – Left.
Rebekha Sharkie, Nick Xenophon party – centre Left, more industry handouts.
Bob Katter, independent – erratic agrarian socialist. More money for plenty of stuff.
In fact, many on this list could find it much easier to support Labor instead. So if Turnbull wins only 73 seats, he could well lose government and be out of Parliament by Christmas.
Turnbull really needs to win at least 74 seats to be reasonably safe, relying on the support of just two crossbench MPs – probably Katter and one other, probably either Sharkie or McGowan.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.