Though it remains unclear whether the Coalition will be able to form government, the Australian Financial Review has this morning reported that ACT Liberals Senator Zed Seselja is one of two names most mentioned by fellow conservative MPs as a potential for promotion to Malcolm Turnbull’s ministry and described him as a “rising star” among the conservatives in the Liberal Party (actually they said rising start, but we knew what they meant).
Senator Seselja has not reached the quota required to be re-elected and the Greens have yet to officially concede, but Senator Seselja is expected to take the ACT’s second seat when the count resumes on Tuesday. He is currently sitting on 0.9557 of a quota with Labor Senator Katy Gallagher on 1.1458 and the Greens on 0.5106. Senator Gallagher has won with increased majority.
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In the House of Representatives, all three of Labor’s Canberra and region candidates were victorious, with Gai Brodtmann returned with an increased majority in Canberra, Andrew Leigh back with a swing towards him also, and bellwether veteran Mike Kelly (pictured below) winning Eden-Monaro resoundingly after a term watching Peter Hendy from the sidelines during the last Parliament.
There will be no further results to report until tomorrow, when counting continues.
In the Financial Review article, under the headline ‘Abbott’s forces demand a greater role’, Philip Coorey has this to say on Senator Seselja’s front bench prospects:
“Mr Turnbull will be under extreme pressure to at least fill the vacancies with conservatives. Rising starts [sic] like ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and Victorian MP Michael Sukkar are the names most mentioned among conservatives.”
FROM THE TALLY ROOM