Twitter is abuzz with the news that the Greens’ Simon Sheikh is conceding he’s been beaten for the second Senate seat on the back of Animal Justice Party preferences to the Liberals.
We hope that Senator Seselja will make efforts to broaden his base over the next three years.
UPDATE: The ABC has a report:
While the final outcome will not be formally announced until Tuesday, Mr Sheikh has now conceded.
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Mr Sheikh says it was always going to be a tough battle.
“We’re very proud of the fact that we focused on the Liberal Party and trying to win that seat, and the results have been very positive despite the fact that we haven’t gotten over the line,” he said.
Further Update: Simon’s sent out this email to supporters:
A few minutes ago I rang Zed Seselja and Kate Lundy to congratulate them on their election to the Senate as our ACT representatives. While the counting won’t finish until next Tuesday, it is now clear that with the Animal Justice Party preferencing the Liberals, it isn’t possible for us to overtake Mr Seselja.
I wanted you to be the first to know because this campaign was your campaign. I’ll be making a statement to the media later this afternoon where I’ll be making one simple point: as Greens volunteers you have much to be proud of.
Even though all around the country there was a swing towards the Liberals, here in Canberra we saw the Liberal vote decrease. Zed Seselja has not achieved the ‘quota’ he needed to win the seat in his own right, and instead will need to rely on preferences to win.
In the areas of Canberra where we door knocked and focussed our efforts, there was an even larger swing against the Liberals. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is thanks to your efforts.
I know that many of you will be disappointed in this outcome but I take solace in the knowledge that we had no other choice but to work as hard as we did. Had we been successful, adding an extra Greens Senator would have put us in a stronger position in the Senate to protect the carbon price and other policies that we’ve fought so hard for.
The first pages of the story of the Abbott Government may have been written but the last few haven’t. I hope you’ll continue to campaign on the issues that brought us together because, as we all know, our politicians will only ever soar as high as we demand.
Anna and I are looking forward to continuing to be a part of the formidable ACT Greens team that you have built and I hope we’ll be able to count on your support again in the future.
With deepest thanks,
PS: I know many of you will want to stay involved in building a more caring Australia, even though the election is over. We’re holding a special event for Greens supporters next Thursday October 3rd to talk about what campaigns we can run over the next 2 years, and to make sure Abbott doesn’t roll back everything we’ve fought so hard for. I’d love to see you there. You can RSVP here: http://www.simonsheikh.com/next_steps