Green and independent MPs hold sway as Australia election ends in deadlock

A Green Party MP and four independents could decide the outcome of Australia's tightest election in a generation.

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard

Voters failed to back the ruling Labour party in sufficient numbers and more people than expected came out to back the Conservative Liberal coalition.

This has left labour's UK born leader, Julia Gillard, and opposition chief Tony Abbott desperately trying to woo independents today (August 23) to give them an outright majority.

Miss Gillard is reported to have met with Green MP, Adam Bandt, in person and spoken with the four independents on the phone.

She looks the most likely to be able to form a government, although Australia appears likely to face several days of talks - in a similar result to the UK's election.

The Green praised voters saying it was the 'biggest vote' for a third party since the Second World War.

The Greens will return to federal parliament with eight, or possibly nine, senators and the House of Representatives seat of Melbourne, Australian Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said today.

"We have achieved balance of power in the Senate and will use that power responsibly for good and progressive outcomes for the people of Australia.

"Regardless of which party forms government, we will work with them using the huge experience we have with balance of power politics.

"We will also work with the Independents in the House of Representatives to progress important initiatives for Australia including a national gross feed in tariff and stronger biosecurity and quarantine regimes.

"In Tasmania one in five people voted for the Greens in the Senate delivering 20.2% of the vote, up on 18.7% in 2007.

"I am very grateful for the confidence that Tasmanians have placed in me and the Greens team and humbled by the overwhelming record show of support.

"Tasmanians know that the Greens are playing a leading role in driving action on climate change and are excited about what we offer for rural and regional communities whether it's our vision of a food security plan for Australia, renewable energy, or uses for the National Broadband Network, or increased funding for dental and mental health and public education."

Luke Walsh


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