New Australian independents could form federal government this election
This is the critical moment for Australia’s major parties as the election campaign passes halfway through.
And there is now a firm belief that there could be a hung parliament on election night, as a new generation of independent politicians are set to make their way, with the latest polls showing that support for the main parties is in freefall.
As election day approaches, it may not just be independents like Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie and Zali Steggall who could win seats in parliament.
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So who are the new independents and what would it take for either major party to gain crucial support to form a government?
Western Australia is a state that could shape the election this time around and there is a chance that barrister Kate Chaney could claim Curtin’s seat in the mining state.
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Ms. Chaney’s grandfather, Fred Chaney, was a cabinet minister in the Menzies government and her uncle Fred Chaney Junior was a former cabinet minister in the Fraser government.
Ms Chaney is backed by Simon Holmes à Court’s Climate 200 group.
“I think we’re seeing something really exciting in our democracy and communities across Australia standing up and seeing that we can actually do better than this,” Ms Chaney said. A topical matter.
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“Neither side is doing enough on the climate and that’s reflected in the global surveys that continually put Australia at the bottom of the pile.”
Curtin is currently held by Celia Hammond by a margin of almost 14%, but the Greens are encouraging their supporters to favor Ms Chaney to send a clear message that climate action is a priority.
“We need to prioritize the opportunities that decarbonization presents,” Ms. Chaney said.
In Melbourne, the assault on the once secure Liberal safe seats continued with former ABC journalist Zoe Daniel taking on Tim Wilson for Goldstein’s seat.
“I think those who support me know that … maybe a crop of sensible independents can change something for the better in this country,” Ms Daniel said.
Ms. Daniel is also supported by the Climate 200 group.
New South Wales
In Sydney there is a two-pronged independent attack on the Liberal seats with Kylea Tink with a shot to dislodge Trent Zimmerman in North Sydney, while Allegra Spender’s stance on climate action could see Dave Sharma kicked out of the seat prized by Wentworth.
“Dave Sharma was three years old, you know, but we have Tony Abbott’s climate goals for 2030,” Ms Spender said.
“We don’t have a federal ICAC, which is a constant issue for me in the community.
“I think he just doesn’t have influence in his party.”
The seat has been in Liberal hands since 1901 – except for seven months – and Mr Sharma holds it by a very slim margin of 1.3%.
The strong independent push in liberal metro areas means the government could emerge with a larger cross-bench after election night and the country could see a repeat of the 17-day negotiation that took place between the independents and the Greens with Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott in 2010.
Former independent Rob Oakeshott was in the thick of it in 2010. He held the nation in suspense in a 17-minute speech before finally backing Julia Gillard and Labor in a minority government.
‘I’m very confident that the current group of candidates are hopefully quality MPs,’ Mr Oakeshott said.
South Australian Independent MP Rebekha Sharkie has indicated she will offer the Morrison government the first opportunity to form a government.
But the independents A topical matter spoken play their cards close to their chest.
Queensland Independent Mr Katter offered a tip to any newcomers.
“I made a policy with Tony Abbott and I mean no disrespect to Tony, but I don’t think he intended to keep any of his promises,” Mr Katter said.
“I think Scott Morrison intended (to do it), but he couldn’t.”
Mr Katter said this time around he would put a date on which the promises would be kept.
Mr Wilkie, from Tasmania, said more independent faces could only be positive.
“There must be a real chance of having a power-sharing parliament,” Wilkie said.
“History shows you get a better parliament out of it.”
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