Labor senate candidate Louise Pratt says her party will have to consider whether to change the order of the senate ticket in the event of a court-ordered new election in Western Australia.
Australian Election Commissioner Ed Killesteyn apologised on Monday, admitting there was “a nagging and almost irreconcilable doubt” about the outcome of the WA poll after the loss of 1375 votes.
Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich won senate spots after the recount was called – pushing out Senator Pratt and Palmer United Party’s Zhenya “Dio” Wang.
Senator Pratt had been controversially bumped to Labor’s number two spot on the senate ticket, behind former union powerbroker Joe Bullock.
Confirming she intends to stand again in the event of a fresh election, Senator Pratt said the High Court would have to give parties flexibility over which candidates ran – and in what order – but declined to comment on Labor’s “internal politics”.
“It will be a question for the Labor party to resolve, but it is clearly a different race with a lot more focus,” Senator Pratt told Fairfax radio.
“It would be a very difficult thing to require all candidates to run again because life circumstances change.
“There would have to be some flexibility about what political parties put forward for any prospective ballot. In some situations they would have to (change).”
Senator Pratt believes more voter confusion is also inevitable, if multiple micro-parties run in any new poll.
There are also fears West Australians will be ‘election weary’ if they are forced back to the polls.
Following a state election in March, the federal election and local council elections, a new senate election would be the fourth time in 12 months WA voted – if the Court of Disputed Returns orders a new poll.