News Election 2019 Senate position improves for Coalition as figures show it could fall just four votes short of a majority
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Senate position improves for Coalition as figures show it could fall just four votes short of a majority

The Coalition will need four extra votes to pass laws and motions, having won 35 Senate seats. Photo: AAP
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Scott Morrison may only need four of six crossbench senators on side to get his laws through the new parliament as vote counting continues following the federal election.

Forty seats in the Senate were up for grabs at the election.

Initial counting suggested the Liberal-National coalition would hold 34 seats in the new Senate to start on July 1, requiring the government to find an extra five votes to pass laws.

But updated figures on Friday show this could be 35 out 76, with the coalition picking up a fourth senator in Queensland at the expense of Labor.

This would lead to a Senate of 35 coalition, 26 Labor, nine Greens and six others – Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts (One Nation), Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance), Cory Bernardi (Australian Conservatives) and Jacqui Lambie (Tasmania).

This is down from a crossbench of 10 in the existing Senate which ends on June 30.

Meanwhile, in the lower house three seats remain close as vote counting continues.

Under Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the government looks set to have 78 seats in the House of Representatives with Labor on 67 and six crossbenchers.

Liberal candidate for Bass, Bridget Archer, sits on 50.4 per cent of the two-party vote in her electorate – 561 votes ahead of incumbent Labor MP Ross Hart.

The Liberals’ Sarah Richards is ahead of Labor MP Susan Templeman in Macquarie, with the AEC website showing a 129 vote gap.

Labor candidate Anika Wells, who is seeking to replaced retired former treasurer Wayne Swan in the Brisbane seat of Lilley, is ahead of her Liberal National Party rival Brad Carswell with 50.5 per cent of the two-party preferred vote – a margin of 812 votes.

Labor holds just 33.6 per cent of the primary vote to the coalition’s 41.8 per cent, with the Greens securing 9.9 per cent.

The top five safest seats – those with the biggest margins – are Nicholls (Victoria), Riverina (NSW), Scullin (Victoria), Mitchell (NSW) and Maranoa (Queensland).
The most marginal are Macquarie (NSW), Bass (Tasmania), Lilley (Queensland), Cowan (WA) and Chisholm (Victoria).

-AAP