Outspoken Tasmanian Jacqui Lambie could return to the Senate depending on a decision by the man slated to replace her.
The controversial independent resigned on Tuesday after it was confirmed by the UK Home Office that she was entitled to British citizenship by descent because her father was born in Scotland.
Next on the Palmer United ticket that elected Ms Lambie was the Mayor of Devonport, Steve Martin.
On Tuesday, Ms Lambie ruled out asking Mr Martin to take up the Senate position and then resign, allowing her to make an immediate return.
However, Mr Martin could decline the position, creating a casual Senate vacancy which would be filled by a nominee of the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN).
Ms Lambie formed the JLN after she became an independent senator.
Mr Martin was said he was weighing up his options and discussing the decision with his family.
“I’ve got two wonderful, beautiful grand-daughters, and I spend a lot of time with them and this will all change, so it’ll be a family decision,” Mr Martin said.
He will announce his decision on Thursday.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said Mr Martin would be elected on a recount.
“If Mr Martin doesn’t want to take that seat he would write to the President of the Senate and say so,” Mr Green said.
“The filling of that vacancy would then become a casual vacancy, where the Jacqui Lambie Network nominates somebody to State Parliament, who then appointments them to the Senate.
“It can be any one of the party, but if Mr Martin doesn’t take the seat, its a nominee of the Jacqui Lambie Network and that could be Jacqui Lambie herself if she wishes to go back into the Senate.”
Mr Green said she would have to resolve her UK citizenship, but having renounced that she was eligible to be in the Parliament again.
Outcome possible by year’s end
“The recount should be done before the end of the year,” he said.
“It should be possible to complete the High Court hearing and the recount before the end of the year then it would take a new sitting of the Senate for anyone to be sworn in,” Mr Green said.
“If there was a resignation requiring a casual vacancy to be filled than it could be complicated by the state parliament not sitting and the issues surrounding the state election being held in the new year.”
“Once the Parliament is prorogued it would be possible for the Governor in Council to appoint [a new senator].”