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Final election result to be declared


The final make-up of the 47th parliament will be known tomorrow following the declaration of the May 21 election result in the last of 151 lower house seats.

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Melbourne-based Cooper will be the final seat to be formally declared by the Australian Electoral Commission.

It is expected the result in the House of Representatives will be Labor holding 77 seats to the coalition’s 58, with 10 independents, four Greens, and the Centre Alliance and Katter’s Australian Party having one seat each.

But the prime minister will need to engage in careful negotiation during the parliamentary term, Monash University political scientist Zareh Ghazarian told AAP.

With the government’s slim majority in the lower house, party management will be key to ensuring everyone is on the same legislative page.

“It only takes one or two disgruntled MPs to cross the floor and derail a vote,” Ghazarian said.

“Managing the parliament will be about careful negotiation and everyone in the Labor Party needs to buy in to the party program.”

The large crossbench of 16 MPs is also expected to provide a challenge to the new government, despite not needing its support to pass legislation.

After Albanese ran a campaign on inclusivity and respect, Ghazarian said voters will take note of how his government approaches parliament.

“Voters showed they are comfortable supporting candidates other than the major parties and that could have long term implications for future elections,” he said.

“If the prime minister is seen to be going against his promise for inclusivity and integrity there is potential for political damage.”

The Senate result was confirmed on Monday.

Labor will have 26 seats in the 76-member upper house, while the coalition opposition will be the largest party with 32 seats.

The government will need to deal with an enlarged Senate crossbench, made up of 12 Greens, two from One Nation, two from the Jacqui Lambie Network, one from the United Australia Party and independent Senator David Pocock.

In order to reach the 39 votes required to pass legislation, Labor would have to team up with the Greens and at least one more crossbencher.

Despite a more straightforward path for the government to enact its legislation compared to its predecessors, Australian National University emeritus professor John Warhurst said there would still be obstacles for the government.

“Labor will still have difficult negotiations with the Greens, but they also have at least the two Jacqui Lambie senators from Tasmania and they are always amenable to discussion,” he said.

“It will vary from issue to issue, but the government certainly has got a way forward as far as getting through the Senate is concerned.”

Victoria’s final Senate seat went to United Australia Party member Ralph Babet, who took the state’s sixth spot from Liberal Greg Mirabella.

While the coalition had the most Senate seats, Warhurst said it was in a difficult position.

The opposition would need the help of the government or the Greens in order to get a majority on the floor for a successful vote on such things as setting up inquiries.

“They will have to play their cards very carefully. Maybe it will mean they will reach out to the Greens or even to Labor in some instances,” he said.

The 47th parliament will open on July 26, which will be the start of the first fortnight of sittings.

Parliament will return for two weeks in September, before the budget is handed down on October 25.

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