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Federal Politics 2013-

Feb 18, 2014

High Court paves way for fresh WA Senate election

A return to the polls for Western Australian voters now looks all but certain, following a High Court ruling in favour of the Australian Electoral Commission's position on the disputed Senate count.

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The High Court has just ruled that made a ruling that very likely means a fresh Senate election for Western Australia, having concurred with the Australian Electoral Commission that those whose ballot papers were lost were prevented from voting, and that it will not do to try and ascertain their intentions by looking at the results of earlier counts. We will know in greater detail what the court has in mind on Thursday. From a report that The West Australian obviously had ready to go:

It is understood Prime Minister Tony Abbott will have responsibility for setting the election date.

With the Constitution setting a minimum 33 days for an election campaign, March 29 looms as the earliest date Mr Abbott could call the poll.

Complicating the choice of dates is the need to avoid a clash with the Easter school holidays, which run from April 12 to April 27.

Delaying the election to May would also put the campaign period into the run up to the Federal Budget, when the Government is expected to make a raft of swingeing and unpopular cuts.

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