Ousted Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has not given up hope of winning back his West Australian seat, confirming he has appealed the Australian Electoral Commission’s decision to refuse his requests for a recount. “I think there’s a question of natural justice here,” Senator Ludlam told ABC radio on Friday. “The AEC should automatically support a recount as they do in the House [when fewer than 100 votes separate candidates].” On Friday morning, the AEC decided to postpone the declaration of the WA Senate poll until further notice, in light of Senator Ludlam’s appeal. The declaration had been due to take place at 1.30pm AEST on Friday. A senate result recount, which hasn’t occurred since the 1980 federal election, is estimated to cost $1 million.
After losing an extremely tight WA race, Senator Ludlam had asked the AEC for a partial recount. Senator Ludlam lost out when the Shooters and Fishers party claimed a 14-vote margin over the Australian Christians, at what the Greens described as “a crucial choke point” in the count.
Given the way in which preferences flowed, Senator Ludlam would have needed only eight more votes to keep his seat.
The Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich had also requested a full recount after failing to scoop a Senate seat off the back of preference deals.
But the AEC said the requests did not identify any specific issues that would have warranted a recount.
“As a result, the requests have been denied,” the commission said in a statement.