Federal election 2016: Charles Sturt University experts provide post-election commentary

Charles Sturt University's Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan

Charles Sturt University's Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan

THE parliament needs to learn how to work with the will of the people, a political science academic says.

Charles Sturt University Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan says that’s a lesson to be taken away from the weekend’s election.

The election has delivered no clear result days after voters went to the polls.

“People are divided,” Professor O’Sullivan said about voters.

“I think there was perhaps a lot of dissatisfaction with the government but there was not quite enough confidence in the ALP to put it back into office.”

It is now a matter of waiting.

“Turnbull is starting to talk to independents and the Xenophon team,” he said.

“It is a sign that perhaps he is worried he is not going to get to 76.

“I think the ALP has probably accepted it is just too far off the number of 76.”

If neither Coalition nor Labor wins 76 seats, alliances are needed with crossbenchers to get over the line.

Professor O’Sullivan believes the chances of going back to the polls are fairly slim.

“This is the parliament the people have elected and I think every member has a responsibility to try to make it work,” he said.

“They will take that very seriously.”

Professor O'Sullivan said national opinion polls predicted the outcome of the election but there was inconsistency with some of the smaller polls.

Meanwhile, Professor O'Sullivan noted that while the new Senate's full constitution was not yet known, it was clear the double dissolution was a miscalculation.

“I think it is a far more difficult Senate to work with than the previous one,” he said.

Meanwhile, CSU constitutional law expert Dr Bede Harris said large numbers of voters turned away from the major parties indicating profound disenchantment with the way politics was conducted in Australia.

“It shows that voters are no longer swayed by the major parties' self-interested appeals to stability,” Dr Harris said.

Dr Harris called for a change to the voting system.

He said nearly a quarter voted for minor parties, but that was not reflected in their allocation of lower house seats.

This story Experts analyse election first appeared on Port Macquarie News.


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