Lisa Singh Scores Upset In Tasmania As Greens Nab Two Senate Spots


In a double-win for progressive voters, Labor Senator Lisa Singh has produced an improbable victory in Tasmania, while the Greens have scraped home to claim a second spot in the state.

Singh, who has been outspoken on issues including the treatment of refugees, was controversially demoted to sixth spot on her party’s senate ticket, in a move that was expected to bring her career to an end.

But after staging a prominent campaign, Singh managed to secure enough support from people voting below the line to bump her above two of those listed ahead of her.

Today, the Australian Electoral Commission confirmed the final result in Tasmania, with Singh taking 10th spot, putting her ahead of fellow ALP candidate John Short, and even edging out Catryna Bilyk, who had been placed fourth on Labor’s ticket.

At the time of her demotion, Singh appeared to blame factional disputes and “backroom deals”.

Singh was one of four Labor MPs who publicly called for a reconsideration of offshore processing in the wake of the PNG Supreme Court decision. Two of the other four – Melissa Parke and Jill Hall – retired at the election. While the faceless men of the ALP’s Tasmanian branch might be a little red in the face, the result will be a relief for Greens’ leader Richard Di Natale. There has been disquiet in the party after the mixed results across the country but the AEC today confirmed the Greens will again have two Senators returned from the state, with Nick McKim the last person to be elected. Kevin Bonham, a Tasmanian based psephologist, tweeted that McKim edged out the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party candidate by only a tiny margin.

That means that Labor has claimed a cool five senators, with the Liberals taking four, the Greens two and Jacqui Lambie rounding out the numbers. The full result was as follows:

1 ABETZ, Eric Liberal
2 URQUHART, Anne Australian Labor Party
3 WHISH-WILSON, Peter The Greens
4 LAMBIE, Jacqui Jacqui Lambie Network
5 PARRY, Stephen Liberal
6 POLLEY, Helen Australian Labor Party
7 DUNIAM, Jonathon Liberal
8 BROWN, Carol Australian Labor Party
9 BUSHBY, David Liberal
10 SINGH, Lisa Australian Labor Party
11 BILYK, Catryna Australian Labor Party
12 McKIM, Nick The Greens


Just as Labor had been forced to deal with Singh’s refusal to go down without a fight, the Liberal party had seen an insurgency from former Minister Richard Colbeck. Unlike Singh, his efforts to outdo fellow party members higher on the ticket failed to see him returned.

Max Chalmers is a former New Matilda journalist and editorial staff member. His main areas of interest are asylum seekers, higher education and politics.