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The New "Gridlocked" Senate Now Has Record 11 Crossbenchers

The results are in!

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The Australian Electoral Commission has declared the final election results in the Senate, nearly a month after Australia went to the polls.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

The Coalition are three seats worse off than they were before the election, with a total of 30.

Labor has gained one seat for a total of 26, and the Greens have lost one seat and now hold nine. This gives the Greens the balance of power, meaning they can directly negotiate with the government to pass bills without the help of Labor.

One Nation picked up two seats in Queensland (Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts), one in New South Wales (Brian Burston) and one in Western Australia (Rodney Culleton).

Nick Xenophon has grown his senate team by two: picking up South Australian seats for Skye Kakoschke-Moore and Stirling Griff.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm, Family First's Bob Day and Tasmanian Jacqui Lambie from the previous "feral" senate have all won their seats back.

Former broadcaster and self proclaimed "human headline" Derryn Hinch has secured the final seat in Victoria.

The crossbench has expanded from eight to 11 members, from six parties: One Nation (four), Nick Xenophon Team (three), and Family First, Liberal Democrats, Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch (all one).

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

One crossbench member has described the new senate makeup as "total gridlock".

The Coalition are nine seats shy of the majority they need to pass legislation.

Full Senate results: Coalition 30 👔 Labor 26 💃🏼 Greens 9 🌿 One Nation 4 🇦🇺 Xenophon 3 ❌ Family First 1 ⛪️ Lambie 1 💁🏻 Hinch 1 🎙 Lib Dems 1 🚬

The government will have three options when negotiating: deal with Labor, deal with the Greens, or win over the support of nine crossbenchers.

With nine seats the Greens hold the balance of power, meaning they can directly negotiate with the government to pass bills without the help of Labor.

Pauline Hanson and Nick Xenophon are now the post powerful crossbenchers, as the government will likely need one of their voting blocks to pass bills.

"The election of two [One Nation] senators from Queensland was completely unexpected," ABC election analyst Antony Green said.

Patrick Riviere / Getty Images

But Green says he'll be surprised if Hanson manages to keep all four senators in the party for a full term.

"One Nation has a very poor record of keeping their senators in the party for a full term. There is only one One Nation member in the lower house of parliament that ever managed to last a full term and get re-elected as a One Nation MP. They have tended to split very quickly," he said.

The question on everybody's lips is can the Australian Building and Construction Commission bill (aka the reason Malcolm Turnbull called a double dissolution election) pass through the new senate?

Hanson told Fairfax she wants a briefing on the bill before making up her mind.

"I will need to have a look at the legislation, talk to all parties and until I have done that I won't make up my mind."

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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