Micro parties undeterred in Western Australia despite Senate polling changes

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Senate voting changes appear to have had little impact on the number of micro parties running in Western Australia, with only a small reduction in the number seeking a spot in Federal Parliament’s upper house.

Twenty-eight groups of candidates will be vying for a share of the 12 available Senate spots representing WA, a slight reduction on the 33 group tickets which ran in the special 2014 election.

There are also six “ungrouped” candidates, including four independents, running in WA.

The long list of candidates comes despite the Federal Government’s Senate voting reforms, making it much harder for micro parties to be successful.

The changes were implemented in the wake of a rise of micro party candidates being elected despite receiving only small percentages of the vote.

Election analyst William Bowe said the reduced prospects of success had not deterred candidates from running in WA.

“Perhaps they haven’t yet adapted to the reality that the new system isn’t favourable to them as they are used to,” Mr Bowe said.

“I guess micro parties want to test the waters, they are not willing to just throw away all the work they have done in getting prepared for the election.

“No one really knows how the new environment is going to play out or the extent to which micro parties are going to be disadvantaged.”

WA’s 2016 Senate ballot paper has a very different look to that of the special 2014 election.

Of the 33 groups or parties which contested the 2014 election, only 16 are running this time.

Among the parties running in WA in 2016 but not seen in 2014 are some high-profile names, such as the Nick Xenophon Team, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party.

There are also several new micro parties such as Mature Australia, The Arts Party, the Australian Cyclists Party and the Health Australia Party.

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