With a number of seats still to be decided it is unclear whether Labor or the Liberals will be able to form government with the help of independents in what looks certain to be a hung parliament.
To form Government one of the major parties must win the support of enough Greens and independents to make up 76 seats.
The Greens new Member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt will most likely support Labor forming government.
Of the three rural independents, Bob Katter has usually voted with the Coalition and is the least likely to support Labor getting a second term.
In the last parliament independent Rob Oakeshott mostly sided with the Government, while fellow independent Tony Windsor voted more evenly- but still more with the Government than with the Coalition.
In Labor’s favour is Windsor and Oakeshott’s expressed preference for the ALP’s National Broadband Network, and Windsor is on the record agreeing with the Greens on the need for a publicly funded national dental scheme.
All three will be trying to win concessions for regional Australia from the major parties.
In addition to the three rural independents, Tasmanian independent and former Green, Andrew Wilkie, looks set to take the seat of Dennison.
While Wilkie and the Greens had a political falling out following the 2007 Federal Election, he remains largely supportive of their social agenda (including being a vocal advocate of marriage equality) and they may well be able to mend their bridges in the Parliament.
Although unlikely to effect who forms government there is still an outside chance of a second Greens MP being elected in Grayndler, where a recount will be held after former Marrickville Mayor Sam Byrne came within striking distance of ousting Labor’s Anthony Albanese.
It was a good election for parliamentary GLBTI rights allies, with Tanya Plibersek returned on the Labor side in Sydney despite a swing to the Greens, and Liberal Malcolm Turnbull being easily returned in Wentworth.
Most excitingly though, the Coalition’s most outspoken gay rights supporter, far north Queensland Liberal National Party MP Warren Entsch, has won back his seat of Leichhardt after coming out of retirement.
Entsch famously spoke out against his government’s same-sex marriage ban in the Parliament in 2004.
In the Senate, all the Greens dreams have finally come true, with the party gaining an outright balance of power and seeing a near doubling in the number of their senators.
Family First Senator Steve Fielding failed to be re-elected, while the new composition of the Senate will make independent Senator Nick Xenophon’s presence largely irrelevant even though another independent senator may be joining him on the cross benches.
Preference votes in the Senate will take at least a week to sort out but ABC Elections analyst Anthony Green is predicting nine Greens, two independents, 31 ALP, and 34 Coalition senators.
39 votes are required for a bill to pass the Senate.