As the election count continues it seems unlikely the Greens can seize the balance of power in the Legislative Council, with that falling instead to the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Christian Democrats.
On the surface it looks grim — Greens with the balance would have forced serious debate on reforming the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. That debate is now unlikely to begin for another three years, while actual reform could be a decade away.
A better outcome for our community would have been a Coalition majority in both houses and no need to deal with Fred Nile.
But in terms of public support for the Christian Democrats, this has not been a victory election. All Nile has succeeded in doing is winning back the seat he lost when Gordon Moyes defected to form Family First NSW, and his party’s high-profile campaign against our community in Sydney seems to have backfired.
The party lost more than a quarter of the Upper House vote it gained at the 2007 election while Sydney candidate Peter Madden received fewer votes than the informal vote in Sydney.
At the time of writing, it seems unlikely the Greens will break through into the Legislative Assembly either. For many, this will be a disappointment as having a party already united in its support for our rights in both houses would have been a great step forward. But it should also be of consolation that our most public allies in the ALP — Carmel Tebbutt, Verity Firth and Penny Sharpe — all look set to return to Parliament.
But it was not all bad for the Greens, who are now the main opposition in close to 15 seats across the state.
But what does it say about the state of our democracy when one party (the Nationals) can get 13 percent of the vote and win 18 seats and another (the Greens) can get 10 percent of the vote and win none — leaving one in 10 voters in NSW without a representative of their party of choice in the Legislative Assembly?
Election night saw another great step forward in the Liberals gaining their first openly gay MP in Bruce Notley-Smith during an election where the party had made its biggest effort ever to engage with our community.
In Sydney, Adrian Bartels has reduced Clover Moore’s margin to 4 percent — another impressive result for an openly gay Liberal.
The quicker the Liberals realise that being gay-friendly is a vote-winner, not a vote-loser, the quicker they will change tack on our issues and open up to granting us the final equality we really want.