Greens WA senator Scott Ludlam is expected to find out mid-week whether his bid for a recount of senate votes is successful.
Senator Ludlum has appealed against last week’s refusal by the Australian Electoral Commission to grant his request for a partial recount.
Canberra-based electoral commissioner Ed Killesteyn is still considering the request and an AEC spokesman said a decision is expected on Wednesday, although it could even come a day earlier.
A wafer-thin 14-vote difference between micro-parties, the Shooters and Fishers Party and Australian Christians, and preference distributions handed Senator Ludlam’s Senate seat to the fledgling Palmer United Party.
With such a tight result, it was important that the votes were scrutinised so human error could be ruled out, Senator Ludlam said.
He pointed out that the AEC had a policy of automatically recounting votes for the House of Representatives where the difference between candidates was less than 100 votes, but not so for the Senate.
He said the last time there was a Senate vote recount, following the 1980 election, Liberal Noel Chrichton-Browne was found to have been elected with a lead of 214 votes, but following a recount, the margin was 560 votes.“The difference of 346 votes was considerably greater than the 14 votes in contention at the critical point of this count,” Senator Ludlam said in his appeal.