'It's bulls***': Why Scott Morrison is wrong about a hung parliament

If the polls are to be believed, Scott Morrison faces an uphill battle to be returned as prime minister in a majority government.

With a number of strong independent candidates challenging the government in various seats, the spectre of a possible hung parliament at this Federal Election looms. It's an outcome the PM has vigorously tried to convince voters would mean "instability and chaos" in the parliament.

Former Liberal leader John Hewson has rubbished the "desperate" assertion, telling Yahoo News Australia Mr Morrison's claims are "bulls***".

Some political experts argue a hung parliament – where neither major party has a majority, and a cross bench made up of independents and politicians from minor parties hold the balance of power – would actually be good for the fair functioning of the country's democracy.

Scott Morrison says a hung parliament would be chaotic. Experts disagree.
Mr Morrison's predecessor has rubbished his claims about a hung parliament. Source: AAP

Former Liberal leader John Hewson, who led the party from 1990 to 1994, says Mr Morrison's assertion that a hung parliament is a "recipe for chaos and uncertainty" is wrong.

"I think it’s nonsense. It’s bulls***".

"What's been more unstable than the coalition the Liberals have had with the Nationals? Letting Barnaby Joyce run the climate policy – that was chaotic," he told Yahoo.

"And both major parties in government have replaced sitting prime ministers ... so we've seen chaos before, I don't think having independents who are going to stand for better government are going to be chaotic.

"They may make it more difficult for those in government to push through legislation, that is not in the national interest."

Mr Hewson pointed to the likes of independent Helen Haines for the Victorian seat of Indi who tabled a bill in parliament for an independent integrity commission for federal politics in defiance of the government's model, which Mr Hewson described as "an insult" and a "protection racket for ministers and staff".

While the government ultimately snuffed the bill out, it did see one of its own MPs cross the floor to support it.

A hung parliament 'could lead to better outcomes'

Mr Hewson said the "scare campaign" about a hung parliament by the party he once led "has no basis" in fact.

Dr Ron Levy, an expert in hung parliaments from the Australian National University, largely agrees.

A hung parliament would "not necessarily be a bad thing," he told Yahoo News Australia.

"It's meant to be a deliberative body," he said of parliament.

"When you’ve got a party that’s in charge with more than half the seats, there’s not that much point to the deliberation.

"There is some value to stability, if you’re in the middle of a crisis… in the middle of a world War. But that can be overstated.

"It could be that talking things through in parliament can lead to better outcomes."

While the Coalition between the Liberals and Nationals is ultimately the product of a hung parliament, the last time a hung parliament happened at the federal level was in 2010 when Julia Gillard led a Labor minority government.

Analysis done by The Guardian showed that particular parliament actually had a better success rate in passing legislation than the Morrison government.

It also never lost a vote on the floor of the parliament, which the current government cannot boast.

One of the independents who made the famous deal to back Ms Gillard to form government back in 2010, Tony Windsor, told Yahoo News Australia earlier this year that he believed the election would result in either "a hung parliament or majority Labor [government].

"I think more and more people are realising that Morrison’s not the man for the job."

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