The Australian Electoral Commissioner will go ahead with a Senate recount in Western Australia, providing a fresh avenue of hope for narrowly-defeated Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam.
Ludlam lost his seat on October 2 by just 14 votes. The Greens announced they would appeal the result and requested a recount, which was initially denied by the WA electoral officer.
Commissioner Ed Killesteyn today overturned that decision and said the closeness of the count in question, as well as the distribution of Senate preferences, allowed for a recount.
“Having considered candidates’ submissions and having further regard to the criticality of particular Senate candidate exclusion counts and the small margins involved in determining Senators’ elect, I have decided that there should be a recount of all formal Western Australian above-the-line ballots and informal ballots," he said in a statement.
The recount will involve all above the line votes in WA, which make up 96 percent or 1.2 million of all votes cast, and also will re-assess votes previously deemed informal.
Further details are due to arranged by the WA electoral office soon.
Ludlam welcomed the recount, despite his party expressing doubts about the decisions to exclude blow the line ballots.
"We congratulate the AEC for doing what people across the Australian political spectrum have called for and consider reasonable,” Senator Ludlam said.
“With such a marginal result, and a number of anomalies in some batches of the vote, this was the only sensible decision."