The Greens are not expecting a quick answer to whether Western Australia will have to go back to the polls after the senate count bungle.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam says it could be weeks, not days, until West Australians are told whether they will have to go back to the polls.
High Court Justice Kenneth Hayne is deliberating on submissions from candidates with the highest number of votes in the first count of WA’s Senate ballot, the senators elected in the recount and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
Justice Hayne reserved his judgment on Thursday, with some believing the result of the case could be known as early as Monday.
But Senator Ludlam, who won his seat after the recount – which also uncovered that 1370 votes were missing – said he was not expecting to know that soon.
“Everyone is probably going to have to wait a few more weeks to see what the High Court decides, but we in the Greens will be ready,” Senator Ludlam said.
“And it will be a very severe test of the prime minister and indeed the premier, who are equally unpopular for very similar reasons.”
The AEC is calling for the entire Senate election in WA to be declared void and held again.
One of its arguments is that 1370 voters whose ballots were lost in between the initial count scrutiny and a recount – which was requested, rejected, then granted upon appeal – have been denied the chance to vote.
Senator Ludlam said he would relish the chance to debate WA politics with a national spotlight.
“If there is a by-election in WA it will be the first one in the history of the Commonwealth, and here in the west we are used to seeing federal politics filtered through the lens of western Sydney and southeast Queensland,” Senator Ludlam said.
“The opportunity see federal politics through the lens of WA, and the issues of this state, is something I would look forward to.”