The Senate class of 2013

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Maria Rae

Election Watch project officer
PhD student, School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Melbourne

This year's vote for the Senate has thrown up some particularly unusual candidates, who may win a seat on preferences despite picking up only a fraction of the vote.


Here are some of the candidates who may have picked up your vote through preference deals.


Senator Bio
David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democratic Party)
The pro-gun libertarian was a member of Young Labor, and worked on the "It's Time" campaign to help end military conscription. He then joined the Liberal Party, but resigned following John Howard's crackdown on guns. He has also been a member of the Shooters Party and Outdoor Recreation Party. A former vet, he owns an agribusiness consulting company in Sydney. Leyonhjelm admits the party may have won victory thanks to donkey votes cast in his number one spot on the ballot paper or those mistaking it for the Liberal Party.
Zed Seselja (LIB)
Was Opposition Leader in the ACT Legislative Assembly where he served for eight year. Born in Canberra’s south to Croatian immigrant parents, he has also been a senior lawyer in the public service.
Nova Peris (ALP)
First indigenous woman elected to the Australian Parliament. She has also won Olympic gold for women's hockey and athletics. Her candidacy as a prime ministerial "captain's pick" attracted criticism. 
Glenn Lazarus (Palmer United Party)
Former rugby league star nicknamed "the brick with eyes". Lazarus made history as the only player to win three grand finals for three different clubs.



Chris Ketter (ALP)
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Former secretary of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association from the Right. 
James McGrath (LIB)
Long-time political campaigning star. Was campaign director for the Queensland Liberal National Party and the Northern Territory Country Liberals in their successful election campaigns in 2012. He has also worked on the Boris Johnson mayoral campaign in London and the presidential elections in the Maldives. 
Matthew Canavan (LIB)
Was Barnaby Joyce's chief of staff before the 2010 election. Has also worked at the Productivity Commission as a Director.
Bob Day (Family First)
Is an Adelaide businessman and founder of  home building companies.  A former Liberal he joined Family First in 2008 and has contested several elections. He is an officer of the Order of Australia.
Jacqui Lambie (Palmer United Party)
A former soldier who lives in the north-west city of Burnie. She worked for the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is off to a fighting start, telling Tony Abbott: "I won't back down".
Ricky Muir (Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party)
A former sawmiller who is currently unemployed and lives in Denison. He is a four-wheel-drive enthusiast who opposes anti-hoon legislation. Muir has attracted attention for social media clips of him throwing kangaroo poo and comments about George Bush being responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks. 
Janet Rice (Greens)
A former climate scientist, councillor, mayor, transport planner and environment campaigner. 
Joe Bullock (ALP)
Former state secretary of the Shop Assistant's Union from the Right.

Linda Reynolds (LIB)
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Was chief-of-staff to former Senator Chris Ellison,  deputy federal director of the Liberal Party, and an adjutant-general with the Australian Army.
Wayne Dropulich (Australian Sports Party)
A civil engineer in the mining industry from Perth running on a platform of healthy living through sports.