Conservatives more likely to cross the floor

Until the WA senate election is finalised, the Abbott Government will not know the final makeup of the Senate. Peter Hartcher reports that it is expected to need the support of six or seven crossbenchers to pass any bills opposed by Labor and the Greens. And it’s not just the opposition parties that might create difficulties: “In the 54 years from 1950 to 2004, 245 members and senators crossed the floor to vote against their own party, or 24 per cent of the parliamentarians who served, according to the parliamentary library. … The vast majority of these 245—nine out of ten—were conservatives.”