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Senate path becomes clearer for Turnbull

AAP logoAAP 3/08/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Malcolm Turnbull will have the option of doing deals with Labor, a bloc of nine Greens or a mishmash of crossbenchers to pass laws through the new Senate.

The coalition appears on track to hold 30 seats in the Senate, after the final result in Victoria delivered the government five senators.

Labor is expected to hold 26 Senate seats, having won four in Victoria at the determination of the ballot on Wednesday.

With the Greens holding two seats in Victoria, the minor party appears set to hold nine in total - pending the result of the Queensland and NSW counts over the next two days.

The government will require nine votes to get motions and laws passed, meaning the Greens will play a decisive role in the 45th parliament.

Broadcaster Derryn Hinch will sit on the crossbench, having been elected in Victoria on a platform of tougher sentences for violent crime and voluntary euthanasia.

However, the election delivered the final blow to Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party's Ricky Muir's term and that of John Madigan, who initially stood for the Democratic Labour Party but quit the party in 2014 to sit as an independent.

Mr Muir said he did not regret allowing the government to have a double dissolution trigger.

"It has been a roller coaster ride one could never forget and one I will never regret," he said in a statement.

The Nick Xenophon Team will have three South Australian senators, while independent Jacqui Lambie held on to her Tasmanian seat, Family First's Bob Day retained his SA seat and Pauline Hanson will likely enter the Senate with two One Nation colleagues.

The government has begun talks with the crossbenchers, with Treasurer Scott Morrison visiting Adelaide on Wednesday to discuss the budget and other priorities with Senator Xenophon.

Mr Turnbull will meet with Labor leader Bill Shorten in Sydney on Thursday to discuss the same-sex marriage plebiscite and the indigenous recognition referendum.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the changes to the Senate voting system and double dissolution election had backfired for the government and the Greens.

"The Greens have fewer senators now than they had before. The coalition has fewer senators now than they had before and we've seen not just people like Derryn Hinch elected but Pauline Hanson has been revived," he said.

"There will be a larger crossbench in this parliament than there was in the last."

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