Falling like flies: Senate loses 13 senators since 2016 election

On Tuesday, Labor’s Sam Dastyari??? quit the Senate over revelations about his links to Chinese Community Party-aligned interests in .

As Dastyari packs up his belongings in a cardboard box and heads for the door, he has plenty of company in the Senate’s class of 2016.

Less than 18 months ago, ns went to the polls and elected 76 senators as part of the double dissolution federal election. Since then, no less than 13 senators have quit the upper house, or about 17 per cent of those elected in mid-2016.

Just months after the federal election, Labor powerbroker Stephen Conroy surprised everyone (his colleagues included) by resigning late one night. Even though he had just been re-elected for another six years, Mr Conroy said family reasons were behind his decision to quit. Apart from West n Liberal Chris Back, who left the Senate in mid-2017 (also naming family reasons) and Nick Xenophon, who recently quit to run in the South n state election, none of the other senators (officially) left of their own volition.

Seven senators have been bounced as part of the citizenship debacle that has engulfed Parliament this year, starting with the Greens’ senator Scott Ludlam, then continuing with his colleague, Larissa Waters, Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash, One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, Liberal Senate president Stephen Parry, Jacqui Lambie and Xenophon Team’s Skye Kakoschke-Moore. And that’s not to mention Liberal Hollie Hughes, who had been expected to replace Nash but was ruled ineligible by the High Court before she could even be sworn in.

The constitution has also claimed two other senators, but not for citizenship reasons.

Family First’s Bob Day quit late last year after his building company collapsed (bankruptcy would have make him ineligible to sit in Parliament). The High Court later ruled his election had been invalid anyway due to a leasing arrangement with his South n electorate office. One Nation senator turned independent Rod Culleton was also ruled ineligible by the High Court, due to a previous conviction for theft.

It is possible, the Senate could lose another member in the new year, with Labor’s Katy Gallagher having been referred to the High Court over dual citizenship issues. Her case is due to be heard for the first time on January 19. Senators who have resigned since the 2016 federal election

Stephen Conroy (Labor)

Bob Day (Family First)

Rod Culleton (One Nation-turned independent)

Scott Ludlam (Greens)

Larissa Waters (Greens)

Chris Back (Liberal)

Nick Xenophon (Nick Xenophon Team)

Fiona Nash (Nationals)

Malcolm Roberts (One Nation)

Stephen Parry (Liberal)

Jacqui Lambie (Jacqui Lambie Network)

Skye Kakoschke-Moore (Nick Xenophon Team)

Sam Dastyari (Labor)

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