The majority voted to agree with the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.

The Senate can now discuss the bill in more detail.

What does this bill do?

The bills digest explains that:

[This bill] constitutes the first response of the Government to the reports of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters from its inquiry into the 2013 Federal Election, particularly in regards to the recommendations to change the Senate voting system. The recommended changes to the Senate electoral system by the Committee followed the election of senators on the basis of very small primary votes, and a perception that the group voting ticket system was being manipulated by some parties to direct preferences in a way that was not consistent with voter expectations.

The bill has three parts:

  • First, it gets rid of group voting tickets and requires citizens voting 'above the line' to allocate at least six preferences so that their vote will only be counted against the candidates they preferenced and won't go to other parties that they didn't vote for at all (note that that the bill has a savings provision "that allow voters who allocate at least one vote above the line to have their ballot paper count as formal and the preferences counted")

  • Second, it prohibits an individual from being the registered officer of more than one political party at once

  • Third, it lets parties to submit a party logo to the AEC to be added to their party registration to be printed on the ballot papers in black and white.

Read more in the bills digest.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (90% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Lee Rhiannon NSW Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Robert Simms SA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Absent
Australian Labor Party (63% turnout) 0 Yes 15 No
Joe Bullock WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Sam Dastyari NSW No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Anne McEwen SA No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Penny Wong SA No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Sue Lines WA Absent
Joe Ludwig Queensland Absent
Jan McLucas Queensland Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Nova Peris NT Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party No
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President No
Bob Day SA Family First Party No
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent No
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent No
John Madigan Victoria Independent No
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (72% turnout) 18 Yes 0 No
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Jo Lindgren Queensland Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
James Paterson Victoria Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Zed Seselja ACT Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Christopher Back WA Absent
Cory Bernardi SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Nick Xenophon Team Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party No
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Yes
Totals (75% turnout) 34 Yes – 23 No