Nick Xenophon: Open to Striking Formal Minority Government Agreement

Nick Xenophon Nick Xenophon is an independent Senator for South Australia and is the leader of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) political party which is running candidates at the 2016 election underway at present.

On Monday, Xenophon told Guardian Australia that he is open to striking a formal minority government agreement with either leader in the event the voters deliver a hung parliament, which is a major concern as the votes that have come in might be too close to call.

Xenophon said that in his “heart of hearts” he felt Malcolm Turnbull would be ahead at the close of the count. He then reiterated that if it turns out that neither side wins the majority in the lower house, that he will go forth with an agreement “if there were policies that could be advanced.”

As Xenophon anxiously awaits the final count to see if the NXT party has gained one or two seats in the House of Representatives, and clarifying NXT’s Senate representation he commented, “We need to see where the count leaves us.”

So far the NXT party has secured the lower house seat of Mayo, in South Australia, and remains ahead in Grey with 77.5% of the vote counted and will be deemed three Senate spots.

Xenophon, defines himself as a centrist politician and his vote at each election has been drawn almost equally from the two major parties in Australia. Many people feel that Xenophon has become a new third force in South Australian politics taking important social stances such as in 2012 when Xenophon voted for same-sex marriage and his involvement with the Israel-Palestine conflict, having traveled to Hebron in May 2014.

The fact that he is open to striking a formal minority government agreement with either leader in the event the voters deliver a hung parliament is not surprising to those who know Xenophon and his political record.