Coalition Wins 72 Seats
Tony Abbott is clearly celebrating as Opposition’s parliamentary numbers won 72 seats.
The victory also marks Nationals MP Tony Crook joining the Coalition formally. Crook has voted for more than 30 times with Labor. He will also sit with party colleagues in the parliament from Tuesday.
Labor clinched 71 seats while Coalition won 72. Although Prime Minister Julia Gillard still has control over the house, Opposition leader Tony Abbott now has more members and, in turn, more discipline over Crook’s vote.
Crook’s move was clearly welcomed. Nationals Leader Warren Truss said Crook’s decision to sit on the crossbenches was made after consultations with Nationals WA colleagues and constituencies. Truss added that Abbott believes that the move will serve the interest of the nation.
Crook has always a staunch critic of the Gillard government, especially its stand on carbon and mining taxes.
The politician has been a member of the National Party of Western Australian since 2010. He also served 10 years as Western Division chairman for the Royal Flying Doctor service. He retired from the post in 2009.
Recently, he sat as crossbencher, representing Western Australia. At around the same time Crook ran at the 2010 election, a hung parliament resulted. Crook said he would best serve Western Australia if he sat as a cross-bencher.
Political analysts said that the current developments are additional blows to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The Prime Minister’s approval ratings have been down, following several scandals that rocked government officials.
These controversies include the Health Services Union and sexual allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper.