Several Senators have federalist principles:
- Chris Back, Liberal, WA
- Cory Bernardi, Liberal, SA
- David Bushby, Liberal, TAS
- Alan Eggleston, Liberal, WA
- David Fawcett, Liberal, SA
- John Madigan, DLP, VIC
- Bridget McKenzie, National, VIC
- Dean Smith, Liberal WA
All these fine people voted against the local government referendum bill. A number of others abstained: Eric Abetz, Michaelia Cash, Richard Colbeck, Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield, Bill Heffernan, Brett Mason, Scott Ryan, and Stephen Parry.
The bill passed the Senate 46 – 8.
Update I: I am reliably informed that many of the Senators who abstained did so because they are on the frontbench and cannot vote against party policy without resigning their position. They can, however, abstain. Fair enough. Of course the question really is, why is this Coalition policy?
In addition there are some more abstentions: Michael Ronaldson, David Johnson, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and Sean Edwards.
Update III: According to James Paterson seven Liberal and four National senators voted for the bill. Given that 39 votes are necessary, this means that the bill only passed the Senate with Coalition support.
Update IV: James Paterson has very kindly sent me the list of the vote in the House. Disgraceful – only two Liberals voted against the bill.