It has taken the best part of a year, but the full consequences of last August's election have now played out. The marked step to the Left taken by voters, partly out of frustration at the rubbish served up by the major parties, has now translated fully into parliamentary representation, with the Greens taking the balance of power in the Senate and attaining true third-party status.

The conservatariat may froth at the mouth, but voters are getting more or less exactly what they wanted. The Greens polled 13% in the Senate, and now have 12% of Senators. The only peculiarity is that most of the Greens' 4+% swing came from Labor voters, but it's the Liberals who ended up losing the most senators (some good -- Alan Ferguson, Nick Minchin, Judith Troeth, some ... not so good -- Julian McGauran). But you can mostly thank the lingering consequences of Mark Latham's #epicfail 2004 campaign for that. Labor is so eager to take advantage of the new Senate, maiden speeches are being delayed into August so that next week can be devoted to putting through government legislation.