It seems that three independent MP’s may decide who will form the Federal government. They are Bob Katter, the member for Kennedy in Queensland, and the NSW independents, Tony Windsor, the member for New England, and Robert Oakeshott, the member for Lyne.
They all represent electorates which were strongly opposed to the 1999 referendum on the politicians’ republic. Kennedy recorded a 70.21% vote against the republic, New England 67.39% and Lyne 61.59%.
I had some dealings with Bob Katter a few years ago: he is an impressive MP, on top of the issues, and prepared to adopt unfashionable positions, for example in relation to agricultural trade. (They are positions which are curiously unfashionable only in Australia and are established government policy in the US, EU, Japan and other countries.)
As far as I know, only Mr. Oakeshott is a republican, and challenges the proposition that the Governor-General is Head of State . But in 1997, he told the NSW Parliament "I am a passionate member of the National Party,” the National Party being a staunch supporter of our constitutional system.
Incidentally he told The Australian’s Imre Salusinszky (6/8/08) that the reason for his decision to leave the NSW Parliament and contest Lyne as an independent was because of " his repeated sightings in Sydney recently of a man he has never met – academic, monarchist and former Australian Broadcasting Authority head David Flint."
"He's high up in the Liberal Party and it was like a ghost telling me to stand as an independent," Mr Oakeshott said.
(I would think that the leaders of the Liberal Party would be surprised to know that I am “high up”.)