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When Chinese Premier Chou En Lai was reportedly asked what he thought was the historic impact of the French Revolution, he considered the question for a moment then replied: “It's too soon to tell’.

It’s certainly too early to speculate on the likely Senate composition following the next federal election, but some fairly obvious points stand out.  

Kevin Rudd’s comprehensive victory in 2007 was also reflected in the Senate result, with a remarkably strong result for the non-Coalition parties.  For example in Tasmania the result was 3 Labor, 2 Liberal and 1 Green.  Overall the result was 16 Labor, 16 Coalition, 3 Green and 1 Independent Senator elected. The terms of these Senators elected in 2007 expire on 30 June 2014.  It is highly unlikely, based on current polling that these results would be repeated. 

At a glance it appears Labor could lose up to two to three Senators with the Coalition picking up two or three.  Whilst the Greens’ vote has slipped recently, it is still possible for them to gain a Senator in a State like NSW where the 2007 election delivered three Senators each to Labor and the Coalition, a slightly unusual outcome based on previous elections.  

The problem for the Coalition if they win Government is there are six Green Senators whose terms do not expire until 30 June 2017, which even with an improved result on 2007 will make it extremely difficult for the Coalition to control the Senate.