Australia’s fractious Senate finalized a month after poll

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government faces a tougher task getting unpopular legislation through the next Senate after its narrow election win a month ago.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s conservative coalition had its Senate numbers shrink from 33 to 30 in the 76-seat upper chamber when the Australian Electoral Commission on Thursday announced the final results of the July 2 election.

The reduced minority in the Senate increases the difficulty of passing cost-cutting and revenue-raising bills that rating agencies demand if Australia is to retain its AAA credit rating as the economy slows.

Turnbull formed the government after his coalition won a majority of just one seat in the House of Representatives, where the majority party forms the government, but its Senate minority status means it will need support to pass any laws.

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