The ultimate opinion poll always throws up a few surprises. This time around it's resurrected a political career and brought others to an abrupt end.

Bill Shorten
Even if he didn't get the top job, Bill Shorten is the big winner of the election, doing better than anyone expected. Throughout the campaign there were questions about his future as Opposition Leader if Labor didn't win. As late as Friday night, Leigh Sales on the 7.30 report asked if his colleagues might already be jockeying for his position if he lost. It's politics, so speculation about his position is already swirling with reports Anthony Albanese is mounting a challenge for the leadership. But the result has given Shorten a good shot at hanging onto his job.

Pauline Hanson
Please explain indeed! The woman who first burst onto the political scene 20 years ago, will make her return after eight unsuccessful attempts to re-enter politics. In an ironic twist, her victory is partly due to the Senate voting reforms introduced by the Turnbull Government. She was also a big winner from the collapse in support for the Palmer United Party. One of Hanson's most famous moments came in 1996 during a 60 Minutes interview when she was asked if she was xenophobic and she responded: "Please explain?"

Nick Xenophon
The bloke who entered politics in South Australia opposing poker machines will now be a major player in shaping Australia's future. Senator Xenophon and his team grabbed a lower house seat, winning the South Australian seat of Mayo and are on track to pick up several more Senate seats.


Linda Burney
Linda Burney has become the first Aboriginal woman elected to the federal Lower House. The former NSW deputy opposition leader defeated Liberal MP Nickolas Varvaris.

Derryn Hinch
Broadcaster Derryn Hinch is in and for a man with so many opinions, had a surprise admission. "This is the first time I've ever voted in my life. I've waited 72 years to find someone worth voting for. I'll be the oldest man in the Senate, but I can handle that," he told Channel 7. The Derryn Hinch Justice Party has a platform to increase penalties for child sex offenders and tighten parole and bail laws.

Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull went to the polls with everything to lose and he almost lost the lot. Despite claiming victory, in the early hours of Sunday morning, he admitted the count was very, very close and faced tough criticism over his speech.

Jamie Briggs
Arguably the most high profile political scalp of the election. A former minister, Briggs was beaten out in a blue ribbon seat and fell to the Nick Xenophon Team candidate Rebekah Sharkey. Briggs was forced to quit as a federal minister late last year after allegations of misconduct towards a public servant in Hong Kong. He also had to defend his decision to send a photograph to colleagues identifying the public servant who lodged a confidential complaint about his behaviour.

Wyatt Roy
The 26-year-old Queenslander holds the title of youngest person to ever be elected to the Australian Parliament. Today, his Wikipedia page had already been changed to read "a former Australian politician".

Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott
The two former Independents and kingmakers when they backed Julia Gillard into Government in 2010, both fell short in their bids to re-enter politics. Windsor failed to knock off Johnny Depp's nemesis Barnaby Joyce in an often bitter campaign in the seat of New England and Oakeshott is unlikely to be able to reign in the lead of Luke Hartsuyker in Cowper.

Glenn Lazarus and Ricky Muir
Former league legend Glenn Lazarus, who entered politics with the Palmer United Party before going independent, and motoring enthusiast Ricky Muir, both look like they have lost their spots in the Senate. Lazarus has already conceded defeat.