The Senate voted 38-29 against further debate on the bill to abolish the $A10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation created by the previous government – with this legislation defeated for three months.
A second Senate rejection of the bill can provide the Abbott government with the trigger to request a double dissolution and force voters back to the polls.
The bill was reportedly the first of 11 to repeal the carbon tax.
"Labor takes the position they have flagged in this chamber today at their peril," Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said, according to AAP.
The Labor’s decision to stand its ground in the Senate follows a Newspoll survey result today placing it ahead of the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis by 52:48, an outcome that also confirmed findings of a Nielson poll a fortnight ago.
While the Coalition could muster the necessary numbers to pass carbon tax-repealing bills when the September-elected senators take their seats in July, there is a possibility that another Senate election will need to take place for Western Australia.
The Australian Electoral Commission remains unable to track down 1370 missing WA Senate ballot papers and has asked the High Court of Australia to void the WA Senate election.