Bernardi says it's 'safe bet' he'll retire

Senator Cory Bernardi has suggested he might retire from politics in the next three years. (AAP)

The coalition would take its numbers from 35 to 36 in the 76-seat Senate when former Liberal Cory Bernardi retires.

The Liberal Party will have an extra senator by the end of this term, with independent Cory Bernardi saying it was a "safe bet" he would retire within three years.

Senator Bernardi deregistered his Australian Conservatives party on June 28, meaning the ex-Liberal senator's South Australian seat would go back to the Liberals should he retire via a casual vacancy.

"I think that's a safe bet," Senator Bernardi told ABC TV when asked on Thursday whether he would retire.

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