ACT Election: Ginninderra

Ginninderra covers the northern part of Canberra, including Belconnen and Nicholls. Its voting habits have been little different from those at the other end of town in Brindabella (the other five-member electorate), except that Labor didn’t quite get over the line to win a third seat here in 2001. It instead was taken by Roslyn Dundas of the Australian Democrats, the party’s first ever seat in the Assembly and probably also its last. Labor’s two members are senior Government figures certain of re-election – Chief Minister John Stanhope and Assembly Speaker Wayne Berry. Liberal front-benchers Vicki Dunne and Bill Stefaniak also appear safe, although they would be mindful of the outcome in 2001 when Dunne defeated Liberal incumbent Harold Hird, who is contesting again as an independent. Nobody expects the Liberals to be in contention for a third seat, and it also appears certain the Greens will overtake the Democrats (they respectively polled 7.9 and 9.7 per cent in 2001). It will then come down to one of the Greens (Meredith Hunter or Ben O’Callaghan) and a third Labor candidate. Assuming no leakage of preferences (a wrong assumption, but still useful for broad outline purposes) that will mean a contest between the total Greens vote and Labor’s surplus over 33.3 per cent (i.e. two quotas). Crispin Hull of the Canberra Times is convinced the Greens can’t lose, but having seen what stable first-term Labor governments could do to their opponents in Queensland and Victoria, the Poll Bludger is not so sure. Despite its modest sample of 327, yesterday’s poll in the Canberra Times offers further evidence to this effect.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.