ACT Election wash-up

Labor looks to have won the first-ever absolute majority in the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly, appearing set for nine or 10 seats in the 17-seat chamber. While the Democrats predictably collapsed, the Greens hardly improved at all and can only be confident of winning one seat, that being the one they held already in Molonglo. With the independent vote also in decline both major parties increased their primary vote, Labor looking set to pick up the Democrats’ seat in Ginninderra while retaining their third seat in Brindabella. They are also a chance of winning a fourth seat from the Liberals in Molonglo. What follows are the primary vote figures from the end of the evening with about 85 per cent of the vote counted, with the Poll Bludger’s best guess of the likely seat outcomes in brackets.

2004 46.9 (9) 34.7 (7) 9.3 (1) 2.3 (0) 6.8 (0)
2001 41.7 (8) 31.6 (7) 9.1 (1) 8.1 (1) 9.5 (0)
Molonglo (7) ALP LIB GRN DEM OTH
2004 45.6 (3) 32.2 (3) 11.6 (1) 1.4 (0) 9.2 (0)
2001 39.3 (3) 34.0 (3) 12.6 (1) 7.7 (0) 6.4 (0)
Brindabella (5) ALP LIB GRN DEM OTH
2004 46.0 (3) 40.3 (2) 7.1 (0) 1.5 (0) 5.1 (0)
2001 44.0 (3) 31.8 (2) 5.5 (0) 6.9 (0) 11.8 (0)
Ginninderra (5) ALP LIB GRN DEM OTH
2004 50.0 (3) 32.3 (2) 8.3 (0) 4.3 (0) 5.1 (0)
2001 42.8 (2) 28.0 (2) 7.9 (0) 9.7 (1) 11.6 (0)

Molonglo: The only electorate in which the Liberal vote fell, no doubt due to the 3 per cent polled by Liberal-turned-independent member Helen Cross. Her preferences will probably save the Liberals from dropping a seat to Labor, although they are not out of the woods yet. Labor incumbents Katy Gallagher, Ted Quinlan and Simon Corbell are all set for re-election, but Liberal member Jacqui Burke has again failed to impress voters, being outpolled by Liberal newcomers Richard Mulcahy and Zed Seselja. The Greens have gone backwards on the primary vote and have fallen well short of their stated hope for a second seat. They are nonetheless assured of one seat, with Deb Foskey having the edge out of those seeking to replace the retiring Kerrie Tucker.

Brindabella: The Liberals have performed much better than expected here, but not well enough to be in contention for a third seat. Opposition Leader Brendan Smyth has been easily re-elected but his fellow incumbent Steve Pratt has performed disappointingly and is in a wrestle for the other position with Steve Doszpot. The last seat emerges as a contest between the Greens and a third Labor candidate, and at present Labor appears to have the edge. John Hargreaves has been easily re-elected but colleague Karin MacDonald holds only a narrow lead over challenger Mick Gentleman, although the most likely result is that both will get up.

Ginninderra: Labor looks well placed to win a third seat at the expense of the Democrats, the other two staying with the Liberals. Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has dominated the Labor vote with a personal total of 35.2 per cent. It is not clear who the other Labor winners will be, incumbent Wayne Berry having attracted only 4.6 per cent. Liberal Bill Stefaniak has achieved a quota in his own right but colleague Vicki Dunne has not done as well, holding only small leads on the primary vote over the remaining Liberal candidates.

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.