ACT election live

11.15pm. A very strong performance by the Greens at the Lyneham booth in Molonglo (29.2 per cent) has been cancelled out by other late booths: the Greens (1.47) now trail the Liberals (2.49) in the hunt for the last quota.

11.07pm. I earlier said a third Labor seat in Ginninderra would go to Dave Peebles, but he now slightly trails Adina Cirson.

10.58pm. It’s also being said that Frank Pangallo can’t be written off in Molonglo, although it’s conceded that it’s unlikely.

10.56pm. Talk on the ABC is that independent Mark Parton is not out of the hunt in Ginninderra, depending on how independent preferences go. If successful the result there would be two Labor and one each for Liberal, Greens and independent. He has 6.6 per cent of the primary vote.

10.43pm. I’m back. Greens sounding slightly more hopeful of that second seat in Molonglo and Labor likewise of a third seat in Ginninderra, but both remain up in the air and if anything leaning slightly to the Liberals.

9.13pm. I’ll be taking a break shortly, so a recap. Brindabella: No doubt the result here is 2-2-1, little doubt Steve Doszpot has taken a Liberal seat from Steve Pratt, possible Joy Burch will take a Labor seat from Mick Gentleman. Ginninderra: Liberals seem to be recovering a little after the 3-1-1 scare, and looking better for 2-2-1, but a few big booths still to come. If it’s the former, Vicki Dunne will lose her seat to Labor’s Dave Peebles. Newcomer Alistair Coe has done very well to be a clear Liberal winner. Molonglo: Labor’s three incumbents looking good; two seat for the Liberals (Zed Seselja overwhelmingly dominating the vote, so unclear if the second will be second-placed Jeremy Hanson or third-placed Giulia Jones), one seat for the Greens (Shane Rattenbury), and the final seat a contest between a third Liberal and a second Greens (unclear if Caroline Le Couteur or Elena Kirschbaum). So Labor has lost its majority but might yet win eight seats out of 17, but more likely seven; Liberal between five and seven; Greens three or four.

9.10pm. What I might have missed in Molonglo is the 3 per cent vote for Richard Mulcahy which will presumably flow heavily to the Liberals (thanks to Oz in comments).

9.06pm. With the vote up from 42.3 to 57.6, the Liberals have recovered slightly in Ginninderra, up from 27.1 to 27.8 per cent. They would still seem more likely than not to win a second seat, but are by no means home and hosed. As far as I can see, the prospect of a second Greens seat in Molonglo looks higher than most are saying: they are on 1.45 quotas against 2.51 for the Liberals, and could surely close that 0.06 gap on preferences. There is a lot I could be missing though.

8.52pm. Situation in Molonglo is that Labor are sure for three, the Liberals for two and the Greens for one, with the final seat down to a third Liberal and a second Green.

8.50pm. Brindabella count up to 63.2 per cent, but the basic situation changed: Labor two (John Hargreaves returned, but Mick Gentleman not home against party newcomer Joy Burch), Liberal two (Brendan Smyth plus Steve Doszpot looking likely to defeat Steve Pratt), Greens one (Amanda Bresnan).

8.46pm. Talk on ABC of the Liberal vote continuing to fade in Ginninderra, putting their second seat at risk. That could mean a final outcome of Labor 8, Liberal 6, Greens 3. The Liberal casualty in Ginninderra would be incumbent Vicki Dunne, who is well behind newcomer Alistair Coe.

8.22pm. Vote count really ticking over now: up to 45.9 per cent in Brindabella, and Joy Burch has hit the lead over Mick Gentleman for the second Labor seat. Steve Pratt now trails Steve Doszpot 8.3 per cent to 6.3 per cent, which is just about lethal for Pratt.

8.20pm. I intimated earlier that Brendan Smyth’s preferences might help Pratt narrow the gap over Doszpot, but the very helpful Ben Raue points out that Smyth is himself some way short of a quota so won’t have preferences to give.

8.10pm. Ginninderra vote up from 16.8 to 20.9 and the Liberals have gone down further, from 1.71 quotas to 1.68.

8.08pm. The brains trust, and apparently the man himself, doesn’t think Pangallo is a chance.

8.05pm. Brindabella count up from 19.5 per cent to 24.3 per cent, and the gap between Doszpot and Pratt continues to widen.

8.02pm. With an extra 1.8 per cent counted (20.1 per cent), the Greens vote up slightly in Molonglo, where there support is unevenly spread. It might be that Frank Pangallo is in the hunt here: his group is on 0.38 quotas against 1.39 for the Greens.

7.58pm. An extra 2.5 per cent counted in Brindabella bears out what Adam said earlier: Labor up from 34.2 per cent to 34.9 per cent, Liberal down from 36.8 per cent to 36.1 per cent, Greens down from 13.6 per cent. The 2-2-1 outcome here is not in doubt, but it’s interesting to note that Steve Pratt has fallen further behind newcomer Liberal Steve Doszpot: from 7.7-7.1 to 7.7-6.8. However, as a sitting member and ally of Brendan Smyth, Pratt can presumably expect to do better on the latter’s preferences.

7.55pm. Ben Raue on the ground notes: “Of course it takes ages. First of all you’ve gotta unfold them, then sort them into columns, then sort them into individuals within columns when all different ballots have the candidates in a different order, then tally them. It takes a lot longer than a federal primary count.”

7.54pm. Count remains slow, but Liberal spokesman on ABC Radio doesn’t sound concerned about a second seat in Ginninderra despite only being on 1.7 quotas at present.

7.25pm. Count now proceeding slowly after initial excitement. Adam Carr notes in comments that the polls are doing better for Labor than the pre-polls. Greens hopes for a second seat in Molonglo seem to be fading.

7.11pm. ABC Radio commentators pretty much writing off Richard Mulcahy.

7.05pm. Big picture: 11 per cent swing against Labor, slight drop in the Liberals, big pick-up for the Greens – definitely good for three seats, maybe yet four. ABC computer still saying seven each for Labor and Liberal, three for the Greens. Kate Lundy still thinks Labor might win three seats in Ginninderra, but they’ll have to do better than their current 2.3 quotas.

6.52pm. More on Molonglo: Sometime NSW Greens candidate Ben Raue vaguely hopeful in comments of a second Greens seat, but early days with booth votes only just starting to come in. Katy Gallagher easily leading the Labor field; Andrew Barr not doing well for a presumed future leader, but still very likely to win a seat. Simon Corbell the poorest performing of the three Labor incumbents. Zed Seselja home and hosed, but Jacqui Burke in trouble, trailing two Liberal newcomers in Jeremy Hanson and Guilia Jones.

6.40pm. Molonglo: Labor looking good for three seats, the Liberals not certain of more than two, Shane Rattenbury home and hosed for the Greens.

6.38pm. Ginninderra: The Liberals are short of two quotas at the moment, but probably not by enough to stop them winning two seats. Vicki Dunne is trailing newcomer Alistair Coe; both should win seats unless they are indeed in danger of only winning one. Jon Stanhope and Mary Porter both set to be returned. Meredith Hunter to win a seat for the Greens.

6.35pm. Brindabella: on counting of pre-polls, Labor and Liberal are both just above two quotas and the Greens just below one, leaving no doubt as to the result if the trend continues. Intriguingly, Steve Doszpot narrowly leads Steve Pratt in the race for the second Liberal seat; Brendan Smyth is clearly not in trouble. John Hargreaves certain to win the first Labor seat, but Joy Burch perhaps an outside change to beat Mick Gentleman, although she is behind. Strong performances by the micro-parties, but not strong enough.

6.32pm. ABC computer predicting seven seats each to Labor and Liberal and three to the Greens.

6.26pm. That quick counting has indeed been down to electronic voting – all those results are pre-polls. I expect things will quieten down a little for a while now.

6.21pm. Presumably to rub salt into the wounds of the technical problems I have been having, the ACT Electoral Commission are conducting the count at breakneck speed – perhaps this has something to do with electronic voting. 12.9 per cent counted and those opinion polls are looking good – Labor down 10.7 per cent, Liberals down 2.9 per cent, Greens up 7.2 per cent.

6.20pm. Apologies for the delay in getting started. Oz in comments writes: “5% counted. 9.8% swing to The Greens in Brindabella. 12.1% counted, 7.4% swing to The Greens in Ginninderra. 11% counted in Molonglo, 7% swing to The Greens. Labor and Lib losing out, Independants also getting swings.”

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.

293 comments on “ACT election live”

  1. Looks like this is already just about over. Labor suffers big swing against, loses majority govt, but none goes to the Libs. Grns will hold BoP in next legislature, as expected.

  2. It’s looking very likely it will be 6 ALP, 6 Liberal, 3 Greens, 1 up for grabs.

    The Greens would be hard pressed to support a Liberal Government, no matter what ‘deals’ they made, so it looks like the ALP should be returned quite comfortably.

  3. Hoho! The Libs appear to have managed a swing AGAINST themselves in the ACT! Not as big as the ALPs, granted, but seriously, that’s unbelievable.

    I tell ya, there’s been two stories in State/Territory politics since Rudd: the end nigh for long tenured ALP regimes, and the LNPs almost superhuman capacity to maintain failure in the face of opportunity.

  4. Um, ltep, that adds up to 16. It looks very likely it will be 7-7-3, but we will have to crunch the numbers more, looking at individual candidates, once more votes have come in.

    Now that the electronic votes have been counted it should be a while before the paper votes start flowing. It’s gonna take a while to tally primaries on these big ballots. They haven’t even finished sorting in my booth.

  5. Also bear in mind that this is the people who chose to vote electronically at the prepolls. In past years this has been about half of pre-poll voters (may be rising as people get more used to computer use). The sort of people who prepoll on computer may not be the same as the sort who prepoll using paper – you’d guess they were younger for a start.

    In 2001 the equivalent votes showed a truly massive swing to the Democrats IIRC. They did get a big swing overall, but much less than the electronic votes suggested. Things could change a lot before the end of the night.

  6. More than that Ben, it looks like 30,000 voted prepoll electronically. Add in the numbers who prepolled on paper and its probably over 40,000. Canberra always has more prepolls than anywhere else I know (maybe because people get out of town for the weekend) but this is still something extraordinary.

  7. 35,000 electronic votes counted, and it looks like all of them are prepolls, from what I can see, no electronic booth votes in. So the prepoll total may have been over 50,000. If this keeps up the whole idea of an election day will be a misnomer. Saturday will be the day they count the votes cast in the last two weeks.

  8. Yeah but Rattenbury is a triathlete – he probably thought the campaign was physically a recharge period, even if it was a stress emotionally.

  9. If that’s the case there will have to be a serious crackdown on pre-polling. It’s supposed to be for people who are *unable* to vote on Saturday. It can’t became a general early vote for everyone. What if some hideous scandal about one of the leaders had emerged on Friday?

  10. First hard copy votes in – Community Alliance pulls 58% in Tharwa! Either the candidate lives there, or we’re in for the boilover of all time.

  11. Adam with due respect that is the risk the voter takes in pre-polling, its no different than postal voting, while I prefer to vote on polling day but some find it easy to pop into an AEC office and pre-poll.

  12. Gallagher, regardless of Labor’s poor performance, remains the most prominent labor candidate in Molonglo by far. It’s not surprising that the bulk of the Labor vote went to her.

    Here’s another thought. The second and third Liberal are both on 0.29 while Caroline le Couteur of the Greens is on 0.36 quotas. She’ll last a long time and Rattenbury should be elected solely on Elena Kirschbaum’s votes. If she lasts and picks up some preferences from Labor and Liberal and a few from Elena, she could be in with a shot.

  13. Mexicanbeemer, with due respect, it’s not a matter of what people would rather do. There are good reasons why everybody who is able to do so should vote on the one day, at the end of a campaign. That is in fact what the law says – if electoral commissions are allowing anyone to cast a prepoll they are in fact breaking the law.

  14. Few people ever thought the Greens would get four, but Caroline and Elena are both polling strongly. Too early to rule them out. I’ve seen a lot of Labor votes go back and forth between Greens and Labor.

  15. Adam and mexicanbeemer

    Pre-polling is now also extended to voters who are blind or have low-vision. Perhaps there has been an epidemic of hysterical blindness in Canberra brought on by the thought of voting with the masses?

  16. Surely if you’re blind on Saturday you’ll be blind on Friday?

    “Excuse me, I know I’m supposed to vote tomorrow, but I’m planning on sticking a fork in my eye tonight, so could I vote pre-poll?”

  17. Perhaps it is easier for blind people to get to the polling booth during the week, when there is public transport, than on Saturday.

    More likely though, they provide special support for the blind at prepolls, but don’t have the staff/facilities to have it on every booth on the day.

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