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. I’m curious how did the ALP vote go in the suburbs directly hit by the Bushfires? I know they were a few years ago but I’m wondering if the result there were different in anyway from elsewhere

  2. The federal implication is that Rudd’s rescue package has produced a late swing to Labor, which is showing up as the booth vote comes in. Even if the media is too dumb to notice this connection, I have noticed it and that’s all that matters. 🙂

  3. Actually a town like Canberra may have federal implication for all those Public Servents would know in general terms how Rudd was going and this would be the perfect opportunity to past judgement.

  4. I wouldn’t even try and reading a Federal implication into this. No way there would be a 10% swing, or anything like that, against Rudd were an election held today.

  5. Oz I see you comment on ACT elections being ‘trumped up local council elections’. I assume you also think of the NT and Tasmanian elections in the same way?

    I also presume you’d like Canberrans to be divorced of their own voice and for decisions to be made by… who exactly?

  6. I’m presuming once a number of votes exhaust it pushes the highest ranked people’s quotas up because there’s less of the vote to be divided?

  7. Itep – the ACT is the size of Blacktown council. What’s wrong with local government? Newcastle is a regional city with a bigger population than Canberra, do they deserve a Westminster system of government as well?

  8. William we’ll just have to wait and see. The ALP v Liberal balance is slowly tipping towards Labor as the count progresses, but it will all depend on the cut-up next week. Labor scrutineers say it could still go 3-1-1, and that Labor’s position is improving.

  9. I agree – Canberra should be a City Council in the Brisbane mould as the capital of a new state covering the Riverina and South Coast of NSW.

    Back to the topic, I can’t see Vicki Dunne losing in Ginninderra. It’s much more likely Giulia Jones might lose (to either Green, they are running neck and neck. In my booth Elena beat Caroline slightly and that hasn’t been phoned in yet). But I don’t think it will happen.

  10. [Newcastle is a regional city with a bigger population than Canberra]

    I think Canberra’s population is about 50,000 more than Newcastle. 😛

  11. Tasmania is a State, the Norther Terrority should be a State but the ACT is simplly an administrative area set up to ensure that NSW would support federation.

    The ACT can have a Local Government that operates just like every other Local Government around Australia.

  12. Why do they need “laws” made on behalf of them anyway? If they get their own laws, you have no argument for not allowing Newcastle to have its own laws Let the Federal government take care of them like they did for the vast majority of Australian history and then they have council.

  13. Ruawake when I said Newcastle I obviously meant Hunter =P

    I mean we are talking about the ACT, so an apples to apples comparison is fair.

    Canberra, Newcastle. ACT, Hunter. =)

  14. So in other words the ACT has no distinct identity of its own, it is neither part of a state nor able to make laws for itself?

    Does Newcastle consider itself a part of New South Wales? I’d imagine yes. But you’re arguing that Canberrans have no right to have a government entirely of their own, and instead to be ruled by a government that they have little say in electing.

    I imagine you think the Northern Territory should also be stripped of its government; and once the population of Tasmania slips comparatively to the rest of Australia; for it to do so as well.

  15. [ACT is simply an administrative area set up to ensure that NSW would support federation].

    My recollection is that the motive for establishing the ACT was so that parochial politicians would not have control over the seat of government. Self-government for the ACT has negated that rationale. The Commonwealth should have direct control of the Parliamentary zone and the rest of the ACT should be part of NSW with a mayor and council like any other regional city.

  16. Itep! having three levels of Government does not make an identiy if anything it shows what a silly thing State Governments are! do the people of the Hunter, Cobar or Broken Hill need a government in Victoria to tell them they are from NSW, if anything they have next to nothing in common with Sydney and I can go though every single state and show the regional differents that have a bigger impact on identy than if yiou have a State Government

  17. Um, people… unless they’ve started up a Canberra City Council when I wasn’t looking, the ACT only has two tiers of government. 😉

  18. Well I don’t agree with ‘getting rid of the states’ either. I think local councils are useless and devolving to only having a national government would reduce the ‘representativeness’ of government. But to each their own.

  19. Can we for once have a discussion about ACT politics that doesn’t descend into a tiresome round of Canberra-bashing by people who know nothing about either the ACT or its politics?

  20. Re 61,

    Honest John
    Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
    Western Australians are smarter than stupid Canberrans. Thats for sure.

    Depends on which side of the fence you sit on 😉 ….. I don’t sit on your side and in my polling booth tonight (which is in Brindebella) and I worked it so I helped count it, we had about 1720 or so – Labor got 6** and Libs got 5**, don’t remember the exact numbers but the difference was 30 in favor of Labor …… [ Chisholm Primary School ]

  21. This decision was taken to prevent rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne over which city would be the capital. Bear in mind that in the 1890s Melbourne was bigger than Sydney, and had a good claim to be the capital.

  22. The swing against the Libs territory wide is now at 3%.

    William, I think they might have a chance but won’t a large proportion of the almost 3% of Mulcahy votes go straight to the Libs?

  23. It’s a definite chance William. The Robson Rotation system on one hand appears to force individual candidates to really get out there and work the community.

  24. Re 77,

    Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink
    What ever happened to all the Lefties who for nearly a decade went on about the Country having a nasty soul that was selfash and lasy and uncaring! I do miss hearing them.

    Nothing wrong with us at all, alive and well in this house 😉 …….

  25. Swing against the Libs now at 3.0% , Greens only have one good both left in Molonglo (O’Connor).

    It will be spun that Labor lost majority Govt. but it was a very unusual election the delivered this situation.

    A very bad result for the Liberals so far.

  26. William, as a Green, I’d say the problem for us for the second Molongolo seat is not getting ahead of the Libs number 3, it’s reaping prefs from the smaller independents. Mulcahy and the Motorists are on 0.2 and 0.24 quotas respectively, and both will flow strongly Lib, you’d have to imagine.

    Still hoping, but still very happy with a 7/7/3 split!

  27. Not a ringing endorsement for Zed. The party has gone backwards in the primary vote and maintained the number of seats it won at the last election. And for all of Mr Smyth’s talk on the ABC tonight about Ms Gallagher’s ‘spin’ he seemed to be doing an awful lot of spinning himself.

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