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. William: I’d be surprised. The polls that had the Greens winning a second seat were closer to 1.8 quotas, as I recall, and I’m not sure where those preferences would come from.

    It’s conceivable, I suppose, but where would the preferences come from? Unless there was a pretty good sized Labor surplus, the minor parties and candidates in Molonglo, the Canberra Party, the Community Alliance, the Motorist Party and the LDP are all right-leaning to far-right. The only candidates who might have been especially Green friendly, former Liberal MLA Helen Cross and independent Democrat Greg Tannahill both got thumped.

    I suppose it might be possible if the Greens got some leakage from the Community Alliance (where their lead candidate, Norvan Vogt, was until very recently a Democrat, and ran for the Senate in 2007), and protest votes coming back from Frank Pangallo (who doesn’t have the right-wing reputation that his Right to Life endorsement would suggest). But you’d have to say that it’s a bit of a long shot at this point.

  2. [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.]

    Spot on there itep. It’s always great when political parties claim a swing against them is an endoresment.

  3. For what it is worth, Molongolo and Ginnin. both had more parties running on the ballot than Brindebella did. Here in Brindebella, we only had 5 parties running on the ballot. It could well be (if votes are leaking from the Libs in those places) that there was simply more choices for people to park their protest vote in. At my polling booth in Chisholm primary; we had (as I recall) numbers for Greens, Motorist Party, Community Alliance and informals ALL between 100 and 200 inclusive.

  4. LTEP: I think the Liberals have done okay in the circumstances.

    A different Liberal Party should have been in with a good shot, following the upheaval of the 2006 budget. Coming into this year, though, they had a hopelessly divided and pretty incompetent caucus that was too right-wing for the ACT, no clear decent leader, and a recent history of massive instability, having just had to expel the Shadow Treasurer. It’s pretty hard to come back from that.

    Seselja managed to present a reasonably consistent front, at least managed to put the internal chaos on hold, and it showed. Moreover, he’s seen that the Libs not only hold their ground, but helped run some of their worse members (and factional protagonists) out of politics. A Liberal caucus without wacky Steve Pratt and hopeless Jacqui Burke will be a much more functional one, although they’d be a lot better off if Vicki Dunne bit the dust in Ginninderra too.

    It puts them in a better position for 2012, but they’ll never win another election here until they actually get their candidates and policies in line with the demographics of the ACT; running hardline conservatives like Giulia Jones and Steve Doszpot is madness, as while they might be at least competent (a step up from the last batch) they’re still going to go down like a ton of bricks with any marginal voters.

  5. Liberal swing is now -3.2%

    I’m sure there will be more post-election analysis on this later, but The Greens have gone off lately. In the NT, WA, NSW Council elections and now today, both in the ACT and NSW by-elections.

  6. Just a quick note for WA bludgers with either a HD TV or Set top box that the ABC HD Coverage of the count is about to start in WA, so it might be a bit out of date because of the timezone, but still interesting to watch events.

  7. [Challenger causes upset and beats Iron Chef Chinese, Chen Kenichi]

    Bloody ACORN, they must’ve infiltrated Iron Chef as well…

    Or has Iron Chef turned to the Hare-Clark system?

  8. I have just been talking to a group of local teenagers, and its not good news for the Libs. About 50/50 for ALP/Greens. If the Greens had a real high profile leader their vote would have increased among this cohort (about 18).
    I think we are seeing the low water mark for the ALP in Canberra as they swing between majority/minority government. If the Libs couldnt get a majority this time around they will find it very hard to do at any other election.
    It will be interesting to see how the Lib factions pan out in view of the new members elected. Believe it or not there were at least 3 factions in the last Assembly. Pratt seems to be gone and he was a Smythe fan.
    The poor result for Val Jefferies will hopefully shut him up regarding the bushfires and remind him that his 15 minutes expired some time ago.

  9. I think we’ll have to call it the “Kaga-Rank” system. 4 electors who get too preference.

    ABC news chick is choking over the fact that there’s going to be 3 Greens in the assembly.

    Bob Brown looking like the legend that he is.

  10. Rattenbury completely shredding the major parties attempts to suck up to him.

    He’s sounding a lot like Brendan “Kingmaker” Grylls. I think he’s going to support Labor, but wants to get something decent out of it.

  11. The issue in Ginninderra is not whether the Greens will win a seat. It’s whether Labor can pinch a third seat, leaving the Libs with one. Labor is saying on ABC radio that their figures show this is still too close to call.

  12. Michael Cusack: This is hardly the low water mark for the ALP. There is no history of majority government in the ACT – 2004 was pretty widely accepted to be a bit of a one-off because of an inordinately popular government, and the ALP hasn’t lost terribly much from that point. The Liberals will never, ever win majority government in the ACT – it’s just impossible with our demographics. Even Kate Carnell never came close to achieving that one at the height of her popularity, having to rely on the Greens and motley independents through both of her terms.

    I agree that it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the Liberal factions, though. I suspect that if Smyth continues to play ball and not undermine Seselja, the likely absence of Pratt and Burke will make the prospect of internal drama a lot less likely.

    Oz: I bet the Greens are going to copy the Brendon Grylls schtick in a large part. However, while the media is still flocking to Rattenbury, I’d be careful about assuming he’s going to emerge as leader; if it comes to having to choose one (i.e. if they go for a formal coalition) it might well be Meredith Hunter.

  13. I’m not surprised that Ginninderra might well go to 3-1-1 after having been out there all day, but I have to say I’m a little bit surprised that Dave Peebles looks to be the Labor candidate who stands to benefit. The Labor factions were running separate campaigns all day, and the left’s campaign for Adina Cirson struck me as being quite a bit more organised and had more supporters out.

  14. How is new Labor caucus going to play out? IIRC it’s currently dominated by the left, correct? Any lefties been replaced by people from the right?

  15. Interesting outcomes in the the last three state/territory elections. NT – hung parliament averted by only 78 votes (ie. Fannie Bay). WA – hung parliament. ACT – hung Parliament. Are we to expect a continuation of the trend of tight elections in the future?

  16. Am I missing something – I don’t seem to have had a substantial booth come in for almost an hour, but there are still quite a few outstanding (almost half in Molongolo). Is my computer just not refreshing for some reason, or have things just stalled at the commission for some reason.

  17. Oz:

    The caucus is currently equally split – three left, three right, and Jon Stanhope unaligned in the middle.

    The ALP has lost the seat of Karin McDonald (right) in Brindabella, and if they lose Wayne Berry’s (left) seat in Ginninderra, that’ll balance each other out in caucus.

    If, however, Labor do hold Berry’s seat, he’ll be replaced by Dave Peebles (right). There’s also the matter of Joy Burch (who I have no clue about) maybe replacing Mick Gentleman (left).

    Assuming Gentleman holds on and Peebles loses, you’d have 3 left (Corbell, Gallagher, Gentleman), 3 right (Hargreaves, Barr, Porter) and Stanhope in the middle, same as now. If Peebles wins, that would change to 3-1-4 – and yeah, don’t know about Burch.

  18. Interesting. That would be a blow for Gallagher’s chances to become Chief Minister? She seemed pretty confident, if she didn’t say so in as many words.

  19. Yeah, you’re probably right that a Peebles victory would help Barr’s chances to succeed Stanhope at Gallagher’s expense. I have a bit of a feeling that the party might still go with Gallagher regardless though – she’s considerably more popular, and while he’s occasionally touted, she’s still almost an Anna Bligh-style assumed successor.

  20. Rebecca. I acknowledge that there is no real history of majority govt, but I put that down to the number of independents that were decreasingly elected in the earlier elections. Now we are down to the three serious contenders and I think it will happen again occasionally. I think the Greens are susceptible to a smear/negative campaign along the lines of financial recklessness and being too anti development.
    I agree with you about the Libs. I think they will probably never have a majority and only have minority govt once in a blue moon. Their supporters are dying and young people seem to be keener on ALP and Greens. I put this down to Howard in that his racism and general bastardry seems to have really disillusioned the young. Several of the kids I spoke to earlier mentioned an incident where a young kid at their school was taken out of class and deported. They were obviously traumatised by the incident.

  21. Sorry, Greens quota is 1.48.


    Smyth: “We had one purpose – to get rid of Labor majority government.”

    Gallagher: “…Didn’t you want to win?”

  22. There is quite a chance of minority government in Tasmania next election and I would not rule it out in Victoria and I don`t know about Queensland and South Australia.

  23. Am I the only one who keeps reading “Community Alliance” as “Communist Alliance”?

    Which state has the next election? As mentioned earlier, there seems to be a pattern developing with hung parliaments.

  24. That’s interesting.

    According to the Elections ACT website, O’Connor, Baker Gardens (Ainslie, I believe), Lyneham, Dickson and Campbell are all still not in. They’re all booths that I’d expect to be very strong for the Greens (and in the case of the first three, they’d have to be three of the best booths in the territory).

    About the only booth on that list that I’d expect to be particularly good for the Liberals would be Palmerston in Gungahlin.

    If that list is right, then this could get very interesting.

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