ACT election: late counting

Sunday 26/10. Final result: Labor 7, Liberal 6, Greens 4.

The count has now been finalised and the Greens have indeed won a fourth seat in Molonglo, their candidate leading 9457 to the third Liberal’s 8536 at the key point in the count. As I should have noted in the previous entry, there was also a close race between the second and third Greens candidates which has in fact been won by Caroline Le Couteur, who overtook Elena Kirschbaum late in the count. Kirschbaum had 4203 votes at the point where she was excluded to Le Couteur’s 4285.

Saturday 25/10

In Molonglo, we now have a preference count for 62,577 out of 88,291, and Antony Green’s assessment is that “the Greens are starting to be favourite for the final spot”. On the present projection, second Greens candidate Elena Kirshbaum leads third Liberal candidate Giulia Jones 6660 to 6166 at the relevant count. The Liberals are likely to close the gap in what remains of the count – the primary votes that have been admitted to the preference count have gone 31.3 per cent Liberal and 18.5 per cent Greens compared with 31.4 per cent and 18.2 per cent from the total – but my back-of-envelope calculation tells me they will only be able to close the gap by perhaps 200 votes.

Tuesday 21/10

The count in Molonglo is getting progressively more interesting, with second Greens candidate Caroline Le Couteur just 49 votes behind third Liberal Jeremy Hanson at the crucial point in the count. Le Couteur herself leads the third Greens candidate, Elena Kirschbaum, by 49 votes at the relevant earlier point of the count. So the result could yet be Labor 7, Liberal 6, Greens 4, rather than 7-7-3.

Sunday 19/10

This post will be updated progressively with details of late counting in the ACT election. Two results remain in play: in Molonglo, which could either go Labor 3, Liberal 3, Greens 1 or Labor 3, Liberal 2, Greens 2, and in Ginninderra, which could either go Labor 2, Liberal 2, Greens 1 or Labor 3, Liberal 1, Greens 1. The most likely results will produce an outcome of Labor 7, Liberal 7, Greens 3, but other possibilities are for the Liberals to win as few as five, Labor to win eight or the Greens to win four.

In Molonglo, the Liberals are on 2.48 quotas on the primary vote and the Greens are on 1.48, so whoever does better on preferences will win the final seat. The problem for the Greens is the 2.7 per cent recorded by Liberal-turned-independent Richard Mulcahy, which based on pre-poll votes looks likely to go about 35 per cent to the Liberals and maybe 10 per cent to the Greens. Against that is that the Greens can hope for a strong rate of preference leakage from Labor. There is also an outside chance that independent Frank Pangallo could sneak through and take the seat if he receives enough preferences from minor candidates, but it would have to be rated a long shot.

In Ginninderra, Labor are on 2.41 quotas and the Liberals are on 1.64, the risk for the Liberals being that Greens preferences after the election of their candidate will push them ahead. However, the gap is probably wide enough to get endangered Liberal incumbent Vicki Dunne home.

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.

326 comments on “ACT election: late counting”

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  1. And just incase nobody got the obvious, a cashed up party wins more votes than a cash strapped party, which means more seats in parliament which means more influence directly through policy pushing, and indirectly through Labor realising they have to accommodate the left as well as the right.

  2. Have our furry friends given any indication of what they’re going to do? Or do they need to consult the tree spirits first?

    (Memo Rebecca: I am being sarcastic. This is a form of *humour* – albeit not a very sophisticated one.)

  3. The big issue in the ACT at the moment, as I’m sure you’re aware, is about this data centre. Both the Libs and Greens are opposed to it in its current location and that was their platform before the election. Labor is accusing them of “politicising planning” and promising that they won’t engage in a “bidding war” to get the Greens onside.

    The Libs have offered them two ministerial positions.

    It would appear that whilst the Greens are communing with “tree spirits” Labor needs to find out what the people who pull their strings (unions and developers) want. Adam, that was a joke. Not particularly funny but slightly more humorous than yours.

  4. Wise decision for the Greens. Forming a coalition with either party would not have been a sensible option – well done for resisting the temptation of ministerial portfolios. This time round, there was little choice but to support Labor, given its significantly higher primary vote over the Libs.

    There may be opportunities for the Greens to enter a coalition at a future election, under the right circumstances. This was not the right time for it.

  5. Have just seen the announcement – Greens Leader Hunter not at all like the shrill Green party hacks on this site – perhaps they’re from the very small minority who preferenced the Liberals.

  6. I don’t particularly understand how this agreement is that great for the Greens. It looks like Labor got the best out of the whole situation.

  7. [perhaps they’re from the very small minority who preferenced the Liberals.]

    I think the Greens 2nd preferences at the last fed election ran over 25% to the libs.

    Not a small minority and shows that the greens are attracting a wide range of voters and views, which is a good thing.

    Labor voters will preference greens or go green /labor expecting greens to support labor, lib voters wil expect the greens to hold labor accountable or go with the party that got the majority of the votes or majority of the seats.

  8. [I don’t particularly understand how this agreement is that great for the Greens. It looks like Labor got the best out of the whole situation.]

    7) Parliamentary Staffing and Resources
    ACT Labor will ensure that the Greens MLAs are accorded party status, including
    formal recognition of the roles of the Greens’ Parliamentary Convenor and Whip.
    ACT Labor agrees that it shall commit to provide the Greens with staffing
    resources for three cross-bench Members and staffing equivalent to 1.5 of a
    cross-bench Member for the Greens’ parliamentary convenor.

    ACT Labor will support the Greens’ nominations for Chairs of the following
    i) Public Accounts Committee
    ii) Health, Community and Social Services
    iii) Climate Change, Environment and Water
    iv) Select Committee on Ecological Carrying Capacity for the ACT and

    3.10 The provision of Climate Change Impact Analysis to be required for all
    Government Bills and major policy proposals.
    3.11 Introduction of Triple Bottom Line annual reporting to be required through the
    Chief Minister’s Annual Report Directions.
    3.12 A new Standing Order to require that answers to questions during Question Time
    be “directly” relevant to the question.

    3.18 A request for observer status for the Greens at COAG meetings to be made by the
    Chief Minister to the Prime Minister.

    1.1 Legislate a greenhouse gas reduction target for the ACT.

    1.2 Call for Expressions of Interest by the end of 2008 for the development of a
    renewable energy plant capable of producing sufficient power for at least 10,000
    Canberra homes. Provide at least $30 million in assistance in 2009/10 budget to ensure the development of the plant.

    1.3 An Energy Efficient makeover for Canberra households, with the aim that within 10
    years all houses rated lower than 3 stars for energy efficiency should have improved
    energy efficiency to move them up to at least 3 stars.

    1.4 A timetable for the purchase of 100% renewable electricity by the ACT Government.

    2.1 Increase recurrent funding for cycling infrastructure to $3.6 million per annum from
    2009-10, and provide $2.5 million to address the maintenance backlog and
    implementation of signage on the cycling network.

    2.4 Adopting a goal of guaranteed bus frequency of 30 minutes. The first stage of the
    proposal, considering time periods and appropriate locations should begin
    implementation by the middle of 2009.

    3.1 Introducing a levy on plastic bags in supermarkets and other retailers. This will be a
    12-month trial, and will be implemented in the first half of 2009.

    4.1 Implementing the ‘Plumber Visit’ program, where a qualified plumber visits houses
    and undertakes maintenance and repairs such as fixing or replacing leaking hot water
    systems and pipes, installing dual flush toilet systems, fitting low flow taps, shower heads
    and other water-saving devices. This should be delivered to at least 25,000 houses over
    four years. This program would concentrate on government houses and other lowincome

    5.1 Requiring a minimum 6 star rating for new residential housing by 2010

    Also some other policies on business, education, health and justice.

  9. Speaking as a rotten right-wing ALP hack and purveyor of puerile anti-Green jokes, I find all of that very acceptable and sensible. Good sense and statespersonship (or perhaps statesbeingship since we don’t wish to be speciesist) has been displayed all round.

  10. For once, I have to agree with Adam. I’m pretty impressed at this.

    I guess the next question is what happens to the role of Speaker. I’m a bit surprised that Labor isn’t begging the Greens to take the job, purely because, in a seven member caucus, and with five members, taking the Speaker from their own ranks leaves them with a backbench of all of one.

    According to the CT this morning, Labor wants to nominate John Hargreaves for the role, which is brilliant (anything that gets the cantankerous old fool out of a ministry is brilliant); presumably that would mean that Mary Porter would be promoted to the vacancy, and Simon Corbell would be safe. In that case, I hope the Greens back down and don’t follow through with their threat for a Liberal – especially since the Liberal nominee is supposed to be Vicki Dunne, who’s undoubtedly the biggest idiot to tarnish the Assembly benches in their history, and that’s saying something here.

  11. I also think the Greens could have wangled a ministry out of the deal – but that said, the platform it ties the ALP to is great: cutting edge urban policies. I predict other cities will be looking to Canberra for policy ideas this time in 3 years hence.

    The ACT is perfectly sized to become a model sustainable city-state. Good outcome for the people.

    Shame the rest of the country doesn’t have PR – we could look forward to this around the country. Local councils just dont have the power of the ACT govt (Brisbane excepted – but then Brisbane doesnt have PR)

  12. It’s probably wise that the Greens didn’t gain any ministerial portfolios. It leaves government incompetence up to Labor and not the Greens. The Greens have got what they wanted through the agreement. A ministerial position would have simply been about the spoils of office which is not what the Greens are about.

  13. Even in Lilliput, expecting complete parliamentary novices to take on ministries is asking for trouble. The Greens were wise not to demand portfolios but rather to dictate terms from the crossbenches. They will gain useful experience with the committee chairs they now have. There you are Rebecca, I put “Greens” and “wise” in the same sentence. Now I think we can all holds hands and dance around the forest glade singing Puff the Magic Dragon. We get to stay in government, you get to have your policies enacted. You get all the credit of they work out, we get the blame if they don’t. Everyone’s a winner EXCEPT THE LIBS. What’s not to like?

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