Australian Capital Territory election live

Live coverage of the count for today’s Australian Capital Territory election.

Sunday morning.

So far as the party representation is concerned, there are clear results in Brindabella (three Liberal, two Labor), Kurrajong (two Labor, two Liberal, one Greens) and Yerrabi (three Labor, two Liberal), and seats in doubt in Ginninderra and Murrumbidgee, where Labor and Liberal have won two each, and the final seat is respectively down to Labor-versus-Greens and Liberal-versus-Greens. Both major parties thus stand to win 11 or 12 seats, with the Greens on at least one and perhaps as many as three. Thanks to the magic of electronic voting, the ACT Electoral Commission has been able to take away a lot of the guess work about the preference redistribution, by publishing an indicative result showing how things would look like if only the electronic vote counted. This amounts to perhaps a quarter of the total, electronic voting being available in the six pre-poll voting centres, which also function as ordinary polling booths on election day. The electorates in turn:

Brindabella. As the ACT Electoral Commission projection makes clear, the threat to the third Liberal from the Sex Party is apparent rather than real. On the primary vote, the Liberals currently have 2.4 quotas and the Sex Party has 0.5. However, the projection has the Liberals gaining 1.4 quotas as preferences are distributed, while the Sex Party can only manage half that much. Non-electronic voting slightly boosted the Sex Party and weakened the Liberals, but not by nearly enough to make a difference. The result will clearly be three Liberals (Andrew Wall, Mark Parton and Nicole Lawder) and two Labor (Mick Gentleman and Joy Burch).

Ginninderra. The projection shows Vicki Dunne and Elizabeth Kikkert of the Liberals both elected at the point where they are the party’s only two candidates left standing, leaving four seats to be divided up by the three leading Labor candidates plus Indra Esguerra of the Greens. Esguerra need finish ahead of only one of the Labor candidates, but the projection has her on 2208 versus 2629 for Yvonne Berry, 2522 for Tara Cheyne and 2436 for Chris Bourke. Bourke fell back in late counting and now trails Gordon Ramsay, but that is unlikely to change the general situation. The overall primary vote count for the parties is currently all but identical to the electronic vote count used for the projection, so a Labor win for the final seat would appear more likely than not. Clearly Yvette Berry will be one of Labor’s three, but otherwise there is very little to separate the other four candidates. Vicki Dunne will be re-elected for the Liberals, with Elizabeth Kikkert and Paul Sweeney all but tied for second place.

Kurrajong. The quota totals here are Labor 2.35, Liberal 1.77 and Greens 1.18, making it all but certain that the result will be 2-2-1. Andrew Barr polled a quota in his own right, and his 0.3 quota surplus could theoretically shape who wins second. However, the projection suggests Barr’s surplus divides between the other four candidates in the same proportion as their primary vote shares, which is to say in favour of second-placed Rachel Stephen-Smith over third-placed Josh Ceramidas. Stephen-Smith ends up leading 2345 to 1556 at the key point in the projection – this is based on a base primary vote of 5.4%, compared with 5.8% in the count overall, while Ceramidas remains on 4.7%. Newcomer Elizabeth Lee looks set to win the first Liberal seat, and the second is likely to go to incumbent Steve Doszpot, although the latter has another newcomer in Candice Burch at his heels. On the projection, Doszpot starts with 7.0% and Burch starts with 5.7%, after which both receive the exact same amount of preferences. Burch has since slightly narrowed the gap on the primary vote, now at 6.8% to 5.8%. Nonetheless, the likely final result here is Barr and Stephen-Smith for Labor, Lee and Doszpot for Liberal, and Shane Rattenbury the election’s only clear winner for the Greens.

Murrumbidgee. Labor and Liberal have a clean two seats apiece with Liberal fighting it out with the Greens for the last seat. The projection gives it to Greens candidate Caroline Le Couteuer, who nudges out a third Liberal by 2176 votes to 1802 at the key point of the count. The count this is based on is slightly less favourable to the Greens than the total count, with the Liberals on 42.0% of the primary vote rather than 41.7%, and the Greens on 11.1% rather than 10.8%. If the Liberals can only manage two, one will certainly be Jeremy Hanson, who has matched his Labor rival in recording 1.3 quotas, and the other will be incumbent Giulia Jones or newcomer Peter Hosking, who are respectively on 7.2% and 7.0% of the primary vote. Jones stands to benefit from the pro-incumbent vote that makes up Hanson’s surplus, and is likely to stay in front. Labor had no incumbents on its ticket, and its winners will be Chris Steel and Bec Cody.

Yerrabi. The quota totals are Labor 2.66, Liberal 2.12 and Greens 0.43, which can only mean three Labor, two Liberal. The elected members will certainly include incumbent Meegan Fitzharris and newcomer Michael Pettersson, and almost certainly a second newcomer in Suzanne Orr, who leads incumbent Jayson Hinder 7.3% to 6.3% and gets a better flow of preferences on the projection. Alistair Coe is a clear winner of the first Liberal seat, and looks set to be joined by James Milligan, whose 7.5% to 6.2% lead over Jacob Vadakkedathu is projected to widen on preferences.

Saturday night

10.06pm. Labor have slipped back in Kurrajong, which probably scotches that vague possibility of three seats there. The ABC computer is saying Labor 11, Liberal 10 and Greens one with three undecided, which would refer to Brindabella, where the Sex Party continues to incrementally improve, but faces the difficulty that the third strongest Liberal, Nicole Lawder, is slightly outpolling the combined Sex Party vote; Ginninderra, where the last seat could go to a third Labor or to the Greens; and Murrumbidgee, where the last seat could go to a Liberal or the Greens.

9.29pm. The ACTEC’s provisional preference counts are giving me a headache, but Kevin Bonham points to big preference leakage after Andrew Barr’s election, which diminishes the possibility I canvassed of a 3-1-1 result.

9.02pm. Sex Party strengthening still further in Brindabella with 74.0% counted: 0.50 quotas to 2.45 for Liberal. Surely a big chance now of two Labor, two Liberal, one Sex Party.

8.58pm. Far from fading with the counting of the ordinary vote, the Sex Party in Brindabella is up from 0.45 to 0.48 with 68.6% now counted.

8.52pm. I’ve been taking for granted a 2-2-1 result in Kurrajong, but in keeping with their overall poor show, it may be worse than that for the Liberals – they have 1.59 quotas versus 2.51 for Labor, suggesting 3-1-1 can’t be ruled out. That might even get them to a majority, if they can pull ahead of the Greens in Ginninderra.

8.50pm. Antony’s matched primary votes swings: Labor up 1.%, Libearl down 3.9%, Greens down 0.5%.

8.48pm. Still a lottery for the second and possibly third Labor seats in Ginninderra: Gordon Ramsay 3200, Tara Cheyne 2960, Kim Fischer 2845, Chris Bourke 2754.

8.42pm. The Ginninderra count has just shot up from 37.2% counted to 64.8%, and Labor is up from 2.52 quotas to 2.53, and the Greens are down from 0.59 to 0.57. Incumbents Yvette Barry (Labor) and Vicki Dunne (Liberal) are home, but the intra=party contests are otherwise extremely tight.

8.30pm. The latest update in Murrumbidgee, where 34.1% are now counted, is slightly to the advantage of the Liberals, who are up from 2.50 quotas to 2.54, but the Greens are on 0.64 and Antony Green rates them more likely than the Liberals to get the last seat. Brindabella and Yerrabi counts are now over 50%, and aren’t bearing out hopeful Liberal talk of a dramatically different trend on polling booth votes.

8.20pm. Regarding my musings concerning the Sex Party in Brindabella, Antony Green points out they have a problem in the even spread of support for the various Liberal candidates, which will make it difficult for them to pull ahead during the preference distribution.

8.10pm. Yerrabi count now up to 44.2%, and it’s clearly Labor three, Liberal two. Meegan Fitzharris and Michael Petersson will win two of the Labor seats, but the third is up in the air, with Suzanne Orr leading and incumbent Jayson Hinder struggling. James Mulligan likely to join Alistair Coe as the second Liberal.

7.52pm. The ACTEC has published interim preference distributions suggesting Labor rather than the Greens will get the last seat in Ginninderra, and the Greens rather than the Liberals will get it in Murrumbidgee. That suggests a final result of Labor 12, Liberal 11 and Greens two.

7.44pm. I haven’t had much to say about the strong Sex Party performance in Brindabella, but with 26.9% counted they’re well clear of the Greens (7.1% to 5.2%), and it’s entirely possible that they could win the seat at the expense of the third Liberal on Greens preferences – assuming polling booth votes don’t prove very different from pre-poll ones, which they may well do.

7.33pm. In Murrumbidgee, Jeremy Hanson is re-elected for the Liberals, but Giulia Jones isn’t quite shaking off Peter Hosking, although it’s possible both will win. Bec Cody and Chris Steel are firming as the Labor members. The Greens candidate who’s in the hunt is Caroline Le Couteur.

7.31pm. In Yerrabi, Labor’s Meegan Fitzharris is re-elected and will be joined by Michael Petersson, but it’s anyone’s guess who the third Labor member will be. For the Liberals, Alistair Coe has been re-elected and looks likely to be joined by James Milligan.

7.30pm. So to summarise: 3-2 to Liberal in Brindabella; 2-2 in Ginninderra, with the last seat Labor versus Greens; 2-2-1 in Kurrajong; 2-2 in Murrumbidgee, with the last seat either Liberals or Greens; and 3-2 to Labor in Yerrabi.

7.28pm. Shane Rattenbury has clearly been re-elected, but beyond that the Greens have only two possibilities, being in a struggle with the Liberals for the final seat in Murrumbidgee, which will determine whether the Liberals finish on 11 or 12, and with Labor in Ginninderra.

7.25pm. Big leap forward in the Yerrabi count, now at 35.9% counted, and it’s all but confirmed now that Labor will win three seats to the Liberals two, which closes the door on the possibility of a Liberal majority.

7.16pm. Resulting firming in Kurrajong: two Labor (Andrew Barr and Rachel Stephen-Smith, although the latter might yet get displaced by a Labor colleague), two Liberal (Elizabeth Lee and Steve Doszpot) and one Greens (Shane Rattenbury).

7.13pm. A slight update to the Ginninderra numbers pushes the count over 30%, and it’s still clear the Liberals won’t get a third seat there. Still unclear which Labor and Liberal candidates will win seats, except that Vicki Dunne looks very likely to be one of the Liberals. Yvette Berry has a slight edge among the Labor candidates.

7.10pm. Now we’ve hit a lull in reporting of results after the electronic pre-polls. The laggard is Yerrabi, which just nudged from 8.2% counted to 11.3%, with the others around 25%. The Liberals have actually gone backwards on the updated Yerrabi numbers, which is bad news for them as their only path to victory involves them winning a third seat there. That’s certainly not going to happen with 2.09 quotas. Labor looking more likely to win a third seat than one going to the Greens. Still a long way to go though.

6.59pm. Now 8.2% counted in Yerrabi, and it’s not looking great for the Liberals on these numbers. So far, it looks the same as Ginninderra, with the final seat coming down to the Greens and a third Labor candidate, leaving the Liberals on two. Unless that changes, the Liberals look doomed to fall short.

6.57pm. Ginninderra still looking grim for the Liberals with nearly 30% counted. Result looks like either Labor three and Liberal two, or two each with one for the Greens. So the Liberals need three seats in Murrumbidgee and Yerrabi.

6.56pm. Brindabella looks settled: Wall, Parton and Lawder for Liberal, Burch and Gentleman for Labor. So the question remains whether the Liberals can make it to three in any two out of Ginninderra, Murrumbidgee and Yerrabi.

6.54pm. Murrumbidgee looking very important to the result, with a close race looming between a third Liberal and the Greens to win the final seat. Bec Cody and Chris Steel leading to win the two Labor seats.

6.53pm. Rachel Stephen-Smith leading the field to join Andrew Barr as Labor’s second member in Kurrajong.

6.52pm. Rapid progress now as the electronic pre-polls report. As noted, very little differentiation between party candidate votes in Ginninderra.

6.50pm. ABC computer quickly went from 4% to 11.3% counted in Kurrajong, and now the result looks as anticipated, with two Liberal, two Labor and one Greens. Elizabeth Lee looking to join incumbent Steve Doszpot (she is outpolling him) as the second Liberal.

6.49pm. Very, very close race between the Labor candidates in Ginninderra, with little differentiation between the two incumbents (Yvette Berry and Chris Bourke) and the three newcomers.

6.48pm. Surprisingly good early result for Liberals in Kurrajong, where I had simply assumed before they wouldn’t win three seats, but it’s probably a function of where the booth is.

6.48pm. ACTEC site isn’t coping and ABC doesn’t give booth results, so I’m flying blind as to where these results are coming from.

6.45pm. Comparing that Woden pre-poll result for Murrumbidgee with the overall Woden pre-poll in 2012 (remembering that pre-poll booths are set up to receive votes for all districts), Labor is down 4.5%, the Liberals are up 1.6%, and the Greens are all but unchanged.

6.43pm. FIrst result from Ginninderra didn’t look brilliant for the Liberals. Very early days, but if that continues the Liberals will have only one path to victory, with Yerrabi as well as Murrumbidgee needing to come through for them with a third seat.

6.40pm. Antony discussing a result from Brindabella, which does little to disturb the expectation that the Liberals will win three here and Labor two, although the Australian Sex Party is polling well with 6.6%. As anticipated, Mark Parton looks placed to become the third Liberal, with all four incumbents looking to be returned.

6.37pm. First result is the Woden pre-poll booth from Murrumbdigee. It provides no evidence of independents doing particularly well, and suggests Giulia Jones can’t take for granted being one of the two Liberals elected, if indeed there are are only two, with new Liberal Peter Hosking outpolling her. Antony Green’s projection says the Labor vote is down 6% to 7%.

6pm. Welcome to live coverage of the Australian Capital Territory election count, for which polls have now closed. Results can be followed here at the Electoral Commission site, or here at the ABC.

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.

207 comments on “Australian Capital Territory election live”

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  1. Boerwar
    The populations are tricky, and the wicky quotes several different definitions of the cities (city, urban and metro). The French habit of having city and commune boundaries unfortunately makes it quite messy. I have been doing a paper on this recently. Nantes urban population is listed as 600,000 and that is the relevant figure. It is a few years out of date. The commuting area Semitan ( the PT operator) cover houses 700,000. The density is not that high. There are detached houses in the outer suburbs, typically four to six story buildings in the centre. Strasbourg has more apartments, but still hardly a single building above four stories. Both are nice cities, well worth a visit.

  2. @Frickeg
    ACT is really leading the way in Labor + Greens cooperation. Shows it can and does work, ganging up 2 vs 1 against the Liberals has so many advantages. Great to see.

  3. Rummel – the public servants know the Libs hate them, think they’re useless, overpaid bludgers and want to shut down, drastically cut back or privatise whatever function they perform on the public payroll.


    Based on their premium “Steam & Cuisine” service, no where.

  5. Very pleased with the result here, continuing a pretty great run for Labor in elections – let’s hope it continues on to WA next year! OK result for the Greens too.

    I think that’ll do me for tonight – looking forward to the NSW by-elections in a month’s time!

  6. Canberra’s urban population is about 420,000 if you throw in Queanbeyan (15 km East). Although in NSW, many in Queanbeyan and district work in Canberra or are dependent upon it for their business.

  7. In Brindabella, it’s very tight between the Sex Party and the third Labor candidate to see who is eliminated in seventh place and who goes on to fight for the final seat with the third Liberal. The reason for this is the Labor vote is very evenly spread between their candidates. Whoever gets over this exclusion, I currently have the Liberals still winning, but not by much. Probably they will pick up on postals and reach a safer position but the next interim distribution will be interesting.

  8. Considering the talk of a Green-Sex-ALP preference “deal” of sorts in Brindabella by Meegan Fitzharris (no idea how this would work in Hare-Clark), I’d hope that one of them can eke out a win. But we’ll see.

  9. No matter which way the final seats fall, as Antony Green said back at nine o’clock, you cannot see how the Liberals can reach 13. It could range anywhere from 13-1-11 to 12-2-11 to 12-1-12. Therefore it is a Labor Greens government.

  10. Socrates
    I did read your follow up post on population and accept your points on the challenges of defining population numbers. It surprised me to learn that by far the majority of the people living in the Paris conurbation were definitely not Parisians.
    It reinforced one of my views: that the sheer proportion of grass along the Light Rail makes like-to-like comparisons difficult.
    The second point is a new one raised by mention of Queanbeyan and the relationship of the urbs to the conurbs in France.
    Compared to the urbs of Nantes and Strasbourg Canberra has peripheral mass. There are a few scattered country towns. Thence there is Goulburn and Yass, both an hour’s drive away with nothing in between. Then coast – a couple of hour’s drive away and the snow, ditto.

  11. I note that a number of posters mentioned in relation to Barr last night that he could not marry.
    IMO one of the good points of the campaign was that there was no mention of Barr’s sexuality that I can recall.
    There may have been some subterranean homophobic bastardry but. on the public face, it was a non-event.

  12. Boerwar
    Yes the French definitions of city boundaries are quite arcane. As you say, most Parisians actually live in “Ile de France”.

    Your points about the towns around Canberra are quite true. In terms of LRT speed, cost and capacity I do not think Yass or Goulburn are viable for LRT links to Canberra (too far, too costly). They should focus on Canberra first. But a later extension to Queenbeyan might make sense, given a lot of people commute between the two, and they are quite close.

  13. There’s quite a few cities throughout the world running very efficient and modern trams. Gotha in Germany has 46,000. Liberec and Olomouc in the Czech Republic around the 100k mark. That’s off the top of the head, so there’s plenty more. Also, many of these systems are technically ahead of the French systems, and in the bigger cities like Budapest, the numbers easily beat anything the French can chuck at them.

    What many technocrats who analyse these things forget is the human factor. People, for whatever reason, prefer trams to buses, and vote with their feet, and at the ballot box when it’s an issue. This happened in Adelaide. The technocrats, dragged kicking and screaming to extend the tramline, provided only enough new trams to cater for existing bus capacity. When the extension opened, the demand was so great, they had to scramble to find extra trams. Of course, having to find them in a rush meant they were much more expensive, and non standard.

  14. boerwar @ #179 Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I note that a number of posters mentioned in relation to Barr last night that he could not marry.
    IMO one of the good points of the campaign was that there was no mention of Barr’s sexuality that I can recall.
    There may have been some subterranean homophobic bastardry but. on the public face, it was a non-event.

    Barr made an explicit point in his victory speech of thanking Hanson for agreeing to keep nasty stuff out of the election campaign and keeping to his agreement. I’m not putting it well; he put it far better. It may have been a negative campaign, but not a vitriolic one.

  15. Mark Skinner

    True modern trams (ligt rail simply means modern trams running in their own lane with priority over traffic) are working well in many countires, and not only Europe. Even Canada and USA now have good example. I quoted the French systems because they started the modern trend. I would not agree that the others are technically ahead of the best French; their first modern systems are 30 years old now and of course have been surpassed.

    I am one of the technocrats and am not the only one arguing for more money to be spent on trams instead of freeways (or busways). Adelaide was more successful than expected as you say. I think we would get more benefit to this city (Adelaide) from more tram projects than from finishing the South Road upgrading. But various lobby groups (RAA, road builders) lobby for the latter. Labor take note – not only are the tram projects more popular with the public, but they are more labour intensive too. So you employ more people building trams, if that is the objective.

  16. S et al

    In relation to the comparisons between Nantes and Strasbourg and the ACT both urbs Nantes and urbs Strasbourg have a large peripheral demographic and economic mass.
    It is the same in Paris where large national, regional and local rail lines all connect with the mass transit system.
    Canberra has none of this. The main railway station is virtually an archaeological relic. The interstate bus interchange caters for a maximum of eight buses at a time.
    The airport has far fewer passenger movements than, say, Coolangatta and the numbers are volatile depending on sitting weeks.
    The point I am getting to is that there is no real comparison between Strasbourg and the ACT.
    In other words, as an investment, the Canberra light rail will stand or fall on what happens in Canberra itself.
    There may be lessons from Nantes but they will not be valid based on a false analogy.
    But there is some excellent news. If it really does turn out to have a 1.2 ROI, it will be a wonderful self-generating piece of infrastructure and the gain margin can be used to expand Light Rail to wherever Barr and Ratts fancy.
    I have a query that you may be able to answer.
    Why did the Paris periphique fail?
    While I enjoyed the creative uses to which the line was put, it sort of got to me that it was going to waste. Coincidentally, part of the Paris LRT route almost duplicates and runs closely parallel to the periphique.

  17. Socrates,

    Not to argue, but since you are interested as a technocrat. The French started a revival in western Europe. However, the Germans, Czechs and Poles never stopped, and so have a longer established industry, meaning really tested designs continuously improved. Check out the Polish Pesa Twist, Czech Škoda 15T (or the various reincarnations by Inekon of the Volkswagen of the tram industry, the Tatra T3), or the German Flexity. The French have promotion down pat.

  18. Re opening post and Brindabella: “However, the projection has the Liberals gaining 1.4 quotas as preferences are distributed, while the Sex Party can only manage half that much.”

    The Liberals start with around 2.5 quotas in the current interim distribution and only reach 3.1 quotas even after all preferences are thrown, and that includes the Sex Party’s preferences. At the point where the Sex Party is currently eliminated in the interim distribution, the Sex Party has gained 510 votes and the Liberals have gained 522. If the Sex Party actually gets over Labor’s third candidate (which on current primaries would probably just happen, but we’ll see if this remains the case through the postcount) then preferences won’t be their problem since they should gain from Labor. Their problem will be the relatively even split of votes between Parton and Lawder, which is likely to cause them to lose even if their party total is “better”. Curently I estimate Bailey would have to catch Lawder on Labor surplus preferences at something like 18 votes per 100 votes. I’m not sure he would actually do that, but it will become academic if it gets harder after postals, as it may well.

  19. Mark
    I have personally seen the Skoda and Pesa LRVs and I live in Adelaide where we have Flexities. All are good vehicles. CAF are also good (used in Nantes). I do not suggest the French (Alstom) build better trams than the Germans or Poles. But they were the inventors of the modern style of designing tram systems i.e. track etc.

    The Paris Peripherique would have been great if Paris had stayed at 6 million population. It grew to 12 million instead. So its design capacity has been hopelessly exceeded. When cities grow very large, freeways, which are not space efficient, usually cease to function as freeways.

    The LRT line (T3A) running down Boulevards des Marechaux now moves 210,000 people per day. Equivalent to a 10 lane freeway, in two lanes. It carries what the Peripherique cannot carry.

    Another basic problem is that the Peripherique was built at the edge of the Paris administrative area, rather than the urban area. So it never functioned properly as a ring road.

  20. Boerwar, I don’t think you’ve driven down Flemington Rd (the route of the light rail) in a while.
    From right after Mitchell you now have Franklin and Harrison on either side, with apartment buildings in the blocks adjacent to road and that continues all the way to the town centre.

  21. The first bunch of postal votes have been counted for Brindabella. The Sex Party got a bit over half the percentage of votes it received at polling booths. On the other hand the Liberals received the expected higher postal vote result – more than 10% higher than on Saturday. No further preference distribution so far.

    And Caf is right, Boerwar. Gungahlin has been designed from the outset to have a large population living adjacent to the transport spine represented by Flemington Road. Whether you want to run buses or light rail along it may be another matter

  22. Socrates,

    At the risk of getting smacked for being off topic, I agree that the French are to blame for modern light rail design of track and overhead. Both are more expensive and of no more utility than Australian designs of 90 years ago. This contributed to the outrageous expense of the Canberra light rail. That expense was part of the political argument used by the Liberals.

  23. Good to see Labor have to be humble and accept the Greens as a legitimate and important actor. Does Labor a world of good to be in that position.

  24. Enough of Boewar’s Light Rail rantings!

    Any updates from the Commission or Antony? I thought they were due to press some sort of magic button soon to finally allocate preferences etc which should give us an idea of of the final make up.

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