Conclusion: Saturday, October 24
What are apparently the final distributions have been posted, so we look to have a final result of Labor 10 (down two), Liberal nine (down two) and Greens six (up four), with 2-2-1 results everywhere except Kurrajong, where the Greens won a second seat to secure a 2-1-2 result. Johnathan Davis of the Greens won the last seat in Brindabella ahead of Labor’s Taimus Werner-Gibbins, resulting in 2-2-1 rather than 3-2, and Peter Cain won a second seat for the Liberals in Ginninderra ahead of a third for Labor by edging out incumbent Gordon Ramsay, resulting in 2-2-1 rather than 3-1-1.
When I last analysed the count in Brindabella a full week ago, Werner-Gibbins led Davis by seven at the key point in the count, which ended up being an 82 vote advantage to Davis. Unsuccessful Liberal Andrew Wall landed 110 votes clear of Werner-Gibbins at this point of the count; if he had fallen behind, his preferences would have decided the result between the other two. In Ginninderra, Labor’s hope of ekeing out a third seat by re-electing Gordon Ramsay disappeared over the week as Liberal candidate Peter Cain’s 271 vote deficit against Ramsay at the key count has turned into a 167 vote advantage.
End of Saturday night
Let’s start with the big picture. Labor’s overall vote appears to be entirely unchanged from 2016 at 38.4%; the Liberals are down from 36.7% to 33.4%; and the Greens are up from 10.3% to 13.5%. It is clear there will continue to be a Labor government relying on Greens support: with two seats still in doubt, the 23 confirmed seats have gone Labor 10, Liberal eight and Greens five, compared with Labor 12, Liberal 11 and Greens two in 2016. Their respective best case scenarios are 12, nine and six.
One of the seats in doubt is in Brindabella, where the Liberals have clearly lost a seat in the only district where they won three in 2016, the question being whether it goes to Labor or the Greens. The other is in Ginninderra, where the Greens have clearly gained a seat, the question being whether it comes at the expense of Labor, who won three seats in 2016, or the Liberals, who won two. One of the two districts that went 2-2-1 in 2016, Murrumbidgee, has done so again this time; in the other, Kurrajong, the Greens have gained a second seat and reduced the Liberals to one. The Greens have won a seat from Labor in Yerrabi, where Labor won three and the Liberals two in 2016.
Breaking it down by district:
With Labor and the Liberals assured of two, the question of the final seat comes down to a seven vote gap between Labor’s number three, Tamius Werner-Gibbings, and Greens candidate Johnathan Davis, who are respectively at 4961 and 4954 at the decisive distribution. The defeated third Liberal incumbent, Andrew Wall, is on 5050 at this point of the count, and the complexion of Liberal preference flows between Labor and the Greens will determine the result if he falls back by 50 votes so and gets excluded before Werner-Gibbings and Davis.
The absence of the Sex Party, who polled 7.9% in 2016, left room for substantial gains for both Labor (up 7.5% to 41.1%) and the Greens (up 5.8% to 10.9%), while the Liberals fell 3.8% to 38.1%. Labor’s two incumbents, Joy Burch and Mick Gentleman, had no trouble getting re-elected, and there was again little to separate them, with both gaining around 3% off similar vote shares from 2016. Taimus Werner-Gibbings polled 6.7% without getting elected in 2016, and is now contention to do so after gaining 1.7%.
The order of the three elected Liberals in 2016 was Andrew Wall, Mark Parton and Nicole Lawder, but it was Wall who went under as his fell from 12.0% to 8.1%, while Parton and Lawder made slight gains. The Greens vote more doubled, from 5.1% to 10.9%, with Davis going from 1.5% at his unsuccessful run in 2016 to 5.6% this time.
Despite polling a solid 9.2%, the Belco Party did not end up being in contention. Whereas I speculated pre-election that they might give the Liberals a path to victory by poaching a seat from Labor they would not have been able to win themselves, their presence did not in fact do the Liberals any favours, and may actually cost them one of the two seats they went in with. At the point where lead Belco Party candidate Bill Stefaniak drops out of the count, more than half his vote exhausts, with 29.8% going to the Liberals, 12.2% to Labor and 4.6% to the Greens. That leaves two seats and three candidates, with Jo Clay of the Greens in the clear on 5791, and Labor’s Gordon Ramsay ahead for the last seat with 5282 votes to 5011 for Peter Cain of the Liberals. So Cain has a gap of 271, or around 0.6% of the total, to make up in late counting.
The Liberal vote in Ginninderra slumped 6.2% to 25.8%, although Labor were also down 0.8% to 40.6% as the Belco Party muscled into the field, and the Greens were up 3.2% to 12.9%. With three Labor incumbents seeking re-election, Yvette Berry and Tara Cheyne picked up strong swings to dominate the party’s vote, while Gordon Ramsay trod water and lagged behind, to mix a metaphor. The only Liberal incumbent, Elizabeth Kikkert, picked up 2.3% to emerge the clear winner for the only assured Liberal seat. The potential second winner, newcomer Peter Cain, polled 5.3%, and Jo Clay dominated among the Greens with 6.4%.
The Greens’ success in gaining a second seat at the expense of one of the two Liberal incumbents comes down to Rebecca Vassarotti of the Greens having 5021 votes at the relevant exclusion to 4384 for Candice Burch of the Liberals, which I presume is too big a gap to make up on late counting.
The traffic in the party vote shares was between Liberal and the Greens, with the former down 4.8% to 26.2% and the latter up 5.2% to 24.0%, while Labor held steady on 38.4%. The two re-elected Labor incumbents had little change on their 2016 vote shares, with Andrew Barr on 22.3% and Rachel Stephen-Smith on 5.6%.
Elizabeth Lee emerged the only clear Liberal winner with 9.3%, little changed on 2016; Burch’s likely defeat arises mroe from the overall drop in the Liberal vote rather than her own vote share, which was up 1.6% to 7.5%. Of the Greens, Shane Rattenbury’s 13.2% was little changed on 2016, with Rebecca Vassarotti gaining 3.1% on her unsuccessful 2016 performance to score 6.5%, well ahead of the party’s other two candidates.
Needing a win in an electorate where they had been favoured by the redistribution, the Liberals did no better than maintain the status quo with a particularly weak vote share of 34.6%, down 9.9% on their redistribution-adjusted total from 2016. Labor were up 3.8% to 36.8% and the Greens 1.4% to 12.1%, with most of the lost Liberal vote accounted for by independent Fiona Carrick’s 7.0%.
From the Labor ticket, Chris Steel sophomore surged by 5.0% to 14.1%, but the other newcomer from 2016, Bec Cody, looks set to lose to party colleague Marisa Paterson after dropping 1.7% to 7.0%, while Paterson was on 8.0%. Cody’s 370-vote deficit against Paterson on the primary vote grows to 717 with the distribution of preferences.
Of the Liberals, Jeremy Hanson got 14.3% after losing 8.1% from the vote share he managed as leader in 2016, while the other Liberal incumbent, Giulia Jones, dropped 0.7% to 6.5%, only slightly clear of Liberal newcomer Amardeep Singh on 6.2%. Her 113-vote lead over Singh on the primary vote expands to 528 as preferences are distributed. The new Greens member is Emma Davison, who dominated the party’s vote with 7.2%.
The outlier of the five districts, with the Liberals surging 4.4% to 40.2% while Labor sagged by 9.2% to 34.7%, for which the DLP’s 4.8% provides only half an explanation. However, it doesn’t appear to have done the Liberals any good, as they remain stuck on two seats, with the Greens instead gaining a seat from Labor after their vote rose 3.2% to 10.3%.
Part of the shift from Labor to Liberal reflects the mid-term retirement of Labor’s strongest incumbent from 2016, Meegan Fitzharris – Labor’s three incumbents, Michael Pettersson, Suzanne Orr and Deepak-Raj Gupta, made only slight gains despite her 15.2% being up for grabs, polling between 7.2% and 9.7%. The other notable candidate factor behind the result was Liberal member Alistair Coe’s rise to the leadership, though his 1.7% gain to 15.9% was quite modest. Liberal newcomer Leanne Castley gained a seat at the expense of party colleague James Milligan, polling 8.6% to Milligan’s 7.0%, the latter being 0.6% down on his vote from 2016. Andrew Braddock dominated the two-candidate Greens ticket with 6.5%.
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