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.

Australian Capital Territory election guide

An overview of Saturday’s election in the Australian Capital Territory, where Labor is seeking to make it five in a row.

I have just published a guide to Saturday’s Australian Capital Territory election, which provides an overview of the territory’s political history going back to the establishment of self-government in 1989, and observes the lay of the land in the five newly created five-member districts. I am indebted throughout to the coverage of the Canberra Times, which has a good overview of the election issues here.

The new regime will result in a parliament of 25, replacing an existing arrangement of one seven-member and two five-member regions, with 17 members overall. The numbers in the chamber since the 2012 election have been eight each for Labor and Liberal, with Labor surviving in government by the grace of Greens member Shane Rattenbury, who has held a position in cabinet throughout the current term. Labor has been in power since 2001 and is seeking a fifth victory under a third Chief Minister, Andrew Barr. The Liberals are led by Jeremy Hanson, who replaced Zed Seselja when he moved to the Senate in February 2013.

In the absence of published opinion polling, the situation is not easy to read. While the Liberals stand to benefit from the government’s longevity, and perhaps also the controversy over its pursuit of a light rail scheme that so far offers benefits only to the city’s north, Canberra is always difficult ground for the conservative side of politics. The challenge they face is to have three out the five seats won by Liberals or amenable independents in three of the five regions. They are presumably well placed to again win three seats in the southern suburbs district of Brindabella, but to this must be added third seats in two out of Ginninderra and Yerrabi, in the north of Canberra, or Murrumbidgee, which neighbours Brindabella in the south.

The Greens were reduced to a single seat in 2012 after winning four in 2008, and the new electoral arrangement – the fruit of a deal between Labor and Liberal – has made life difficult for them by abolishing the seven-member region of Molonglo. However, the party’s concentration of support around the centre of the city should at least be enough for them in the Kurrajong district, which Rattenbury is contesting.

Newspoll: 55-45 to Coalition

The latest Newspoll is no worse for Labor than the last on voting intention, but Julia Gillard has lost her lead as preferred prime minister.

The Australian reports the latest Newspoll has the Coalition leading 55-45 on two-party preferred, down from 56-44 at the previous poll three weeks ago, with both Labor and the Coalition down a point on the primary vote to 31% and 47% respectively and the Greens up two to 11%. Tony Abbott has apparently hit the lead as preferred prime minister; more to follow.

UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes relates that Julia Gillard’s ratings have plunged yet further, her approval down six points to 30% and disapproval up six to 58%. Tony Abbott is effectively unchanged at 33% (steady) and 55% (down one), but his 41-39 deficit on preferred prime minister is now a lead of 40-36.

UPDATE 2: The latest Morgan face-to-face result combines the last two weekends of polling, and it shows the Coalition sustaining a commanding primary vote lead of 44% (down one) to 33.5% (steady), with the Greens up a point to 10%. On respondent-allocated preferences the Coalition lead has narrowed from 56-44 to 54.5-45.5, while on previous election preferences it’s down from 54.5-45.5 to 53.5-46.5.

Other news:

• The Australian Electoral Commission has accepted Julian Assange’s enrolment in the Melbourne seat of Isaacs, which clears him to proceed with his Senate bid unless someone cares to mount a legal challenge. I had expected that Assange might fall foul of the requirement that a person enrolling overseas must intend to resume residing in Australia within six years of having left. To the best of my admittedly limited knowledge, Assange was last here furtively in 2007. Another legal grey area is his political asylum status, and what it might mean for the constitutional injunction that parliamentarians not be “under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or … a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power”.

• Gary Humphries, who has held the Liberals’ ACT Senate seat since 2003 and was the territory’s Chief Minister from October 2000 to November 2001, has lost preselection to Zed Seselja, leader of the ACT opposition through five years and two election defeats. Seselja prevailed in the contentious party ballot on Saturday by margin of 114 to 84. Humphries says he will abide by the result, but even before the vote his supporters had petitioned for it to be referred to a divisional council meeting on the grounds that the process had been rushed to Seselja’s advantage. That would throw the vote open to around 400 extra party members who were denied a vote because they hadn’t attended a branch meeting in six months.

• With Seselja standing aside from the leadership to contest the Senate preselection, the ACT Liberals have chosen Molonglo MP Jeremy Hanson as their new leader ahead of former leader Brendan Smyth. This was despite Gary Humphries’ claim that a deal had been reached between Seselja and another MP, Alistair Coe, in which Seselja would decisively throw his weight behind Coe in exchange for Coe’s support for his Senate preselection bid (which was nonetheless forthcoming, along with that of the remainder of the Liberal party room). Humphries claimed his decision to reveal the deal to the public caused it to come undone, although Coe denied it had ever been made. Coe won the party room ballot for the deputy leadership, unseating Smyth.

• Natasha Griggs, the Country Liberal Party member for the Darwin-based seat of Solomon since she unseated Labor’s Damian Hale in 2010, has seen off a preselection challenge from Peter Bourke, a clinical immunologist at Royal Darwin Hospital. In January the Northern Territory News reported a party source saying Bourke was likely to prevail, as Griggs was “not cut out to be a politician”.

• A rank-and-file Labor preselection vote for the south-western Sydney seat of Werriwa will be held on March 5, pitting Labor veteran Laurie Ferguson against union and party activist Damien Ogden, who had been an aspirant for the seat when Ferguson moved there after his existing seat of Reid was merged with neighbouring Lowe at the 2010 election. Anna Patty of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Ogden has some support from both the “hard” and “soft” left, respectively associated with Anthony Albanese and the United Voice union, although it appears to be generally expected that Ferguson will see off the threat. A report by Samantha Maiden in the Sunday Telegraph suggests that might not avail him in the long run, with union polling conducted late last year said to point to a decisive swing against Labor of 13%.

Ben McClellan of the Blacktown Advertiser reports the Liberal preselection for Greenway has been set for March 9, with 12 shortlisted candidates including 2010 candidate Jayme Diaz, Rose Tattoo singer Gary “Angry” Anderson, Hills councillor Yvonne Keane and “anti-bullying campaigner and motivational speaker” Brett Murray. Also in the field are business coach Robert Borg, gym owner Rowan Dickens, senior financial analyst Mathew Marasigan, marketing manager Ben Jackson, Hills councillor Mark Owen Taylor, accountant Mark Jackson, security supervisor Renata Lusica and, curiously, Josephina Diaz, mother of Jayme. The choice will be made from a panel of delegates from the electorate’s five branches and head office.

Galaxy: 53-47 to Coalition

A lot has happened since Galaxy’s last federal poll in mid-June – enough on this evidence to have lifted Labor three points, while still leaving them well short of the two-party parity recorded by Newspoll. Tony Abbott also cops the troubling finding that even Coalition voters now prefer Malcolm Turnbull.

GhostWhoVotes reports a Galaxy poll shows the Coalition leading 53-47, a three-point gain to Labor since the last national poll conducted by Galaxy, which was conducted in the Labor dark age of mid-June. The primary vote figures give Labor 35%, the Coalition down two to 47% (still well up on the other phone pollsters) and the Greens on 11% (down one). A question on preferred Liberal leader gives Malcolm Turnbull an advantage over Tony Abbott of such order (60% to 29%) as cannot be easily dismissed, with Turnbull even leading 51-45 among Liberal voters. Julia Gillard also trails in competition with Kevin Rudd 49% to 34%, which is the narrowest result in a head-to-head poll between the two since March last year. Most encouragingly for her, the improvement has been driven by Labor voters, among whom she leads 57% to 39%. However, only 25% said they believed her account of the 2010 leadership coup against 63% who said they did not believe her.

The following chart shows the results of head-to-head polling between Gillard and Rudd since the beginning of last year, as conducted by Nielsen (eight polls), Galaxy (six) and Newspoll (three).

UPDATE (5/11/12): Essential Research will not be reporting until Wednesday, but we have today a Morgan face-to-face poll derived from the last two weekends of surveying which shows a sharp improvement for the Coalition on a depressed showing last time. The Coalition primary vote has moved over three surveys from 43% to 38.5% and back to 43% – Morgan is selling the latest shift as a negative response to the mini-budget, but a far likelier explanation is that the previous result was simply an aberration. Labor is down two points to 35.5% and the Greens on 10%, down 2.5% from an unusually good result last time. On two-party preferred, the Coalition have a 52-48 lead on the previous election measure compared with a 52.5-47.5 deficit last time, while on respondent-allocated preferences a 50.5-49.5 deficit has turned into a lead of 53.5-46.5.

UPDATE (7/11/12): While attention was elsewhere, Essential Research published what by its standards was a solid move to Labor: they are up one point to 37%, with the Coalition down two to 46% the Greens steady on 9%. This amounts to a one-point drop in the Coalition’s lead on two-party preferred, which is now at 53-47. The poll also has 20% of respondents approving of Christine Milne’s performance against 33% disapproval; 17% holding the Greens as having done a good job against 47% poor; and 53% thinking them too extreme against 26% as representing the views of many voters (remembering that Essential has become quite a tough series for the Greens recently). Further questions find respondents are all in favour of Asia, but divided 41-41 on expanding uranium mining and broadly wary of nuclear energy.

Some reviews of recent electoral events. Firstly and more recently is the Sydney by-election of last Saturday, October 27. This gave a clear win to Alex Greenwich, the independent candidate endorsed by the involuntarily departing Clover Moore. Labor did not a field a candidate in order to give Greenwich a clear run, but it hardly seems likely he would have been troubled had it been otherwise. Turnout was poor, in keeping with the recent trend of state by-elections.

SYDNEY STATE BY-ELECTION, NEW SOUTH WALES
October 27, 2012

					#	%	Swing	2PP	%
Alex Greenwich (Independent)		17,687	47.3%		21,283	63.7%
Shayne Mallard (Liberal)		11,543	30.9%	+5.3%	12,120	36.3%
Chris Harris (Greens)			6,616	17.7%	+4.9%
Glenn Wall (Independent)		825	2.2%
Robyn Peebles (Christian Democratic)	724	1.9%	+0.8%
Labor							-11.3%

Formal					37,395	97.2%	-0.6%	
Informal				1,062	2.8%	+0.6%
Enrolment/Turnout			61,428	62.6%	-21.3%

Secondly, the result of the ACT election of October 20 was resolved on Friday when the sole remaining Greens MP, Shayne Rattenbury, threw in his lot with Labor in a deal that will bring him into the ministry. The Liberals emerged from the count with the frail bragging right of a 41-vote win on the aggregate primary vote, but Labor achieved equality on seats, having gained a seat from the Greens in the five-member region of Ginninderra. The Liberals gained seats from the Greens in the five-member region of Brindabella and the seven-member region of Molonglo.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY ELECTION
October 20, 2012

				Seats	#	%	Swing
Liberal				8 (+2)	86,032	38.9%	+7.3%
Labor				8 (+1)	85,991	38.9%	+1.5%	
Greens				1 (-3)	23,773	10.7%	-4.9%
Others				0 (-)	25,376	11.5%	-3.9%

Formal					221,172	96.5%	+0.3%
Informal				7,953	3.5%	-0.3%
Enrolment/Turnout			256,702	89.3%	-1.1%

Another feature of the election to be noted was the poor performance of the only published opinion poll, conducted by Patterson Market Research and published in the Canberra Times during the last week of the campaign. Patterson has a creditable track record with its large-sample polling, despite lacking the match fitness of outfits like Newspoll and Nielsen. On this occasion however the poll was by orders of magnitude in every direction, overstating Labor and the Greens at the expense of the Liberals and “others”. Cathy Alexander at Crikey reports the Liberals are greatly displeased about the poll, which they believe blunted their momentum. Pollster Keith Patterson defended his work in Saturday’s Canberra Times, and while he is commendably revealing on the question of methodology, the argument that the poll might have been brought unstuck by late shifts in voting intention, possibly initiated by the publication of the poll itself, is not entirely convincing.

Australian Capital Territory election live

The Liberals are claiming a moral victory after appearing to win eight seats to Labor’s seven. It remains to be seen how persuasive this sounds to the Greens, who are still the kingmakers despite losing two of their four seats.

Friday

I believe the results don’t attain official status until tomorrow, but the preference distributions published today are off essentially the same numbers of votes as the primary vote counts, and can thus be treated as final to all intents and purposes. Here’s how it pans out:

Brindabella: Liberal 3, Labor 2. Zed Seselja is effortlessly elected for the Liberals, while Brendan Smyth makes it to a quota after distribution of Seselja’s surplus and preference from excluded Liberals Nicole Lawder and then Val Jeffery. At the point of Jeffery’s exclusion, he trails Liberal colleague Andrew Wall 5135 votes to 4938. Wall thus remains in the count with enough votes to see off defeated Greens member Amanda Bresnan by 8859 to 8247, leaving him the last candidate standing and winning him the fifth seat. For Labor, incumbent Joy Burch led the primary vote count with 8989 followed by former incumbent Mick Gentleman on 5069, with other Labor candidates some distance behind. Preferences do little to disturb this, resulting in Burch and Gentleman picking up the two seats.

Ginninderra: Labor 3, Liberal 2. As has been very widely discussed now, Ginninderra has indeed delivered the Greens the nightmare scenario of Labor’s surplus over the second quota dividing almost perfectly evenly between the second and third Labor candidates, Chris Bourke and Yvette Berry, leaving Greens member Meredith Hunter unable to overcome either. At the relevant exclusion, Bourke is on 9449, Berry on 9127 and Hunter on 8245. Comfortably leading the Labor primary vote and first elected from their ticket is incumbent Mary Porter. Similarly, the Liberal incumbents Alistair Coe and Vicki Dunne were untroubled by intra-party challengers.

Molonglo: Labor 3, Liberal 3, Greens 1. As I foreshadowed yesterday, late counting favoured incumbent Steve Doszpot in the race for the third Liberal seat against Elizabeth Lee, overturning yesterday’s narrow deficit and putting him in front 9311 to 9068 at the final exclusion. This immediately follows the election of the second Liberal, newcomer Giulia Jones. By far the strongest performing candidate on the Liberal ticket was incumbent Jeremy Hanson. Katy Gallagher overwhelmingly dominated the Labor ticket, and the distribution of her preferences heavily favoured the other two incumbents, Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell, over the four other Labor candidates. The election of Barr as the second candidate was never in doubt, but it takes Gallagher’s preferences to put Corbell ahead of Meegan Fitzharris, a 1896-2614 deficit turning into a 5269-3689 surplus. That gap is little changed after the exclusion of the other Labor candidates, with Corbell prevailing 8037-6437 at the relevant exclusion. Shane Rattenbury outpolls the other Greens incumbent, Caroline Le Couteur, 4937-4503 on the primary vote, and remains about that far ahead until Le Couteur is excluded with 7765 votes to Rattenbury’s 8001.

Thursday

I dropped the ball for a couple of days there in covering the very exciting developments in the count, with the prospects firming for a 3-2 outcome in Ginninderra – meaning another seat lost to the Greens and a final result of 8-8-1. Today’s indicative preference distributions published on the Electoral Commission site account for about two-thirds of all votes cast, with the process to be finalised on Saturday. As anticipated, the trend in Ginninderra has been strongly in Labor’s favour – and particularly in favour of Yvette Berry, with Chris Bourke’s vote share actually declining slightly. On today’s numbers, Meredith Hunter finishes in sixth place with 6406 votes at the final exclusion (0.77 quotas compared with 0.76 yesterday) against 7253 for Berry (up from 0.83 to 0.87 quotas) and 7054 for Bourke (down from 0.86 to 0.85 quotas).

In Molonglo, Liberal incumbent Steve Doszpot continues to trail by the slenderest of margins against party colleague Elizabeth Lee, being 28 votes behind at the key exclusion in today’s distribution, up from seven yesterday. However, the relativites between the primary vote and preference distribution figures suggest Doszpot should gain from here. The count the preference distribution is based on includes 67.9% of the total first preference count, and Doszpot’s share of the first preference count is 5.73% compared with 5.49% in the preference count. Lee’s relative shares are 4.92% and 4.87%. On the Labor ticket, Simon Corbell is now sure to survive an intra-party challenge from Meegan Fitzharris thanks to the large share of voters who gave their first preference to other incumbents and continued to favour incumbents on their preference orders thereafter. His lead at the relevant stage of the count is 5229 to 4448.

In Brindabella, the latest distribution has Greens incumbent Amanda Bresnan’s trailing the third Liberal by 864 votes at the final exclusion, Bresnan’s earlier narrow lead being wiped out yesterday as anticipated as more favourable votes for the Liberals were added to the count. The point at issue is thus who out of Andrew Wall and Val Jeffery wins the third Liberal seat. Wall has a handy lead of 398 on the latest distribution, although this has narrowed from 474 yesterday.

Monday

Antony Green suggests the election count may yet take an unpredictable turn, with the Greens in danger of losing their Ginninderra seat to a third Labor candidate. If this came to pass the result would be Labor 8, Liberal 8, Greens 1.

Presently the Electoral Commission’s indicative preference distribution, based on the pre-poll electronic votes which accounted for 28.2% of the total, gets to a 2-2-1 result by having Labor’s Yvette Berry bow out and her preferences electing Labor colleague Chris Bourke, whose preferences in turn deliver a seat to Meredith Hunter of the Greens. This is the outcome one would ordinarily expect with Labor on 2.4 quotas and the Greens on 0.6. Certainly such a result could be taken for granted in the Senate, where candidates appear in a fixed order on ballot papers and voters dutifully follow the above-the-line voting option. The top two Labor candidates elected at the beginning of the count, leaving the third Labor candidate with the remaining 0.4 quotas.

The issue under Hare Clark is the candidates are generally not elected at the beginning of the count, which means a greater share of the Labor vote remains in the count for a longer time. In this case only Mary Porter is elected early in the count, which means 1.4 Labor quotas for the Greens to contend with. The risk for the Greens is that the 1.4 will divide evenly between the second and third Labor candidates, leaving each with more than Hunter’s 0.6. Compared with the electronic polling figures, that would require an improvement in Berry’s vote and a decline in Hunter’s – which is exactly what the polling booth vote shares suggests will happen.

We have also seen today a substantial chunk of the primary vote count added, accounting for 10.6% of enrolment, with a number of booths that did not report on Saturday night doing so today. This has seen Labor’s 1.1% lead in overall vote share shrink to 0.3%, with the Greens down a further 0.3%.

		Labor		Liberal		Greens		Counted
Brindabella	35.9 (-0.7)	46.2 (+10.9)	7.9 (-5.7)	87.2%
Ginninderra	40.0 (-0.2)	33.6 (+5.5)	10.0 (-3.8)	85.5%
Molonglo	40.8 (+4.6)	37.1 (+5.7)	13.2 (-5.2)	82.2%
TOTAL		39.0 (+1.7)	38.7 (+7.1)	10.7 (-4.9)	84.6%

Overview

Barring late surprises, the result looks very much like 3-2 to the Liberals in Brindabella, 2-2-1 in Ginninderra and 3-3-1 in Molonglo for a total of Liberal 8, Labor 7, Greens 2. The Liberals have been aggressively asserting their moral right to govern, which is tactically understandable but harder for an objective observer to credit. By the end of the evening they had fallen behind Labor on the primary vote, and the figures are such that a two-party preferred result under a single-member system would be about 53-47 in Labor’s favour.

Liberal claims that the Labor-Greens alliance had been “rejected” are dubious on face value, requiring us to overlook the fact that those two parties presently have over half the vote between them. Such claims further require that we conceive the result in purely negative terms, in which case we can equally say that over six in 10 voters “rejected” the Liberal Party. The alternative gambit has been to argue that the swing to the Liberals means the electorate has voted for “change”. On this logic, John Howard should have handed Kim Beazley the keys to the Lodge in 1998. Elections can only be determined by votes cast, not their proportions relative to some arbitrary point in the past.

The Liberals will certainly be able to boast the largest number of seats, which even accounting for the government’s longevity is a strong result in the hostile electoral environment of Canberra – particularly given the anticipated impact of public service cutbacks by conservative governments elsewhere. The key to this triumph was the tactical coup of winning a third seat in Brindabella, achieved through policy positioning, campaign resources and the candidacy of Zed Seselja.

It is a nicety of proportional representation systems that the party with the most seats be given the proverbial first chance to form a government. However, this does not amount to much in practical terms if the numbers are against that party – and is in any case a convention of systems where the formal appointment of the government is in the hands of a figurehead who might wish to keep removed from the partisan fray. This does not apply in the ACT, where the position of the Chief Minister is confirmed by the Assembly. Clearly most of those voting for the Greens would have done so in the expectation that they were voting against a Liberal government, and it seems safe to assume the Greens will keep this in mind during the negotiation process.

Final vote shares for the night:

		Labor		Liberal		Greens		Counted
Brindabella	35.9 (-0.5)	45.7 (+10.4)	8.2 (-5.4)	77.9%
Ginninderra	39.9 (-0.4)	33.4 (+5.3)	10.3 (-3.5)	77.6%
Molonglo	41.0 (+5.0)	36.0 (+4.5)	13.9 (-4.6)	68.3%
TOTAL		39.1 (+1.7)	38.0 (+6.4)	11.0 (-4.6)	73.8%

A purely impressionistic view of which might be that:

• The Liberals’ 6.4% gain was partly at the expense of Labor and partly from others;

• Labor compensated for these losses by absorbing much of a 4.6% drop in support for the Greens;

• A “Zed Seselja effect” helped the Liberals gain up a further 2-3% from Labor in Brindabella, balanced by a comparable loss in Molonglo;

• The Liberals garnered a further boost in Brindabella through a concentration of campaign resources and, perhaps, the recruitment of Val Jeffery (who polled 6.5% in 2008 with the Community Alliance);

• Labor gained in Molonglo in the absence of the Frank Pangallo ticket, which polled 4.8% last time.

Electorate by electorate:

Brindabella. The Liberals are left looking very smart in having targeted Brindabella, which has paid off with an extra seat at no cost elsewhere. Zed Seselja and Brendan Smyth are the clear winners of the first two seats, with the third remaining a toss-up between Andrew Wall (3.9%), Val Jeffery (3.7%) and Nicole Lawder (3.4%). Labor’s winners are incumbent Joy Burch and former incumbent Mick Gentleman. Losing her seat is Amanda Bresnan of the Greens.

Ginninderra. Chic Henry of the Motorists Party remains a hypothetical chance of winning the final seat, but it’s far more likely to be retained by Meredith Hunter of the Greens for a result of 2-2-1. Liberal incumbents Alistair Coe and Vicki Dunne will clearly retain their seats. Mary Porter is clearly re-elected for Labor, but mid-term arrival Chris Bourke (7.7%) is struggling to stay ahead of Yvette Berry (7.6%). This result will most likely be determined by the flow of Porter’s preferences. As usual, the competing tendencies within Porter’s preference flows will include a share who favour incumbents and a share who favour women.

Molonglo. Katy Gallagher has so dominated the Labor vote that the fate of the party’s third seat is hard to read, with Andrew Barr clearly well favoured enough to score the second. If Gallagher’s supporters continued with the logic of favouring high profile figures in the party, incumbent Simon Corbell stands a good chance of closing the 2.9% to 2.1% deficit against Meegan Fitzharris. However, Fitzharris is likely to gain a dividend from those Gallagher supporters who were favouring a woman candidate, and her evident success as a candidate in outpolling Corbell will spill over to at least some extent into Gallagher’s preferences. On the Liberal ticket, incumbent Jeremy Hanson topped the poll but his colleague Steve Doszpot was outpointed by the incoming Giulia Jones. To win the Liberals’ newly acquired third seat, Doszpot (who is on 5.4%) will need to stay ahead of fourth-placed Elizabeth Lee (4.7%) after preferences, and the Electoral Commission’s interim count based on the electronic voting results suggest this will be touch-and-go. The Greens face a game of musical chairs with two incumbents chasing one seat, in which Shane Rattenbury leads Caroline Le Couteur 5.7% to 5.3%.

Finally, determining votes cast for male and female candidates turns up some interesting patterns. A significant factor in Labor’s case is that Jon Stanhope has exited the field and been replaced as Chief Minister by a woman, who accordingly enjoyed a dramatic increase in her personal vote. Even so, the 22.3% “swing” to Labor women is highly noteworthy given the gender balance of the candidates was unchanged. There’s also a basis to argue that the Liberals erred in not preselecting more women, given that the five endorsed this time almost matched the result of the seven endorsed in 2008, and in particular the strong performance of Giulia Jones in Molonglo.

			Candidates	Votes
TOTAL
Male candidates		50 (-10)	58.3 (-7.3)
Female candidates	24 (-2)		41.7 (+7.3)
LABOR
Male candidates		10 (-)		36.7 (-22.3)
Female candidates	7 (-)		63.3 (+22.3)
LIBERAL
Male candidates		12 (+2)		77.9 (+1.9)
Female candidates	5 (-2)		22.1 (-1.9)

Live commentary

9.39pm. Labor pulls ahead of Liberal on the aggregate vote on what Antony believes to be the final count for the night.

9.05pm. And the second Labor member in Ginninderra, where Chris Bourke is second on 7.7% against 7.2% for Yvette Berry.

9.02pm. As I see it, all that’s in doubt now is who wins the third Liberal seat in Brindabella and the third Labor seat in Molonglo.

9.01pm. The Greens declining in Molonglo as well, where the picture is a fairly clear 3-3-1.

8.59pm. A 10.4% batch of the vote in Ginninderra has closed the gap between the Greens, down from 10.9% to 10.5%, and the Motorist Party, up from 7.2% to 7.5%.

8.57pm. Brindabella count now up to 60.3%, and I think you can put down your glasses: the Liberals vote has surged further to 46.2% and the Greens have fallen to 7.9%, confirming a result of three Liberal and two Labor. Joy Burch and Mick Gentleman elected for Labor; Zed Seselja and Brendan Smyth for Liberal; the final Liberal seat continues to have Andrew Wall leading Val Jeffery 4.1% to 3.7%.

8.43pm. Another 4.9% added in Ginninderra. Greens down slightly, fractionally improving the Motorists Party’s chances.

8.40pm. Another 6.8% in Brindabella further improves the Liberals position there.

8.33pm. Winner of third Liberal seat in Brindabella unclear: Andrew Wall on 4.0%, Val Jeffery on 3.7%, Nicole Lawder on 3.5%.

8.26pm. Liberal also declining in Ginninderra with 31.7% counted, although not enough to fundamentally change the situation. Motorist Party boilover not looking any likelier.

8.24pm. A big addition in Brindabella boosts the count to 35.9%. The swing against Labor is down from 1.4% to 0.5%; to Liberal down from 10.6% to 9.9%; against Greens little changed at 5.1%. The Liberal surplus over the third quota is down from 0.748 to 0.712, while the combined Labor and Greens surplus 0.616 to 0.664 (remembering there will be a lot of leakage there). Of Bullet Train (4.1%) and Motorist Party (3.9%) preferences, I can offer no insight.

8.16pm. Ginnninderra count up from 21.6% to 24.8%, but little change.

8.14pm. The Brindabella count is up from 21.7% to 26.5%, and in relative terms Labor has gained 0.5%, the Liberals have lost 0.5% and the Greens have lost 0.2%.

8.00pm. Kevin Bonham’s analysis of the first booths from Brindabella provide more encouragement for the Liberals. If so, a result of Liberal 8, Labor 7 and Greens 2 is firming up.

7.55pm. Booth results coming very slowly. Only a tiny increase in the count since the pre-polls were finalised.

7.34pm. Andrew Barr sounding bullish about booth results.

7.32pm. By no means likely that the Motorists Party will win a seat in Ginninderra, but one to keep an eye on.

7.24pm. That new batch that made no difference in Molonglo was substantial, upping the count by 7.6%.

7.23pm. Another 4% of the vote in Brindabella sees slight Liberal decline.

7.22pm. Antony has all pre-polls for Molonglo; the latest batch hasn’t changed the situation.

7.19pm. Interesting to note strong performances from women just noted.

7.13pm. Labor’s Meegan Fitzharris (second place) well ahead of Simon Corbell (fourth) in Molonglo. Liberal incumbent Steve Doszpot trailing Giulia Jones, also in Molonglo. Other incumbents untroubled in intra-party contests.

7.10pm. Counted: 15.5% in B, 19.5% in G, 11.7% in M.

7.03pm. So best indications are 3-3-1 in Molonglo, 2-2-1 in Ginninderra and 3-2 to the Liberals in Brindabella, for a total of Liberal 8, Labor 7 and Greens 2. However, a different trend on booth votes could change some of that.

7.01pm. Another batch sends Labor backwards in Ginninderra, strengthening likelihood of 2-2-1.

6.58pm. So the Liberals can hope for eight seats, if things keep going their way in Brindabella and Molonglo. The Greens are most probably looking at two.

6.55pm. Scratch what I said about Molonglo: much better for the Liberals than that. They’re on three quotas, and Antony is talking about 3-3-1.

6.54pm. Greens looking pretty good in Ginninderra: best bet there looks like another 2-2-1 result.

6.53pm. Giulia Jones has pulled ahead of Steve Doszpot for the second Liberal seat in Molonglo.

6.50pm. ABC website figures updated. Still early figures for Molonglo, but my guess is a status quo result of 3 Labor, 2 Liberal, 2 Greens. Well-informed Labor member John Hargreaves on the ABC though still thinks Labor could get a fourth at the expense of Caroline Le Couteur of the Greens.

6.44pm. My early guess is that Zed Seselja’s move to Brindabella has paid dividends then and might them a third seat (with Labor two and the Greens zero), but it’s still hard to see them building upon their two in Ginninderra and Molonglo. Very unclear how the Greens will go in Ginninderra or Molonglo though.

6.43pm. Antony’s discussing more up to date figures than on the ABC site, and the Liberals have gained further since the first batch.

6.41pm. Molonglo Greens: Shane Rattenbury only slightly ahead of Caroline Le Coteur, daylight third.

6.40pm. Antony has more numbers, particularly from Brindabella, and the Liberals appear to be doing very well there, and must be considered a shot at the third seat.

6.38pm. Molonglo Liberal: Jeremy Hanson here but Steve Doszpot struggling early, mixing it with Giulia Jones and Elizabeth Lee.

6.37pm. Molonglo Labor: Weak early result for Simon Corbell, in danger from Meegan Fitzharris. Katy Gallagher dominant, Andrew Barr second.

6.36pm. Ginninderra Liberal and Greens: Incumbents Coe and Dunne well clear, third unclear. Incumbent Meredith Hunter well ahead of Greens field.

6.35pm. Ginninderra Labor: Mary Porter and Chris Bourke clear in first and second, third still unclear.

6.35pm. Brindabella Liberal and Greens: Status quo, Seselja, Smyth and Bresnan looking for re-election. If a third Liberal, very unclear who.

6.34pm. Brindabella Labor: Joy Burch headed for easy win, Mick Gentleman well ahead for second seat, third seat if any toss-up between Karl Maftoum and Rebecca Cody.

6.33pm. So the very early indication are Brindabella: Liberal 2 and Labor 2, last seat toss-up between Liberal and Greens. Ginninderra: Labor 2, Liberal 2, Greens 1. Molonglo: Labor 3, Liberal 2, Greens 1, last seat anyone’s guess. Repeat: these are very early figures.

6.25pm. And here’s the first result, accounting for 1.7% of enrolled votes in Brindabella, 2.7% in Ginninderra and 4.8% in Molonglo. These point to a much higher “others” vote than the Patterson poll indicated, and slight increases in the vote for Labor, Liberal and the Greens.

6.22pm. Antony Green reports that 47,677 electronic pre-poll votes were cast, accounting for 18.6% of enrolled votes, and that these will be fed through to the media results feed over the coming hour. That should give us a very strong indication of the way things are headed, very early. Polling booth results however will not start coming through until after 7pm, owing to the ACT’s lack of small rural booths.

6pm. Polls have closed. Follow the results through the ABC and argue the toss here. Presumably the ABC’s live coverage featuring Antony Green will be broadcast on ABC News 24.

Patterson: Labor 44.5, Liberal 35.5, Greens 14.5 in ACT

The one and only public opinion poll of the Australian Capital Territory election campaign finds Labor headed for a comfortable-to-landslide victory, with three of the Greens’ four seats hanging in the balance.

Update: October 18

The Canberra Times today provides the first hard intelligence for the ACT election, with a poll that finds Labor in a commanding position and potentially headed for a parliamentary majority. Conducted from October 11 to 14 by Patterson Research Group from a sample of 1203, the results in aggregate (rounded to the nearest half a per cent) are 44.5% for Labor, compared with 37.4% at the 2008 election; 35.5% for the Liberals, compared with 31.6%; and 14.5% for the Greens, compared with 15.5% (but probably higher than most would have anticipated). The rise in the major party vote is reflected by a 5.5% rating for “others”, reversing a strong result of 15.4% last time.

Such figures suggests the Liberals will find themselves becalmed on six seats, with the three electorates instead producing contests between Labor and the Greens to determine the final seats. The worst case scenario for Labor would be a status quo result of seven seats, with the best being a majority of nine seats or even an unprecedented ten. The Greens on the other hand would be in for a very exciting election night, at best maintaining their existing four seats but at worst collapsing to one. The results for each electorate together with swings off the 2008 results are shown below. The sample for each is around 400, with a margin of error approaching 5%.

		Labor		Liberal		Greens		Others
Brindabella	43 (+6.5)	43 (+7.7)	9 (-4.6)	5 (-9.6)
Ginninderra	45 (+4.8)	36 (+8.2)	13 (-0.9)	6 (-12.1)
Molonglo	45 (+8.9)	30 (-1.5)	20 (+1.8)	5 (-9.2)
TOTAL 	        44.5 (+7.1)	35.5 (+3.9)	15.5 (-1.1)	15 (-9.9)

Part of the disparity in Liberal swings can be explained by the “others” vote last time. In Brindabella, Val Jeffery polled 6.3% as a candidate of the Community Alliance in 2008 and is now running for the Liberals, presumably bringing a large share of his vote over. There may have been a similar effect in Ginninderra resulting from radio announcer Mark Parton polling 6.3% as an independent in 2008 and vacating the field this time. The result is probably also a little awry with respect to Molonglo, but it still provides a strong basis for believing the Liberals will do no more than maintain their existing two seats per electorate. The table below illustrates the point by converting the result into quotas. In each case the Liberals are well short of a third quota despite their gains on vote share. With no serious independent challenges on the radar, contests would emerge to see which out of Labor and the Greens would emerge with the last candidate standing, to then override any remaining Liberal on the preferences of the other.

		Labor		Liberal		Greens		Others
Brindabella	2.6		2.6		0.5		0.3
Ginninderra	2.7		2.2		0.8		0.4
Molonglo	3.6		2.4		1.6		0.4

The Canberra Times also reported yesterday that the poll had found 54% favouring Katy Gallagher as Chief Minister against 26% for Zed Seselja.

Original post: October 16

With four days to go until polling day, I finally have a guide to the Australian Capital Territory’s three electorates in business. The campaign appears from my remove to have been very low-key, with no polling emerging to give the outside observer any entree on what’s likely to happen. John Warhurst of the Australian National University read the situation thus in the Canberra Times a fortnight ago:

Labor and the Greens should win a majority of seats in Molonglo (probably Labor three and Greens one) where demography and the spread of high-profile candidates favour Labor and the Greens over the Liberals. The Liberals’ best chance of winning three seats appears to be in Zed Seselja’s new electorate of Brindabella. If that happens then the election will be decided in Greens’ leader Meredith Hunter’s electorate of Ginninderra. This means that the two most probable results are either a new Liberal majority government (Liberal nine, Labor six and Greens two) or a continuing Labor minority government supported by the Greens (Labor seven, Greens two and Liberal eight). It is too close to call at the moment.