Labor wins ACT election decisively

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016, 09:42 PM | Source: The Conversation

Adrian Beaumont

With 78% of enrolled votes counted in yesterday’s ACT election, Labor has won 11 of the 25 seats, to 10 Liberals and 1 Green, with 3 still in doubt. One of the doubtful seats is a contest between Labor and the Greens. Even if the Liberals win the other two doubtful seats, Labor and the Greens would have a combined 13 of 25 seats.

Primary votes were 39.0% for Labor (up 0.2 points since the 2012 election), 35.6% for the Liberals (down 3.3), 10.6% for the Greens (down 0.1) and 14.8% for all Others (up 3.2). Postal votes have not been counted yet, and these votes are likely to improve the Liberal position.

While Others had a large vote share, it was spread across many minor parties and Independents, and Others candidates only have a realistic chance in one seat, Brindabella.

Labor’s fifth successive win in the ACT is partly due to Canberra being left wing at Federal elections compared to the national vote. The unpopularity of the Federal Coalition government also benefited ACT Labor.

The ACT uses the Hare Clark proportional representation system. If a single member system had been used, this result would be a landslide for Labor.

Results for each electorate

There are five electorates, each electing five members, so the quota for election is 1/6 of the vote, or 16.7%. Pre-poll votes and some on-the-day votes were cast electronically via a computer screen. The preferences from these votes can be known soon, and provisional distributions of preferences for all electorates are here.

Paper ballots must be scanned into the system. Compared with the pre-poll votes, the on-the-day votes were worse for the Liberals and better for Labor and the Greens. As a result, the Liberals’ position will worsen as the paper ballots are added, though they will probably improve slightly with postal votes.

In Brindabella, the Liberals had 2.44 quotas, Labor 2.03, the Sex Party 0.51 and the Greens 0.32. The Liberals win the final seat on the provisional distribution. Though the Sex Party’s position has improved, Kevin Bonham still favours the Liberals.

In Ginninderra, Labor has 2.52 quotas, the Liberals 1.83 and the Greens 0.61. While Independents overall have 0.66 quotas, the highest vote for an individual Independent was 0.32 quotas, so the last seat is between Labor and the Greens. The provisional distribution had Labor winning, and the actual count has not changed that outlook.

In Kurrajong, Labor has 2.35 quotas, the Liberals 1.77 and the Greens 1.18. This is a clear 2 Labor, 2 Liberals, 1 Green result.

In Murrumbidgee, the Liberals have 2.50 quotas, Labor 2.11 and the Greens 0.67. The provisional distribution had the Greens winning the final seat, and the Greens have improved their position markedly since then, so they should win the final seat.

In Yerrabi, Labor has 2.66 quotas, the Liberals 2.11 and the Greens 0.43. Labor will win the final seat easily.

The most likely outcome is thus 12 Labor, 11 Liberals and 2 Greens, with the Sex Party a realistic chance of winning the final Brindabella seat from the Liberals.

The Conversation

University of Melbourne Researchers