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ACT Politics

Oct 18, 2012

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.

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Posted Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | PERMALINK
Greens to win 4 again imo – GO YOU GOOD THINGS]

Wow…that was an epic fail! πŸ˜‰


my guess is more Liberals leave town for the weekend leading to a higher prepoll vote – will drop off as the booths are counted


ready to rip, where is everybody??? πŸ™‚


Greens to win 4 again imo – GO YOU GOOD THINGS

and then ask for a ministry πŸ™‚


Did the Libs spend their entire election budget on signage instead of policy development? I’m sure those MONSTER SIGNS weren’t there yesterday. (Fail.)


Couldn’t quite work out if that article was meant to be a parody or not. It sort of read as if it started off as a serious article and the writer, knowing it was all ridiculous decided to go for comedy.


Hockey and Joyce maths has hit news.

[Labor currently holds six of the 17 seats in the ACT Legislative Assembly, with the Liberals holding six and the Greens four.]


Ross Solley ‘interviewing’ the participants on ABC local tonight.



‘Zed’ on ACT TV now demonstrating why he is a worthy replacement for Gary Humphreys.


David McRae

Sportsbet has paid out on a Labour win ~1hour ago.

Damn it I didn’t get a bet in – I wanted to put a bit on the number of seats SportsBet also had.

From memory 7 was ~$1.80 and 8 at $3.00 (down from $4 yesterday and $5 before that) early this morning, the others, 5,6,9,10 I wasn’t considering and were much longer

I wonder what seat count they paid out on.

(PS I almost never bet, first bets beside Melbourne cup sweeps is $50 on Obama at $1.35 and $50 on ALP federal govt win 2013 at $4 .. bet safe πŸ™‚ )


slackboy72 @ 29

[Seriously does anyone in Canberra really care about the local government as long as they aren’t blowing up hospitals?
All Labour has to do is present a half decent candidate and they’ll win (I suspect it has to do with the higher rates of tertiary education here).
The only notable thing about this election is the proliferation of trash from the libs by the side of the road.

I do.

Despite huge increases in investment waiting lists for elective surgery in the ACT are the longest in the country.

Despite a $700 year-on-year increase in my rates, the ACT is building up debt.

Despite being one of the wealthies per capita city states in the world, our biodiversity is going backwards.

Despite the debt build up, there is a large investment in urban fripperies.

Despite the current (4000 jobs lost) and future (12,000 jobs lost) likelihood of a collapse in Canberra land sales, no side has been upfront about how they would handle a serious reduction in the 30-40% of the ACT budget that depends on land sales.


sustainable future @24… you are god. seriously, have my babies.


The libs appear to have better candidates than they did in 04 and 08 yet appear to be not making any headway.

Only thing I can think of is that they aren’t trusted, especially with the campaign over rates tripling which reminds us of Howies rates are always lower under libs and other such bull.


Seriously does anyone in Canberra really care about the local government as long as they aren’t blowing up hospitals?
All Labour has to do is present a half decent candidate and they’ll win (I suspect it has to do with the higher rates of tertiary education here).
The only notable thing about this election is the proliferation of trash from the libs by the side of the road.


sustainable future 24

The market rose today due to the rise in the oil price.

The market fell today despite the rise in the oil price.


I have just voted using the electronic polling equipment for pre-poll votes. The polling place was quite crowded being lunch time. Labor and one independent had a big presence the required 100 metres away but the Liberals and Greens were not to be seen.

Electronic voting was quite easy but in the current format a bit too complicated and costly for use in the many booths on polling day.

We have been receiving a lot of letterboxed material including today an unsigned testimonial from a “neighbour” for a Liberal candidate.

We are so lucky to have an ACT (and Australian) Electoral Commission which seeks to help voters with a lot of information on where to vote, the method of voting and so on. It is such a contrast to the dirty tricks by the Republicans in America to try and prevent large sections of the population from voting.

Doug Hynd

Whatever the outcome it will be a local election result – the only federal implications are that Canberra will remain a Federal black hole for the Liberal party for the forseeable future


What excellent commentary and opinion. Reminds me of the olden days on Pollbludger. πŸ™‚

Sustainable future

Limited News and followers (ABC,Fran Kelly, Michelle Grattan etc) spin on the election result.

1. if labor win. The election was decided entirely on local issues. They won despite the deep unpopularity of PM Gillard. The high profile of Kevin Rudd late in the week got them over the line, and this reignites leadership speculation. Tony Abbott was excluded from the campaign, and this damaged the liberals. etc

2. If liberals win. This was as much about national issues as it was about local issues. Even public servants do not like PM Gillard, and this reignites leadership speculation. The Thomson and Slipper affairs have damaged the Labor brand and the PM’s handling of these show appalling judgement which reignites leadership speculation. etc

Kevin Bonham

[Looks like it’s Kevin vs William]

No I think we pretty much agree once the context is considered. The context is a Labor minority government that is apparently pretty stable and would probably happily continue the way it is. 7-6-4 is a “comfortable” win to Labor in that circumstance while an outright majority (seldom attained in the ACT) is a “landslide”. What’s important is that the Liberals are nowhere near majority government on that sample and don’t even look like gaining seats, though they are not that far from gaining one. And yes even 10 for Labor is not out of striking distance if they pick up a bit compared to that poll.

Something to keep an eye on is that in Molonglo the Chief Minister will have a massive primary vote, way over quota, maybe over two quotas. When her surplus is distributed, the Labor total will go down significantly because of leaks out to other parties.

[Well, that clears that one up. Talk about the fog of war.]

Yes unfortunately extrapolating HC results from party totals is a murky business. Brindabella 2004 is an excellent example of why people have to be careful.

At a certain stage of the Brindabella 2004 count the results in quotas were:

Green 0.58 Liberal 2.51 Labor 2.79 (no other candidates left, 0.10 quota exhausted).

Someone going on raw totals might say that the Green could win from here if the Liberal preferences went strongly enough in their favour. And indeed if the Liberals had two candidates elected and one with the leftovers, the third Liberal would get excluded.

But in fact the Liberals’ 2.51 quotas included one candidate with 1 quota, one candidate with 0.71 quotas and one candidate with 0.8 quotas.

So the Greens never got to receive the Liberal preferences (not that they would have won on them anyway) because their candidate was last and was excluded at this point.

On the polled figures for Brindabella something like this is some risk of happening again.