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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Canberra remains Labor stronghold

The Federal Election has returned the Coalition to power with the ABC’s expert election analyst Antony Green predicting they will win 77 seats as counting continues.

Locally, the ACT looks to be represented in the Senate by Labor’s Katy Gallagher, who made a comeback after last year’s High Court decision found her ineligible to serve in Parliament, and the re-elected Zed Seselja for the Liberals.

In the House of Representatives, all three ACT seats – Fenner, Canberra and Bean – have gone to Labor.

Labor’s Dr Andrew Leigh was the only sitting MP re-contesting his seat and was successful in Fenner; Alicia Payne will be the Member for Canberra, replacing Gai Brodtmann who decided to retire from politics; and David Smith, who was elected to Ms Gallagher’s Senate spot in May 2018, has made a successful move to the House of Representatives, elected in Bean.

The Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) was a popular location for voters to have their say on the future of Australia. Over 12,000 people cast their votes at Old Parliament House, including 5,000 during pre-polling.

MoAD Director, Daryl Karp said “this iconic building is a huge drawcard for voters, because it’s a chance for them to be part of democracy in action in the very place where decisions that shaped our nation were made”.

After counting more than 20 million ballots on election night, the election results appear fairly certain, however the Australian Election Commission (AEC) continues to count.

On Monday 20 May, the AEC said it was prioritising counting postal votes in close seats while also handling declaration votes.

According to the AEC, they can legally count postal votes and other declaration votes only once an individual roll check has occurred; large teams of staff are presently engaged on this manual activity.

In addition, the AEC continues the critical large-scale task of sorting, securely packaging and transporting declaration votes cast outside of an elector’s home division back to the home division, where legally they must be counted. At least 2.5 million declaration votes are expected to be subject to these processes.

The AEC said they can only declare a result for the House of Representatives “once the actual numbers make it impossible for an outcome to be otherwise”.

The AEC anticipates that some official results for House of Representatives seats may begin to be declared by the end of this this week.

For the Senate, the AEC is continuing to count first preferences votes and then securely package them for delivery to central scrutiny centres for each State and Territory.

What they said…

Zed Seselja

Liberal Senator for the ACT

“I am humbled the people of Canberra have given me the opportunity to serve again as Senator for the ACT, it is a great honour. I am very pleased the Australian people have chosen to give Prime Minister Morrison and the Liberal-National Government another term of government. As Senator for the ACT, I will continue to stand up for and represent the people of Canberra, and ensure we deliver on our investments in the ACT … Canberra has so much to offer for the private sector, and I will work with the sector to ensure it continues to grow, particularly in Defence Industry, and create local jobs, so that anyone who wants a go, will get a go.”

Katy Gallagher

Labor Senate candidate

“Last night (18 May) was a tough night for Labor but I do want to say thank you to Canberrans for once again giving me their support to serve in the Senate. We will not give up and will fight every day for the people who need a fair go.” [Facebook]

Alicia Payne

Labor for Canberra

“It is the greatest honour to have been elected as the Member for Canberra – thank you to the people of Canberra for putting your trust in me … I look forward to continuing the conversation we’ve been having and standing up for the things that matter to you in Parliament. … Labor put forward a progressive agenda – action on climate change, a living wage, investing in our schools and hospitals, fixing the NDIS, affordable housing and standing up for our public service. I’m also proud that these are the things Canberrans have voted for and I, along with my brilliant ACT Labor colleagues, look forward to continuing the fight for these things.” [Facebook]

Andrew Leigh

Member for Fenner

“I’m privileged to be re-elected as Member for Fenner, and to enter my fourth term serving the people of Canberra. For Labor, we thought this election would be like Hawke’s win in 1983, but it turned out to be 1980. Our positive reform plan was unfortunately beaten by a ferocious negative scare campaign. But black signs and black trucks didn’t win Canberra for the Liberals. Labor won’t give up the battle of ideas, and we’ll ensure the progressive views of Canberra are heard in the nation’s Parliament.”

David Smith

Labor for Bean

“Thank you to the people … that have put their trust in me to provide a voice and represent them in the House of Representatives. Being the Labor Party candidate for Bean has been a humbling and absolutely enriching experience and an honour to be able to be part of Bill Shorten’s team, a team committed to social justice and fairness for all. … The hard and important work of working with and representing the people of Bean starts this week.” [Facebook]

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