With over two-thirds of the vote counted, election analyst Antony Green says it appears the Canberra Liberals do not have the numbers to win and expects Labor and the Greens to again form government. However, he says it’s too soon to call the final composition of the next ACT Legislative Assembly.
Early in the evening, Rachel Stephen Smith was attributing Labor’s success to the campaign’s 65,000 doorknocks throughout the year and media airtime from the bushfires and COVID-19 health crisis helping the electorate to better know Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said there was “no doubt” the pandemic had changed the election and to some degree had mitigated the “it’s time” factor.
Canberra Liberals MLA Mark Parton said the pandemic had made it really hard for the Canberra Liberals to connect to voters.
Inner north electorate, Kurrajong, described by Shane Rattenbury as “green heartland” and by retiring Liberal MLA Vicki Dunne as “the lentil belt” looks to have rewarded the Greens potentially with two seats at the expense of the Canberra Liberals.
The traditionally strong Liberal electorate of Brindabella in the south, could see a surprise gain for Labor. The electorate faced a number of factors including the rehoming of 3,000 Australian Sex Party primary votes from 2016 and also bearing the brunt of this summer’s bushfires.
Canberra Liberals targeted outgoing ACT Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur’s seat in Murrumbidgee, but it looks like Greens candidate Emma Davidson may have kept it in the party, with a strong showing from Independent Fiona Carrick. Sitting members Jeremy Hanson (Liberals) and Chris Steel (Labor) have been returned.
Canberra Liberals are still a chance to pick up a third seat in Yerrabi, the ACT’s most culturally diverse electorate. Labor incumbent Deepak-Raj Gupta is a chance to lose his seat.
In Ginninderra, “the Belco Party factor” could potentially deliver the fifth seat to the Greens’ Jo Clay.