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ACT election – Tea leaf predictions

By John Hargreaves 28 September 2015 22

election vote

Last week I talked about the preselection process of the Labor Party and alluded to similar things happening with the Libs and the Greens.

What I didn’t talk about then is the different vagaries of the electorates themselves.

We now have 5 electorates of 5 members, thus 25 members of the Legislative Assembly to replace the 17 member Assembly.

This means an even distribution of members across the regions of the ACT, as opposed to the nonsensical two electorates of five members and one of seven.

This was dozy when it was created and remained dozy all the time I was in the Assembly.

Whilst it gave a supposedly equal representation to population, it was disproportionate in not allowing the electorate to “own” a particular member as their person in times where advocacy was needed.

I talked about the electorate being savage on non performing ministers and members, particularly with those perceived as being lazy.

I recall saying that I had to provide a service to all of Tuggeranong and South Woden because some of my fellow MLAs for Brindabella had their eyes elsewhere. They looked at their party leadership; they looked at their ministerial ambitions and they looked at doing as little as possible for the largest amount of money in the least amount of time. Some were rewarded with continued election and some were dealt with savagely.

But now I turn my attention to the possibilities for the next election. In doing so, I am reminded of a comment in my last post from a poster who said that pollies rarely did their research. Interesting because my campaign strategy (as opposed to the party one) was heavily reliant on statistics and I didn’t lose an election.

I am reminded of a comment that was made to me many years ago which when I checked the votes, was actually correct.

That is that the Chief Minister goes into the election with about 0.9 quotas ex-officio, to which is added any personal votes garnered. The leader of the opposition goes in with about 0.6 quota to which is added the personal vote.

An examination of the votes for Kate Carnell and Jon Stanhope will reveal the truth here, as will the votes of Katy Gallagher. The votes for Jon Stanhope when he was leader of the opposition, Bill Stefaniak, Brendan Smyth and Zed Seselja will also attest to the veracity this assertion.

What this does is make the result in given electorates predictable as both leaders can bring another candidate over the line.

The change of Zed Seselja to Brindabella from Molonglo and the shrinkage of Brendan Smyth’s vote shows how this transfer from Seselja to Hanson will affect the results in Murrumbidgee and Brindabella.

Thus I predict that Andrew Barr will get about 1.7 quotas and Jeremy Hanson 1.2 quotas, making the electorates of Kurrajong and Murrumbidgee reasonably easy to predict in terms of the party results.

I think therefore that in Kurrajong, the ALP will get three seats and in Murrumbidgee the Libs will get three seats.

Incidentally, being the deputy in either case is no advantage in electorate appeal, so it has no effect on the results if a deputy is in a given electorate. So, sorry Alistair and whoever thinks they will be the ALP deputy next time.

The absence of Zed Seselja in Brindabella will be felt acutely by the Libs. Andrew Wall and Nicole Lawder haven’t set the world on fire so if they have a challenge from an up and coming Lib, it will be interesting. Likewise the Labor ministers. The idea here is that ministerial presence will attract additional vote. This is true if stuff has been delivered to the electorate but it just hasn’t, so I would be concerned about the third in Brindabella.

The thing is that one has to have a core vote as a member before feeling safe. I had a core vote of about 7500 votes which was about 0.8 of a quota. Brendan Smyth has about the same. It will be difficult for Brendan Smyth to bring the other two Liberals over the line. So where will this one go? Probably two each to Labor and Liberal and a fight for fifth.

In Ginninderra, Alistair Coe will not be able to bring a third Lib over the line and it is not fertile Green territory, so I predict the status quo with perhaps a change of faces. I don’t see a future for Vicki Dunne or Chris Bourke unless something dramatic happens. The sharks are circling.

In Yerrabi, all is new and there is only one sitting MLA, Megan Fitzharris. She will be re-elected easily but I reckon there will be two Labor, two Libs and a three-way fight for fifth. An independent or Green is a possibility here.

So let’s add it up. Kurrajong has three Labor and one Lib with a Green taking fifth; Murrumbidgee has three Libs and two Labor; Yerrabi has two Labor and two Libs with a Green or independent getting fifth; Ginninderra will have three Labor and two Libs and Brindabella will have two Labor and two Libs with the fight for fifth between Labor, the Greens and an independent.

The make-up therefore of the next Assembly could possibly be: 12 Labor, 10 Libs and 3 others, which will include at least one, possibly two, Greens.

This is consistent with the history of Hare-Clark which has it that, with the one exception, the party taking Government will do so with one or two seats short of a majority and be dependent on the cross-bench to take government. The Opposition will be at least two short of the number required.

Let’s see how accurate my tea leaves are.

What’s Your opinion?


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ACT election – Tea leaf predictions
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watto23 3:05 pm 02 Oct 15

bj_ACT said :

Watto23 said “Rates in Tuggeranong have not gone up as much as inner suburbs so the whingers from down south about the light rail probably need a bit of perspective in their lives.”

It is this lack of basic numeracy and closed mind thinking that hampers debate about the recent rate rises and their effects on residents in certain parts of the ACT. Reminds me of those who say that Clive Palmer pays for more GST than Joe Average, so increasing the GST will have a bigger effect on Clive Palmer than Joe Average.

The annual Land Rates of some suburbs (such as Forrest and Griffith 56%) may have risen a bit more as a base percentage (than say Kambah or Wanniassa 41%). But this is only because the land values of these suburbs have risen much much more than Kambah and Wanniassa over the same period.

However, as a percentage of its residents earnings and assets, the Kambah and Wanniassa rises are much higher per household. As a percentage of house values, the Kambah and Wanniassa rises are much higher. As a total amount of rates paid to Government per suburb, Kambah pays more in total land rates than any of these suburbs.

Yet despite paying more land rates in total than other suburbs, Kambah gets less facilities and worse infrastructure. Considering a large portion of ACT Revenue comes from Federal grants, which in turn come from federally collected taxes, this means Tuggeranong is providing more tax dollars to the ACT than Woden, Weston Creek or South Canberra but getting less returned to them via the ACT Government.

Effectively Tuggeranong (and to a lesser extent Belconnen) is subsidising other parts of Canberra through all the Federal and ACT government’s spending on infrastructure, transport, entertainment precincts, tourist and cultural attractions etc which are housed mainly around the centre of Canberra. All this expenditure and public assets, drive up the housing asset values for these inner suburb residents, making their rates seem to be rising as a higher percentage against the original charge. But only someone who doesn’t understand the broader picture and doesn’t have the ‘perspective in their lives that Watto23 claims others should’, would use this as an effective way to measure the hardship of rising rates.

By the way, I haven’t lived in Kambah for over 5 years, but I see the effect of Government policy on the area through increased Unemployment numbers, increased crime, increased mortgage default and increased bankruptcy.

Wow so just jump on and bash someone you know absolutely nothing about. My numeracy and thinking skills are pretty good. Most engineers have these skills. I also happen to actually live in Tuggeranong.

You basically twisting facts to suit your argument. The fact is rates are cheaper in Tuggeranong.
Per sq metre of land the rates are cheaper. That is a fact.

Kambah for example was built a long time ago, and has a nice 3 lane road through the middle of it that rarely gets traffic jams. I reckon some people on the northside would loved to have that built before they moved in. What new infrastructure does it need? Refreshing existing infrastructure of course, but so many areas have this issue.

I’m trying to work out what Infrastructure we need in Tuggeranong rather than just being a bit selfish. Did we really need a new swimming pool in Lanyon like Zed promised? I’d like to see Erindale cleaned up, carparking fixed and streets fixed up a bit more. I note its getting a new bus station.

Also I highly doubt the taxes paid by Tuggeranong actually subsidise that much. If people are on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, which I agree is most likely along with parts of Belconnen and weston creek, then they are far more likely to be taking more out of the system than putting into it. Now I’m fine with that, I believe in paying taxes, supporting those in need and building quality infrastructure where its needed. Tuggeranong doesn’t need light rail right now. It would be nice if we had a clean lake to use in Tuggeranong, but lets be honest, Belconnen and LBG have the same problem.

I’m also completely against the GST increasing. Its rubbish the wealthy pay more, especially when even the middle class avoids paying GST on a new laptop or car if they salary sacrifice. However the chaneg to rates makes so much sense I’m surprised there is opposition to it. I’ve noticed the local Libs have eased off, especially given the previous and current federal treasurers, plus many of the state treasurers and economists agree its a good plan. In the long term, rates will keep rising faster in other suburbs of Canberra, while Tuggeranong will have the slowest rate increases.

I just can’t see how Tuggeranong is the place being screwed over, It got a lot of infrastructure built in the past. I think my only gripe is broadband is bad in some suburbs and one hopes we’ll get FTTP NBN but I doubt that. The libs ruined that with their twisting of facts and short term thinking at the federal level.

chewy14 1:45 pm 02 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

This is my point though, I’m not against construction of large infrastructure such as the tram as long as the business case is solid. In this case it’s not, they are justifying the tram by the increased density along the route when it should be the other way around. Particularly when there were other options with far better returns.

And yes, whilst there will be a benefit to Canberra as a whole, there is a massive private benefit that will accrue from the large expenditure of public funds. They should have charged a precinct levy to fund part of it and seen how popular it was then.
And they should hurry up with the changeover from stamp duty to higher rates to enable more efficient usage of this type of inner city land. This can then help fund such large scale infrastructure projects.

If you look at the very early photos of Canberra, Northbourne Ave existed before the housing and buildings along it.

How does that fit in with your theory of how development works?

What other options that would actually change anything?

Were you actually trying to prove my point?

Take a look at those early photos of Northbourne Avenue or almost every other road in the ACT. Did they build them to the same standard and size that the exist now? Or did they leave a transport corridor through the area for future upgrades of the transport system (or mode changes) as demand grew?

Take a drive around most areas of Canberra, particularly river and creek crossings. Do you see the corridors for the extra bridge abutments?

eg. Tuggeranong Parkway/Drakeford Drive, Parkes Way which has just been widened, Monaro Highway etc.

If they wanted to construct the transport now, the BRT option had a far, far lower capital cost for almost identical benefits. If they wanted to wait 10 years for their infill development program to part fund the LRT as demand grew, they could have.

But no, 4 year political cycles don’t allow for that do they? We need the best, the sexiest, and we need it now dammit.

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