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.