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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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22 Responses to
ACT election – Tea leaf predictions
Garfield 11:19 am 30 Sep 15

I have to disagree with John about the impact of the leader vote. While the leader gets lots of votes, it looks to me that the vast majority come from other candidates from the same party. Thus Barr’s leader vote in Kurrajong will primarily come at the expense of votes for other Labor candidates and the same will happen with Hanson in Murrumbidgee. We just need to look at the popular Gallagher in Molonglo at the 2012 election. Labor’s total vote was 40%, just 1% above the average across the ACT. With a 40% vote in 2016, Kurrajong will only return 2 Labor MLA’s with 2 Libs and 1 Green rounding out the 5. Ginninderra produced 3 Labor MLA’s in 2012 with only 40% of the vote, but that was only because of Greens preferences. The inner city produces more Green votes than the outer suburbs so they will get 1 MLA and no preferences will flow to Labor. The Libs only need 33% to get 2 quotas, which is 4% less than they got in Molonglo as a whole last time so its hard to see their vote dropping to 28% which is where it would need to be for 3 Labor and only 1 Lib.

For Hanson, the question is whether he can get the total Lib vote in his electorate up to say 43%, which is probably the point at which a 3rd Lib starts to become possible. Even if he did, a Green vote of 10% would have them on level pegging for the last seat and any Labor votes above 33% would likely flow to the Greens. Woden did not vote as strongly for the Libs as Tuggeranong did last time, so there’s a good chance the Libs will only get 2 in Woden.

With regards to leader votes winning 3rd major party seats in their electorates, 3 Labor in the inner city is a fantasy and 3 Liberal in Woden is no better than even money.

watto23 10:03 am 30 Sep 15

chewy14 said :

I think the issue is the $700-1000 million dollar price tag when the business case shows there are better options available.

And I hardly think it’s selfish when the government will spend such a large amount of money that will accrue a large private benefit to a small number of residents.

There are huge benefits to all of Canberra. Its going to be high density along that route, which means we don’t keep building urban sprawl and most Canberrans then don’t have to become NIMBY’s because a new multi story development is being built next door. It means less demand for car parking in the city during business hours. It means more housing so easing pressure on housing.

Is it all worth the price tag? I don’t know, the benefits I listed are hard to cost and depends on your POV. The issue I have right now is burying your head in the sand, building new roads and putting more buses on the road, just because its cheaper doesn’t fix the problem. In fact it costs us more in the long term, because we pay for some vague politically driven solution that stills costs money and does nothing. So where is the real waste? A cheap politically driven solution that doesn’t fix the problem or an expensive solution that does help fix the problem but may be excessive for now?

Infrastructure costs money, people living in cities pay rates to have infrastructure. If you don’t want to pay rates and taxes to live here, the country is often cheaper, had less services and probably suit people who find governments that spend money to improve the city a bad thing.

rubaiyat 9:47 pm 29 Sep 15

chewy14 said :

watto23 said :

MERC600 said :

But the tram. This is one thing that has got most of the City talking.
It is being seen as a very expensive white elephant that will require continuing monies to keep it rolling.. And where will they find that ? Rates ?
Mr Barr is going to have to work very hard to get the voters on his side, especially in the South.

That is the standard Liberal stance to anything that is infrastructure and costs money. Yet lately they have failed to offer alternatives for public transport. There is no city in the world where cars work well without decent public transport. Buses rarely offer decent public transport. So the real alternatives are lightrail, rail or Bus Rapid transit (this involved building bus only roads, so likely to cost not much less than light rail).

Back to the topic, I think Tuggeranongites will vote Liberals enough for there to be 3 seats in Brindabella. They don’t like the fact that light rail isn’t coming to Tuggeranong, but as a resident I’m amazed at the level of selfishness and lack of thought, from my fellow Tuggeranongites. Light rail will never be a good option for tuggeranong except as a system within Tuggeranong. We really need a rapid connection to the city. Also for now Light rail will help ease pressure on car parking in the city.

So I think the Liberals will gain at least 11 seats, maybe 12, but I can’t see another party other than Labor and the Greens winning the other 13. As I said on the other post, Chic Henry joining the Liberals, removes any chance of that 5th seat going to the Motorist party and being a liberal friendly seat.

I think the issue is the $700-1000 million dollar price tag when the business case shows there are better options available.

And I hardly think it’s selfish when the government will spend such a large amount of money that will accrue a large private benefit to a small number of residents.

G

chewy14 said :

watto23 said :

MERC600 said :

But the tram. This is one thing that has got most of the City talking.
It is being seen as a very expensive white elephant that will require continuing monies to keep it rolling.. And where will they find that ? Rates ?
Mr Barr is going to have to work very hard to get the voters on his side, especially in the South.

That is the standard Liberal stance to anything that is infrastructure and costs money. Yet lately they have failed to offer alternatives for public transport. There is no city in the world where cars work well without decent public transport. Buses rarely offer decent public transport. So the real alternatives are lightrail, rail or Bus Rapid transit (this involved building bus only roads, so likely to cost not much less than light rail).

Back to the topic, I think Tuggeranongites will vote Liberals enough for there to be 3 seats in Brindabella. They don’t like the fact that light rail isn’t coming to Tuggeranong, but as a resident I’m amazed at the level of selfishness and lack of thought, from my fellow Tuggeranongites. Light rail will never be a good option for tuggeranong except as a system within Tuggeranong. We really need a rapid connection to the city. Also for now Light rail will help ease pressure on car parking in the city.

So I think the Liberals will gain at least 11 seats, maybe 12, but I can’t see another party other than Labor and the Greens winning the other 13. As I said on the other post, Chic Henry joining the Liberals, removes any chance of that 5th seat going to the Motorist party and being a liberal friendly seat.

I think the issue is the $700-1000 million dollar price tag when the business case shows there are better options available.

And I hardly think it’s selfish when the government will spend such a large amount of money that will accrue a large private benefit to a small number of residents.

I think the real issue is the $4 to 6 billion dollars (same licence to exaggerate) that Canberrans personally waste on cars when there are clearly cleaner solutions that don’t accrue such large public damage to such a large number of people who will have to pay to clean up the mess the cars and roads will leave.

Pragmatix 9:27 pm 29 Sep 15

That Independent wouldn’t be Steven Bailey by any chance John?

shellcase 6:35 pm 29 Sep 15

The bulk of the ACT population live South, that’s where the tram would do the most good.

The only people to benefit from the Gungahlin line will be ANU students living along Flemington and others whose homes are within comfortable walking distance of the closest tram station. Insufficient demand for the thing to pay it’s way. Ever.

But John is fairly much on the money which is depressing and indicative of the sheepish, tribal nature of people in this town. I won’t bother getting out of bed on voting day.

HiddenDragon 5:37 pm 29 Sep 15

John Hargreaves said :

Both the above writers have good points. I’m not so sure that the light rail issue is a government changing one. I agree that many voters outside the tram line are not happy but wonder if their antipathy would be there if the line was going to their town centre.

Also history has it that it takes more than one largish issue to change the government. We had the GDE, the Arboretum, the prison all of which have been embraced since.

The Carnell/Humphries government fell because of a series of issues not just one big one.

Rates in particular (residential and commercial), and the pace of increase in ACT Government charges (well above inflation, and above income increases – if any – for many people), is another big issue.

The die hard sophists and astroturfers can keep banging away about whether and when rates will triple, but that’s not quite the point for people who find that they have somewhat less money to spare than a few years ago, and who are increasingly unimpressed about ACT Government spending priorities.

justin heywood 5:08 pm 29 Sep 15

watto23 said :

That is the standard Liberal stance to anything….

….I think Tuggeranongites will vote Liberals enough for there to be 3 seats in Brindabella. They don’t like the fact that light rail isn’t coming to Tuggeranong.

Why keep framing the Tram debate as a Labor/Liberal issue? Union polling in June showed that only about half of Labor supporters were in favour of light rail.

Academics from the ANU and UC have publicly questioned its viability. The former head of major projects for ACT Treasury called the project a ‘folly’.

It’s not just selfish Liberal voters from Tuggers who oppose it, no matter how some might wish it so.

Many people have no interest in local politics. But in the run up to the election you can expect even an incompetent opposition to shine a light on some of the wobbly figures used to support that huge expenditure.

It’s going to be a millstone for the local ALP, and there’s surely a limit to how high they can ramp up the spin for light rail.

I reckon they’ll still win anyway though. Canberra is a Labor/Green town now, and will remain so until the money runs out.

neanderthalsis 2:36 pm 29 Sep 15

When you look at the current list of sitting members there is not a standout amongst them, at best members on both sides rate a mere “meh”. There is no stand out leader on either side, no charismatic orators, no hard headed pugilists, just a blancmange of acceptable indifference and incompetence.

Light rail, while I don’t think it will change too many votes, is a bit of a festering issue when you move away from the inner north and Gungahlin. Access to services and crumbling infrastructure in the outer suburbs, along with poor planning decisions and general incompetence will be the main issues going against Labor, while the Libs will suffer carrying the can for federal decisions affecting the public service and the fact that they have been missing in action as an opposition.

In all, I would predict that we will end up with 25 people who don’t really care about or understand the electorate and will spend four years bickering about unimportant issues while ignoring the big issues that could shape the future of the ACT.

chewy14 1:55 pm 29 Sep 15

watto23 said :

MERC600 said :

But the tram. This is one thing that has got most of the City talking.
It is being seen as a very expensive white elephant that will require continuing monies to keep it rolling.. And where will they find that ? Rates ?
Mr Barr is going to have to work very hard to get the voters on his side, especially in the South.

That is the standard Liberal stance to anything that is infrastructure and costs money. Yet lately they have failed to offer alternatives for public transport. There is no city in the world where cars work well without decent public transport. Buses rarely offer decent public transport. So the real alternatives are lightrail, rail or Bus Rapid transit (this involved building bus only roads, so likely to cost not much less than light rail).

Back to the topic, I think Tuggeranongites will vote Liberals enough for there to be 3 seats in Brindabella. They don’t like the fact that light rail isn’t coming to Tuggeranong, but as a resident I’m amazed at the level of selfishness and lack of thought, from my fellow Tuggeranongites. Light rail will never be a good option for tuggeranong except as a system within Tuggeranong. We really need a rapid connection to the city. Also for now Light rail will help ease pressure on car parking in the city.

So I think the Liberals will gain at least 11 seats, maybe 12, but I can’t see another party other than Labor and the Greens winning the other 13. As I said on the other post, Chic Henry joining the Liberals, removes any chance of that 5th seat going to the Motorist party and being a liberal friendly seat.

I think the issue is the $700-1000 million dollar price tag when the business case shows there are better options available.

And I hardly think it’s selfish when the government will spend such a large amount of money that will accrue a large private benefit to a small number of residents.

watto23 10:36 am 29 Sep 15

MERC600 said :

But the tram. This is one thing that has got most of the City talking.
It is being seen as a very expensive white elephant that will require continuing monies to keep it rolling.. And where will they find that ? Rates ?
Mr Barr is going to have to work very hard to get the voters on his side, especially in the South.

That is the standard Liberal stance to anything that is infrastructure and costs money. Yet lately they have failed to offer alternatives for public transport. There is no city in the world where cars work well without decent public transport. Buses rarely offer decent public transport. So the real alternatives are lightrail, rail or Bus Rapid transit (this involved building bus only roads, so likely to cost not much less than light rail).

Back to the topic, I think Tuggeranongites will vote Liberals enough for there to be 3 seats in Brindabella. They don’t like the fact that light rail isn’t coming to Tuggeranong, but as a resident I’m amazed at the level of selfishness and lack of thought, from my fellow Tuggeranongites. Light rail will never be a good option for tuggeranong except as a system within Tuggeranong. We really need a rapid connection to the city. Also for now Light rail will help ease pressure on car parking in the city.

So I think the Liberals will gain at least 11 seats, maybe 12, but I can’t see another party other than Labor and the Greens winning the other 13. As I said on the other post, Chic Henry joining the Liberals, removes any chance of that 5th seat going to the Motorist party and being a liberal friendly seat.

John Hargreaves 9:30 am 29 Sep 15

Both the above writers have good points. I’m not so sure that the light rail issue is a government changing one. I agree that many voters outside the tram line are not happy but wonder if their antipathy would be there if the line was going to their town centre.

Also history has it that it takes more than one largish issue to change the government. We had the GDE, the Arboretum, the prison all of which have been embraced since.

The Carnell/Humphries government fell because of a series of issues not just one big one.

shellcase 12:45 am 29 Sep 15

Have to agree with bigred and MERC600, for me Joy Burch is dead wood but being in Gungahlin the main issue for me is the tram, it is a loser item destined to send us broke.

I get an impression Andrew Barr is living in fairy land and can’t produce any rabbit from the hat of sufficient substance to make up the ground the government has lost on the tram topic.

More than likely it is past time for Labor to be kicked out but the Libs have nothing to offer, the ACT is a helpless pendulum swinging in the Australian breeze.

dukethunder 9:15 pm 28 Sep 15

Labor will be returned and the tram will proceed.
” For instance the brickworks go from 1300 units down to 300. So what. Good on the locals, but
who really cares outside of them” well me. I’d love to live there. Rich old conservative folk want to preserve their green space and keep the lesser ‘castes’ out. Unfortunately it seems we’re going to have to wait for this anti development generation to pass on before we can infill Canberra properly.

MERC600 4:10 pm 28 Sep 15

John thank you for your comprehensive breakdown of the possible outcomes of the 2016 election.
I suspect that you would be right on the money, ordinarily, but there is one thing that will cause a boil over, and it is this blessed tram.
Am finding people who don’t normally talk/mention local politics are now discussing the thing.
And it’s not being discussed in a good light.
It seems a awful lot of Canberrans have a opinion on it, and it ain%u2019t a good one.
For instance the brickworks go from 1300 units down to 300. So what. Good on the locals, but who really cares outside of them.
The Dickson shop refurbishment plans have been altered so many times I and others have no idea what’s going on, and apart from those in the area, who’s worried what they do?
Ditto the Services Club debacle. But the tram. This is one thing that has got most of the City talking.
It is being seen as a very expensive white elephant that will require continuing monies to keep it rolling.. And where will they find that ? Rates ?
Mr Barr is going to have to work very hard to get the voters on his side, especially in the South.

bigred 1:49 pm 28 Sep 15

You are probably on the right track, but for two factors that could undermine public confidence. Firstly, Joy Burch who seems to be able attract catastrophe after catastrophe, and is making the moribund opposition spokespeople look good without doing anything. The second is a sense of public disappointment in service delivery I am picking up as I travel around own, but the failure of the libs to see past their “No light rail” three word sloganeering suggests they are missing it entirely.

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