18 October 2020

Democracy sausages a clear winner as ACT heads to the polls

| Michael Weaver
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Andrew Barr at North Ainslie Primary

Andrew Barr on the hustings with George Breusch and Hugo Trim who are student leaders at North Ainslie Primary on Saturday morning. Photos: Michael Weaver

The issues that matter to two future voters were laid bare for Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who was on the hustings at North Ainslie Primary School this morning on the last day of voting (17 October).

While enjoying one of the first democracy sausages with his husband Anthony Toms, Mr Barr listened to what a couple of future voters had to say.

Andrew Barr and Anthony Toms

Andrew Barr and his husband Anthony Toms enjoy a democracy sausage at North Ainslie Primary School.

George Breusch and Hugo Trin are student leaders at North Ainslie, but their primary concerns weren’t about who would receive the most primary votes in the 2020 ACT election.

“We want as much budget as possible for our school’s oval,” George and Hugo told Region Media.

“We need more play areas and outdoor classrooms and an amphitheatre because we think that more outdoor learning areas are really important.”

It may not be the poll that matters, but the pair agreed that Labor or the Greens would be their preference when asked who they would vote for if they could (perhaps influenced a little by their discussion with the Chief Minister).

Flavia Abdulrahman, Alex O'Brien and Clare Conway

ACT Greens members Flavia Abdulrahman, Alex O’Brien and Clare Conway at Ainslie.

More than 70 per cent of ACT voters already voted before today, so lines were almost non-existent at many polling booths throughout the day, including at North Ainslie Primary, and the only concern from one election marshall was party members handing out how-to-vote cards without wearing gloves and being at least 100 metres from the entrance.

However, there was plenty of hand sanitiser at the polling station as well as at the barbecue area where members of the North Ainslie Primary School P&C were selling cakes, biscuits and plenty of democracy sausages.

Maree Wright, Sarah Leslie and Steve Sancberg

North Ainslie Primary School P & C president Maree Wright with Sarah Leslie and Steve Sancbergs raising money for the school’s oval upgrade.

While fronting the media in his home electorate, Mr Barr said he expected to lead a minority government, and given the high rate of pre-polling, he thinks a result could be declared before 7:00 pm.

He admitted to feeling nervous about the outcome but was confident the Labor Party’s campaign was a responsible one, albeit safe and risk-averse.

“In a Hare-Clark system, there are no safe seats and the final seat in each electorate will be decided by preferences,” he said.

“It is possible we can come from behind on primary votes to win on preferences in each of the five Territory electorates.”

Nathan Thomas and Tabitha Carvan with their children Teddy and Dulcie at the North Ainslie Primary School polling station.

Nathan Thomas and Tabitha Carvan with their children Teddy and Dulcie at the North Ainslie Primary School polling station.

Mr Barr said their campaign did not require stunts or rash statements that he said had been used by opposition leader Alistair Coe.

“I know we’ve been written off in Brindabella and it’s been assumed the Liberal Party will fare very well in Murrumbidgee, but we’re confident in the campaign we’ve run and the candidates we have on the ground who have been contacting tens of thousands of voters during a difficult period,” Mr Barr said.

“We’ll be keeping a very close eye on each electorate and the range of possible outcomes, with the most likely being a minority government.”

You can follow all of the election night coverage on The RiotACT, and on Facebook and Twitter.

North Ainslie Primary School

No lines at North Ainslie Primary School for voting on Saturday morning.

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