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Election 2019: Shock Coalition win but ACT stays Labor, Zed prevails

Ian Bushnell 18 May 2019 25
voting at the polls

It’s been a night that defied many expectations nationally although in the ACT it’s business as usual. Photos: George Tsotsos.

Despite a shock Coalition victory in the Federal election, the Canberra region will deliver a solid bloc of seats to Labor, with the party’s candidates comfortably ahead in all three seats in the ACT, as well as the former bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro.

Region Media coverage of 2019 Federal Election

It's been a night that defied many expectations nationally although in the ACT it's business as usual. RiotACT visited each party's election night gathering and found all of them positive about the local results.

Posted by The RiotACT on Saturday, 18 May 2019

Katy Gallagher will return to the Senate, as will Liberal Senator Zed Seselja with an improved vote, despite an unprecedented drive to unseat him.

On Sunday night the Coalition is three shy of a majority on 74, with Labor on 65, one Green and five others. Six seats are in doubt. Queensland rebuffed Labor and Bill Shorten, particularly over the proposed Adani coal mine, with the LNP sweeping the state.

The Greens push to take the redistributed central seat of Canberra has fallen way short with Labor’s Alicia Payne recording a big win with 66.48 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, well ahead of  Liberal Mina Zaki who pulled away from Green Tim Hollo, with 47 out of 48 booths counted. Ms Payne has picked up a primary vote of 40.82 per cent.

Mr Hollo has received 23.41 per cent of the votes, just behind Ms Zaki who has got 27.61 per cent.

Winners: Labor’s Alicia Payne and family voting today. Katy Gallagher was with her.

In the new southern seat of Bean, Labor’s David Smith’s forced pivot to the lower house after keeping Katy Gallagher’s Senate seat warm has been successful, with the former head of Professionals Australia ahead on 57.7 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, followed by Liberal Ed Cocks and the Greens’ Johnathan Davis.

Mr Smith always said he wasn’t a seat warmer for Katy Gallagher when he replaced her in the Senate last year after the High Court booted her out for being a dual citizen, but when she wanted her seat back it was clear that if he wanted to continue in Federal politics, it would have to be in the lower house.

A redistribution making Canberra a central seat and creating a third ACT seat in the south where the Marist College old boy and his family live gave him that opportunity.

He duly won preselection for Bean and has achieved a comfortable victory.

Fifty of 51 booths have been counted and Mr Smith has a primary vote of 38.53 per cent. Mr Cocks has 31.35 per cent and Mr Davis 12.76 per cent.

In the north, frontbencher Andrew Leigh will easily retain Fenner for Labor with 61.03 per cent of the two-party vote so far with 43 out of 44 booths counted, followed by Leanne Castley and the Greens’ Andrew Braddock. He has a primary vote of 45.59 per cent.

Ms Castley has 34.41 per cent and Mr Braddock 14.12 per cent.

With 79 booths out of 86 counted in Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly is on track to win with 51.3 per cent of the two-party vote but he has suffered a 1.63 per cent swing against him, with his primary vote at 39.90 per cent, down 1.98 per cent.

Senator Zed Seselja has successfully fought a campaign to unseat him, improving his vote.

In the Senate, Katy Gallagher, now just an Australian citizen, will return to the upper house, and Liberal Zed Seselja has withstood a concerted campaign to unseat him from the Greens, Unions ACT and independent Anthony Pesec.

Labor gathered 39.68 per cent of the vote, the Liberals  29.84 per cent and the Greens 19.61 per cent. Mr Pesec came in at 5.27 per cent.

Senator Seselja called it a “dirt campaign” but he said focusing on the issues had been the key to being returned.

“I never spoke or responded to the dirt campaign because I don’t think that is what people want to hear about,” he said.

“I talked about issues and that is the key. I hoped that there was a rejection, at least in part, of the personal denigration that particularly UnionsACT and others engaged in. Some people who didn’t vote Liberal in the last couple of elections have given us their support. This shows that if you focus on the issues instead of the muck-raking, maybe you get a reasonable response.”

We are LIVE at the Southern Cross Club in Woden where Canberra Liberal Senate hopeful Zed Seselja is speaking to Genevieve Jacobs about the election results tonight.

Posted by The RiotACT on Saturday, 18 May 2019

Ms Gallagher was glad to be back and that Labor had done well in Canberra but warned against the party being complacent in the ACT.

“It has been a really funny 12 months for me. I didn’t realise today was going to be a moment for me but it was. I was out and about at the polling booths and I was thinking about the last 12 months and really happy that I put my hand up again,” she said.

“I don’t think Labor should ever take Canberra for granted. That would be a very dangerous thing. The two big issues on my campaign trail were climate change and honesty in politics but I am not sure that is replicated across the country.”

Ms Gallagher said she always thought it would be hard to unseat Senator Seselja. “There is a 30 per cent rusted on Liberal vote so I always thought Zed was pretty safe and we have seen that replicated tonight.”

We are LIVE at the Canberra Labor Club in Belconnen talking to Katy Gallagher from the ACT Labor party about the election results tonight.

Posted by The RiotACT on Saturday, 18 May 2019


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25 Responses to
Election 2019: Shock Coalition win but ACT stays Labor, Zed prevails
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Pandy 9:17 am 21 May 19

So Canberra bucked the trend. How does it feel having wasted your votes now Canberra?

Paul2913 11:02 pm 20 May 19

Canberrans’ are very insular, the majority of them rely on the silver spoon of Public Service employment to protect them, they haven’t been out in the real world. The reality is that the majority of Australians realised that Labor’s tax reforms were going to drive Australia into a recession. Labor is all about hand-outs and spending, something for nothing, and Australia can’t handle that at the moment, it needs a more conservative and intelligent approach. The Liberals will certainly provide that but I don’t think we are necessarily seeing people voting for the Liberals, instead they are voting against Labor.

    chewy14 3:05 pm 21 May 19

    I think it’s ironic that you think Canberrans are insular when a large part of this election was decided by retirees not wanting to give up their taxpayer funded gravy train and people who rely on the mining industry not wanting to do anything about climate change.

    wottaway 8:10 pm 23 May 19

    When I was in Canberra 60/70s there was one thing that stood out about the place….it was totally insular, it was the sun and the rest of us spun around it. Or so they thought. I wouldn’t be too sure about that last line though. I’ve been voting since 1960 and only ever broke my golden rule once, 1972. Never, ever, again.

astro2 7:23 pm 19 May 19

Whichever side you supported it is undeniable that there is an air of strangeness when every single poll reflected a Labor win and then suddenly Hoopla – all the polls are completely wrong. Polling is a pretty accurate process these days so there has to be a reason that this changed. The similarity between the sudden unexpected swing in the opposite direction just prior to an election is very reminiscent of countries where foreign electoral interference has taken place via internet and social media feeds. It’s pretty much a carbon copy. Not nice to think of this type of thing happening in Australia but I don’t think anyone could say we are immune from it.

    Capital Retro 9:31 am 20 May 19

    Please explain how what you are suggesting could happen in reality as I don’t use “social media”.

    I am trying to find out how the ACT Labor got my email address to send me unsolicited election propaganda – it could only have come from a local government agency and I am pointing the finger at Access Canberra at this stage.

    Spiral 10:15 am 20 May 19

    I think the reality here is not so much a foreign interference issue as a mistaken belief that polling is accurate and getting more accurate.

    There were media reports last week about some organisations that are more in tune with modern technological trends pointing to a coalition win.

    There was even a report by a journalist who had spent time on the campaign trail with ScoMo and who reported that the PM had crunched the numbers and was reasonably confident. She was laughed at and told she was living in a fantasy world.

    Too many people heard what they wanted to hear and ignored any evidence against that.

    I’m not a polling expert but there does seem to be a view now that the polls were too reliant on old technologies.

    So most likely no conspiracy or significant interference.

    Just inaccurate polls combined with poor campaigning by Labor and clever campaigning by the coalition.

    astro2 9:06 pm 20 May 19

    The evidence is that the polls are accurate – except on this occasion. All the polling organisations pointed to a certain result which was apparently overturned very close to the actual election day. i’m not sure which organisations you are referring to that published anything different. Polling companies are generally aware of new technologies so that doesn’t appear to be sufficient reason either – and there is no suggestion that a different technology type would have resulted in an accurate result favouring Labor over Liberal. As to Morrison saying he was reasonably confident – well, any leader would say that so that’s not a valid prediction either. As much as it is unpalatable to consider the issue of foreign electoral interference is difficult to discount.

    chewy14 3:06 pm 21 May 19

    Personally I think it was aliens.

    astro2 7:35 pm 21 May 19

    If, by aliens, you are referring to “a sophisticated hack from a foreign state actor” then, yes, that’s now a possibility: https://theconversation.com/weve-been-hacked-so-will-the-data-be-weaponised-to-influence-election-2019-heres-what-to-look-for-112130. it’s certainly a more rational explanation than gosh look at that all the polls got it mysteriously wrong because…..?

    chewy14 11:15 pm 21 May 19

    No,
    Space aliens.

    It’s clearly more plausible than pollsters having issues getting true representative samples of the electorate or people simply changing their minds or lying to the pollers.

    I mean the exit polls even said that Labor would win early Saturday evening and we know they can’t be wrong.

    The truth is out there. ET did it.

    astro2 6:24 am 22 May 19

    Hi chewy14, the problem with the theory that “people simply changing their minds or lying to the pollers” is that this could have happened on any occasion so that the polls would have showed inconsistencies in past elections as well. It doesn’t provide an explanation as to why their was a sudden lurch away on this election only. However foreign electoral interference has only happened in recent years. As this has certainly happened overseas there is no reason that it could not have happened here.

    Capital Retro 8:38 am 22 May 19

    You are a bit like Shorten with his failure to cost his climate (change) policy as you can’t explain how “foreign electoral interference” could be applied to skew an election outcome in Australia.

    Next thing you will be implicating Donald Trump.

    The answer is simple to people in the real world namely it was mainly Bowen’s obsession to withdraw franking credits from retired people that gave the coalition victory.
    I doubt if you and your fellow travellers had watched the fall in value in bank shares leading up to the election as these were favourites with retired people about to lose their franking credits so they sold them. When the “shock” coalition victory became apparent there was a rush to “buy the shares back” on Monday and this was reflected in massive share price rises.

    This exact scenario was predicted by real-world commentators Mark Latham and Alan Jones several weeks ago and they even nominated the seats where the demographics (retired people) would favour a change.

    It would be helpful if you extended your reading past The Guardian, Nine/Fairfax and the ABC as you would maybe get a more balanced view.

    astro2 7:56 pm 22 May 19

    Hi Capital Retro, you apparently would like further detail on this and i’m happy to provide it assuming your question is genuine. Firstly, i would be cautious about statements promoting a “simple answer”. The issue of franking credits was in the public domain for a long time the campaign, therefore opposition to it would have been reflected in the polls. It wasn’t. Putting forward Alan Jones and Mark Latham as legitimate pollsters is fallacious as they both back different parties so are biased. Secondly, you don’t need to put words into anyone’s mouth. If you think Donald Trump was involved – fine. Put forward your theory but don’t suggest that others are putting this forward. I am not. Also suggesting what others are reading is a very weak argument which i think you probably realise. Try to stick to a more factual argument. The fact remains that no cogent and logical argument has been put forward as to why all polls got the result radically wrong and this does, unfortunately, mirror events overseas where there has been foreign electoral interference. I don’t like to think of it either but we can’t discount this.

    chewy14 3:07 pm 22 May 19

    Astro,
    Occam’s Razor.

    You’re literally saying that a complex international conspiracy with zero supporting evidence is more likely than a poll being wrong.

    Certain people need to face up to the fact that other people simply think and vote differently than they do.

    astro2 7:08 am 23 May 19

    Actually “zero supporting evidence” isn’t correct. i’ll let you do the searching but just start with “foreign electoral interference” and this will provide you with more information. The hack into Government IT systems which my earlier post referred to was also substantiated by Government so further evidence there. You still haven’t addressed the issue that the polls, which have been consistently accurate previously, became suddenly upended. This isn’t just a matter of ‘who’ won and ‘who’ lost but ‘how’. So today’s happy-clappers may not be so cheery when the piper calls for his payment. I think we all agree that it is a good idea to value and protect our Australian democracy.

    John Moulis 9:06 am 22 May 19

    The search for a scapegoat continues…

    wottaway 8:13 pm 23 May 19

    Wow, how long a bow can you draw ?…just get used to the result and may there be many more of them.

HiddenDragon 6:28 pm 19 May 19

From today’s CT –

“We certainly can’t afford two conservative governments in this city. There must be a progressive alternative,” he (Andrew Barr) said.”

So in a massive surprise (to no one), along with the southside tram gimmick/wedge, the ACT Labor argument for yet another term will be about shaking a righteous little fist at the federal government – a time-honoured strategy going back at least to the days of Joh Bjelke-Petersen (which is more than a bit ironic when you think about it).

John Moulis 10:38 am 19 May 19

I can’t believe the sour grapes and savagery from people in Canberra in various Net forums over the election result. It really is Spit the Dummy Territory.

I knew the Coalition would win. I nailed my colours to the mast on Facebook and YouTube during the campaign and as it turns out I was in tune with mainstream Australia.

I find it disturbing that many in Canberra are in denial over the result. That it somehow doesn’t represent “us”, and that everybody else is somehow out of step. It represents a level of disengagement with the rest of Australia and gives fuel to the “Canberra bubble” and parallel universe jibes.

It is to be hoped that in future the people indulging in this type of keyboard warrior nonsense will do a bit of introspection and consider how vainglorious and insular they sound, and how they seem to have missed the bus when political smarts and basic commonsense were being handed out.

Gilavon 7:25 am 19 May 19

Once Turnbull had been discarded it was a lay down misere for the Coalition to defeat Labor despite the bookies, polls, puff pieces from Fairfax and last week’s RiotACT. Labor wins in the ACT are irrelevant because overall the ACT is irrelevant.

Labor takes ACT votes for granted so can ignore the place, “Oh, thanks for the votes comrades”. The Coalition, knowing the ACT habitually votes Labor can ignore the place, why wouldn’t you? Canberrans are intelligent but naïve. It’s always been thus and always will be.

Congratulations ScoMo and Zed.

    Capital Retro 9:32 am 20 May 19

    Hear, hear.

    Garfield 10:35 am 22 May 19

    Hang on, the pollsters were using the same methodology mid last year as they were in the lead up to the election, so if we take that into account Turnbull was in an election winning position when the party room dumped him. Let’s not forget that under him the polls were 49-51 just as they were under Morrison in the last couple of weeks prior to election day. Instead of a big crash in the polls after the change of PM, what would have happened if the NEG had been passed demonstrating an attempt to balance the competing issues of climate change and energy prices? It would have taken some of the sting out of those parts of the electorate that wanted more done. Then back that up with the good budget and the electorate taking a closer look at Labor’s tax policies and the polls would have had Turnbull in the lead. Rather than Morrison’s slim win Turnbull could have had a strong majority. Thanks to Abbott, Dutton, Morrison and the lesser players like Zed, that’s all a what if now and we’re in a position where a small swing against the government will see Labor in office next election. This result reminds me of Hewson’s loss in 1993 and Labor won’t be so aggressive with their policies next time.

maxblues 12:31 am 19 May 19

56 Newspolls in a row! The next one will be hilarious!

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