22 September 2016

Record field of 141 candidates for ACT election

| Chester Ward
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ACT Electoral Commissioner Phil Green. Photo: Charlotte Harper

A record 141 candidates have nominated as candidates for the October 15 ACT Legislative Assembly election.

ACT electoral commissioner Phil Green this afternoon publicly declared the nominations during an Elections ACT event at the Assembly. There are 141 candidates across the five seats. This number is the highest ever for the ACT, and beats the previous record of 117.

There are also more seats to fill: the Assembly has until now consisted of 17 members but 25 MLAs will be elected into an expanded local parliament on October 15.

Given the number of candidates and the nature of the Hare Clark electoral system, Mr Green does not anticipate being in a position to declare the result of the election on polling day. The count is expected to take a few days, with the result known within a fortnight of the vote.

Postal vote ballots will be sent out tomorrow for Canberrans who are overseas and pre-poll voting will commence on Tuesday.

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said the record number of candidates was interesting.

“What is probably most interesting is just seeing who comes up, who the final list of candidates are,” he said.

“[We’re] seeing a few people who didn’t turn up, who’d said they were going to nominate, and a few people who perhaps are new names we haven’t seen before.”

He noted there were no real surprises among the nominations.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr described the declaration and draw as an important part of the democratic process in the ACT.

“Now we know who is standing in what seats we can look forward to the next part of the campaign,” he said.

“I think it’s a great thing that we have a record number of candidates nominating, and there’s a number of people who have been agitating on various issues who are now putting their names forward to the election and to the electorate will be able to see just how much support there is for various causes in this city.”

Mr Barr was pleased that Labor had drawn the number one column on the ballot paper in his seat of Kurrajong.

“Where you appear in left to right on the ballot paper does matter,” he said.

“[I’m] very happy to have drawn the first column.”

Watch our archived live coverage of the declaration of nominations and draw for ballot paper positions plus (fast forward to the last couple of minutes) the reactions of Greens leader Shane Rattenbury and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr earlier this afternoon here:

The full list of candidates with their residential addresses grouped by party/ungrouped will be available on the Elections ACT website tonight.




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wildturkeycanoe5:16 pm 22 Sep 16

OMG! 141 to choose from? This will be like trying to pick the most popular kid in school but allowing everyone to vote for whomever they want. It’ll be difficult to pick a clear winner even with hare/rabbit system. I forecast a dismal outcome for everybody. My confidence in politics [and the human race] is at an all time low. Maybe I should have nominated myself to run for a spot in governing this territory, with the major policy being salary increases for politicians tied to anonymous satisfaction surveys of the electorate. If they think you do a good job you get a pay rise, if not you get less money in your pocket.

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