The name of the candidate elected to replace Johnathan Davis should be known on Monday, 27 November, the ACT Electoral Commissioner has announced.
Damien Cantwell said on Friday (17 November) that he had received official notification of the casual vacancy from the Speaker of the Assembly Joy Burch MLA.
Mr Davis formally resigned from the Assembly on Sunday (12 November) following allegations of sexual misconduct.
A police investigation has been opened into allegations Mr Davis had been involved in “possible sexual interactions with younger people”.
An independent inquiry will also be launched to investigate ACT Greens’ handling of the allegations.
“I am now able to outline the official timetable to fill the Legislative Assembly vacancy,” Mr Cantwell said.
Vacancies in the Legislative Assembly are filled by conducting a ‘countback’ of ballots that elected the vacating member. In effect, the electors who voted for Mr Davis will determine his replacement.
“To begin the countback process, a public notice will appear on Friday, 17 November 2023, in The Canberra Times inviting candidates who unsuccessfully stood in the Brindabella electorate at the 2020 election to contest the vacancy. Where practicable, the Commission will also notify all those unsuccessful candidates directly,” Mr Cantwell said.
The candidates have 10 days from then to indicate if they wish to contest the vacancy. Candidates’ applications must be received by 12 pm on Monday, 27 November 2023.
“At 12:30 pm on 27 November 2023, the names of the candidates contesting the vacancy will be officially declared. A computer counting program will then be used to determine which candidate will be elected to the Assembly to replace Mr Davis,” Mr Cantwell said.
It is expected that the official declaration of the result will take place on Tuesday, 28 November, at 3:30 pm.
The public is invited to attend the two events, which will take place at the Legislative Assembly.
ABC chief election analyst Antony Green recently offered more insight into what might happen during the countback process.
“Any candidate who stood in 2020 can nominate, but the only two with a chance of victory would be the other two Greens candidates, Laura Nuttall and Sue Ellerman,” he said on social media on Tuesday.
“70 per cent of Davis’s ballot papers had a second preference for one of those two candidates.”
Ms Ellerman received 1309 first preference votes and Ms Nuttall received 1657.
“Both were excluded during the count and helped elect Davis. Both receive votes back from Davis in the countback in the same proportion as their first preferences,” Mr Green wrote.
Of Davis’s 3019 votes in 2020, 1320 had Ms Nuttall as second preference and 827 chose Ms Ellerman as second preference.
“Further preferences and preferences from other candidates would also favour Nuttall,” Mr Green wrote.
“If both Green candidates nominate for the countback, Nuttall is highly likely to be elected.”