Tasmanian Times


Swing to Liberals as Greens lose favour

Pic: of Katy Gallagher from here

The counting of votes will resume for the ACT election later today, after an inconclusive result last night.

Despite about 70 per cent of the votes having been counted, the parties went home without knowing who will be governing the ACT into the next term.

So far ACT Labor has secured seven seats, the Liberals seven and the ACT Greens one.

ABC election analyst Antony Green is predicting the final result will be Liberals eight, Labor seven and the Greens two.

With more than 73 per cent of the vote counted, Labor is currently ahead on primary votes with 39.1 per cent, a positive swing of 1.7 per cent.

The Liberals have 38 per cent of the vote, a strong swing of 6.4 per cent.

It has been a bad night for the Greens with a swing against the party of 4.6 per cent.

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  1. James Walker

    October 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks Kevin its always easier and more reliable to get your info from Dr Bonham rather than Dr Google. In 1996 the extra greedy 40% party was always a stunt to funnel votes to the greens (although if I recall they lost Bass that election). I vaguely remember the election before with Hank Petrusma leaving the leg co to contest Denison he had his own party and a running mate in Franklin, although there was not much joy when the abc did the live crossover. Kudos for the TT contributor who can name Hanks party.

  2. Dr Kevin Bonham

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    #14 – the registration requirement is the same (100 members) which if anything might seem harder to meet in the ACT with its smaller population, although the less dispersed nature of the population may well cancel that out.

    The candidate deposit in the ACT is lower ($250 compared to $400).

    The early abundance of micro-parties in the ACT was because the early ACT electoral systems favoured them more than Hare-Clark. Lately there have been not so many, but still a few. I think there is something abnormally impoverished about the Tasmanian party diversity landscape at the moment – rather than the ACT’s being unusually diverse anymore – but the reasons for the scarcity of new parties here are not obvious to me.

  3. Bazzabee

    October 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I am somewhat perplexed a string on TT that isn’t full of Green agitprop and invective – whatever next – a balanced debate or is that simply wishful thinking?

  4. Ron

    October 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Going into minority government and taking two ministerial seats is going to cost the Greens big time at the next election. Now we have to listen to the conservatives strut around the place and crowing all day.

  5. George Harris aka Woodworker

    October 22, 2012 at 1:30 am

    My advice to ACT Labor would be to stand as a true minority government, and stand or fall on the floor of parliament. That way you stand on your own principles, which is what we should be doing in Tasmania, not being a Labor government in name only, and implementing a Green agenda.
    The Greens can then be asked to choose: who do you want on the treasury benches, us or the Libs? That way you can trade on your common ground to push for aspects of Labor agenda the Greens don’t like, and hopefully that is enough to win the day. If not, too bad… The Greens are no friends of Labor, and we should call their bluff on who they hate more….

  6. James Walker

    October 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Whilst both the ACT and Tas elections operate under Hare Clark, Since the advent of self government the ACT has always had an abundance of micro parties contesting.
    Are the threshold rules for establishing a party ie number of members etc different in the ACT or do Tasmanians just like to cut to the chase.

  7. Dr Kevin Bonham

    October 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I should add, props to pollbludger member johncanb for being the first to spot the risk of the Greens losing to Labor in Ginninderra, which I immediately verified. The Greens now need either a turnaround in the primary totals in that seat, or else for the electronic preference sample to be unrepresentative. If neither of these things rebound in their favour they have problems.

  8. Dr Kevin Bonham

    October 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Contrary to my above comment the Greens’ seat in Ginninderra is now looking shaky and they may even be left with only one seat and an 8-8-1 result. The reason is not the perceived threat from the Motorist Party, which was the concern when I made my earlier comment, but the threat of the Green candidate being caught behind the two remaining Labor candidates. Although the Greens currently start 0.2 quotas “ahead” of Labor for the last seat, the provisional distribution suggests Labor catches up most if not all of that. Even if Labor doesn’t quite catch up all of it, the Green candidate can get stuck behind the two Labor candidates even with a superior quota total. (For instance, if the Green has 0.72 quotas and Labor has 1.7, but neither Labor candidate is very close to a quota, both Labor candidates win.)

  9. Mark

    October 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Anyone who has either visited, resided or worked in Canberra and the wider ACT know it is a world apart. Canberra may be public service-centric but Queanbeyan and the rural districts are normal regional economies.

    Green supporters are often, but not always, more educated and astute in matters of economics and the environment(this has been evidenced in various national surveys). Unfortunately, many in the Green movement have the old Socialist Alliance background and policies develop disproportionately in the directions of human rights and equity.

    In my opinion, the general public seek practical solutions to high priority problems. The last twelve months have seen the Greens focus on marriage equality and asylum seekers (ie onshore processing without a solution to deaths at sea). Then there is the lower level focus on public housing, drug laws etc. These are not bread and butter issues for the broader community. The Greens should be pushing for tax and welfare reforms to accommodate other expenditure reforms in health and education. These reforms need to be strategic and mainstream eg the Henry Tax Review; a national health service unlimited by state borders; regional education standards etc.

  10. Robin Halton

    October 21, 2012 at 1:26 am

    It is obvious having that the mantra of that Tasmanian woman running the Senate is creating havoc for the Greens on a national basis.

  11. David Obendorf

    October 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Yes Anne [comment #6], the Green model of [i]Bottom-Up[/i] progressive politics was in essence a good model to try because it would have perhaps achieved what you suggest.

    It would have allowed the diverse resource of progressive thinkers-doers-educators-change agents-community activists to inform Green politicans. An inclusive, progresive model based on sound [i]Community Development[/i] principles.

    In 1989 I along with others suggested to the 5 newly elected Green Independents MPs that they develop a [b]Register of the Expertise & Experience[/b] amongst their voting constituents; to allow each elected MP to be supported and to canvass opinion on new Green public policy from that rich collective of voters. It never happened… they have reverted to their inner sanctum of advice-givers through strict gatekeeping.

    The [i]Bottom-Up[/i] model did not operate that way, and in my opinion, never has. As they grew in electoral strength they opted more and more for a [i]Top-Down[/i] model of the other Parties.

    A typo-correction to Comment #2: Politics is all about ‘Natural Selection’ and when a Party or a Politician loses [i]mojo[/i] and the Will to ‘occupy some space’, the others in the political pack turn on it and take over that space.

  12. Angel

    October 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    “Christine Milne taking over from Bob Brown was the best thing to happen to the Greens. She’s a big vote loser” – Liberal voter.

  13. Shaun

    October 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    The problem with telling lies is when you start believing them yourself. That’s when things get nasty.

    There is no point saying that support is increasing when clearly it isn’t. Just like there’s no point saying (for example) that the world is moving away from coal whilst use is actually growing, that the economy is strong when GDP is going down or that a pulp mill is being built when clearly it isn’t.

    After a while, people see the lies for what they are and at that point support falls off a cliff.

    Note that, in a rough sort of way, I’ve referenced all the major parties here, not just the Greens.

  14. Anne Cadwallader

    October 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    As our problems become more overtly environmental, the Green vote will grow in proportion. Or the major parties will become more green. Either way, future generations will benefit. What matters is to be in there advocating and educating.
    The personalities that make good activists do not always make good politicians, and activist followers can’t always handle the pragmatism needed in politics, which is mostly hard and thankless work. The green cause needs to be in politics. But activism and education, highlighting and creating new futures – doing things better in every field of life – all need to continue apace. I am grateful to the people who gave decades of their life to politics because I know its the last place they would rather be. But politics is only a part of the story of safeguarding the future. Its up to all of us, and I don’t mean lightbulbs. We have to give our time and energies, in fact our lives, to this. And all over Tasmania, I see that happening. Selfless people have more fun.

  15. Valleywatcher

    October 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Very sensible observations, David (2). Will the sentiment of your last sentence be understood and taken on board, I wonder?

  16. Ian Rist

    October 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The way it seems to pan out is a vote for The Greens is a vote for Labor anyway.
    Don’t think Tasmanians will make the same mistake three times.
    If we do we deserve everything we get.

  17. TGC

    October 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    It’s reassuring to those (of us) who still believe that pigs might fly and fairies at the bottom of the garden that the dismal result for the Greens in the ACT still has them insistng they are on track to rule the world: indeed the more tyheir vote declines thye stronger their belief in political domination.
    But there surely must be some realists amongst Green supports who have increasing doubts that the majority of Australians see things the way the Greens do- unless, of course, electoral and political corruption is to blame for their poor showing.

  18. David Obendorf

    October 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    The result in the ACT election will put another jolt of reality politics back into the Green machine. They are losing Bob Brown’s core constituency of progressive voters & committed activists and community change agents for many reasons. For me, a big one has been that they’re are no longer seen as an Oppositional Party but are now a partner in governance in Tasmania, ACT and Canberra. In this new paradigm – as Nick McKim Greens MP refers to it – they need ‘to compromise’.

    But political compromise doesn’t not mean losing one’s voice, losing one’s hearing and losing one’s vision.

    A legacy of compromising in Government is that they are seen to engage less and disappoint more – more through acts of [i]Omission[/i] rather than acts of [i]Commission[/i].

    Progressive voters reward authenticity and strength of principle. When a Party stops listening and stops engaging voters tend to look elsewhere.

    The Greens must understand that they are not a quasi-religious cult, they are a political grouping with alternative ideas on political governance. If voters don’t like what they see, they will ‘shop’ somewhere else, that’s what occurred with the Australian Democrats.

    The Greens cannot take it’s perceived voter-base for granted; individuals who vote Green are not all devotees to a pure Green Party-ethos, they are just ordinary people who might aspouse to different values and visions than those practiced by the two major Parties – Labor and Liberal.

    Politics is all about ‘Natural Selection’ and when a Party or a Politician loses [i]mojo[/i] and the will to ‘occur some space’, the others in the political pack turn on it and take over that space.

    Please understand this comment as an attempt to be constructive.

  19. Dr Kevin Bonham

    October 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    The ACT Electoral Commission have released a provisional distribution of preferences based on electronic prepoll voting. The primary totals for electronic prepolls are reasonably representative of the overall primary totals.

    On this basis in my view the second Greens seat (in the electorate of Ginninderra) is now confirmed. The Liberals are very likely to take their 8th seat by winning three seats in Brindabella, but their margin of victory is relatively close in the provisional distribution and a strong result on late postals could in theory save the Green seat there, although there is no reason to believe that will occur. So in all likelihood 7-8-2 with a remote chance of 7-7-3.

    Seselja’s “victory” speech had echoes of Will Hodgman’s in 2010 and with much less excuse for it too. Presumably this is gearing up for the usual we-wuz-robbed routine when the Greens decline to support the party with the most seats.

    The lone opinion poll of the campaign, conducted by Patterson Research, proved to be well off. That it overcooked the Greens vote and underestimated Others is not surprising, and probably a result of faulty methods, but to also overcook Labor by 5.4 points was not good.

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