We are getting you ready for the 2020 Australian Capital Territory election, taking place on 17 October.
This is the same day as New Zealand’s election across the Tasman, and one of the first elections in our October-November election marathon. It will be the second of three state or territory elections in Australia this year. The Northern Territory voted in August, handing the Labor government a reduced majority. Queensland’s state election will be two weeks after this one.
The ACT is Labor territory, no question. Andrew Barr, the incumbent chief minister, has been in office since late 2014. While he has only led his party in one prior election, his party had done well in many of the others when he hasn’t. Labor has been in power in the Australian Capital Territory for the last 19 years and for all but eight years out of the 31 that the ACT has had self-government.
Now, that does not mean that these elections are runaways. Far from it, in fact. The territory uses the D’Hondt method of proportional representation, and one highlight of proportional representation in multi-party elections is a lack of majority governments. So rare a feat it is that it has only happened once in ACT history back in 2004, with Jon Stanhope’s Labor squeaking out a one-seat majority.
Once all the votes are counted, we will bring you the results. Though polling day is 17 October, postal ballots which have been postmarked by the 17th may be received as late as 23 October per Elections ACT. This means it could be a week before we know the final results, particularly if it is a close call.
2020 Australian Capital Territory Election Party Leaders
Prior to the 2020 ACT election, Labor led a minority government with 12 seats out of 25, one short of an overall majority. The Liberals were one behind on 11. The Greens held the balance of power with the remaining two seats.
|Brindabella||3 Lib, 2 ALP|
|Ginninderra||3 ALP, 2 Lib|
|Kurrajong||2 ALP, 2 Lib, 1 Grn|
|Murrumbidgee||2 ALP, 2 Lib, 1 Grn|
|Yerrabi||3 ALP, 2 Lib|
Descriptions of the Electoral Divisions
Based off of the electoral division map from Elections ACT. Each division elects five MLAs.
- Brindabella: The lower three-quarters of the territory. Includes such places as Tuggeranong, Tharwa, and Rendezvous Creek.
- Ginninderra: A northwestern electorate which centres on Belconnen.
- Kurrajong: Includes Central Canberra and Jerrabomberra as well as the eastern reaches of the territory near Queanbeyan, NSW.
- Murrumbidgee: Areas due west of Capital Hill, including Woden Valley, Weston Creek, and Stromlo.
- Yerrabi: The northernmost electorate which includes Gungahlin and Hall.
2020 Australian Capital Territory Election Analysis, 26 September
There has been but one opinion poll in the campaign, coming in August, which had Labor and the Liberals essentially level territory-wide. However, what matters are the votes in the individual electorates. Either way, even if Labor and the Liberals tied in seats, the Greens on about 15 percent will be winning seats as well, and will no doubt prop up a Labor government if given the choice. The Canberra Liberals would have to win a majority outright to keep Labor out, but there is no evidence to suggest this is going to happen.