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Australia Tight battles for final ACT election seats as Greens prepare to negotiate governing with Labor

09:41  18 october  2020
09:41  18 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Residents in Canberra's south say Tuggeranong has been neglected as parties vie for voters' affection ahead of the ACT election

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The ABC's election analyst Antony Green says ACT Labor will be returned for a sixth term with the support of the Greens . But he says the surprise of the evening favours the Greens , as he predicts the party could As Victoria prepares to ease restrictions, doctors warn of 'red flags' in the health system.

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Margit Bakken, Shane Rattenbury holding a dog posing for the camera: The Greens' Rebecca Vassarotti, who has almost certainly been elected, with her leader Shane Rattenbury. (ABC News: Andrew Kennedy) © Provided by ABC NEWS The Greens' Rebecca Vassarotti, who has almost certainly been elected, with her leader Shane Rattenbury. (ABC News: Andrew Kennedy)

The Greens will spend this week considering what role they want to play in the next ACT Government following the party's strong performance in the territory election.

However, Labor leader Andrew Barr has ruled out having a Greens deputy chief minister, nor will Labor allow its coalition party to "dictate" the make-up of the next cabinet.

The once-minor party will have four to six members in the 25-seat Legislative Assembly, up from two before the election, after it attracted 13.9 per cent of first-preference votes — a positive swing of 3.6 per cent.

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ABC election analyst Antony Green said he is confident Labor and the Greens will be able to form government on Saturday night. The vote will be counted quickly after more than 70 per cent of Canberrans cast an early vote - mostly electrionally.

The Electoral Commission's final tally also gave ACT New Zealand 8% of the vote (10 projected seats ), the Greens 7.6% (10), the Maori Party 1% (1) and others 7.7% (0). We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander."

The outcome is likely to remain unknown for days due to the complexity of the ACT's multi-member voting system.

After a preliminary distribution of about two-thirds of voters' preferences, the results are too close to call in two electorates: Ginninderra (the Belconnen region) and Brindabella (the Tuggeranong valley).

A tiny margin of just seven votes separates two candidates in the race for Brindabella's fifth and last seat, where Labor's Taimus Werner-Gibbings was leading the Green's Jonathan Davis before interim results suggested Mr Davis would be eliminated from the count.

In Ginninderra, three candidates are battling for two spots in the Assembly: the Greens' Jo Clay is vying with Labor minister Gordon Ramsay and the Liberals' Peter Cain.

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The ACT Greens is a green political party located in the Australian Capital Territory, and a member of the federation of the Australian Greens .

The election was called following the dissolution of the 32nd Dáil by the president, at the request of Sinn Féin won 37 seats , a gain of fifteen over the previous election . A smaller group could form a minority government if they can negotiate a confidence and supply agreement with another party.

[ACT election results graph]

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury told ABC Radio Canberra on Sunday the community had supported his party's "bold and ambitious ideas".

He said all party members — not just elected candidates — would meet this week to thrash out a strategy for the next four years.

Despite having been a cabinet minister for the past four years, Mr Rattenbury floated the possibility of the Greens sitting on the crossbench rather than governing with Labor.

"They're all considerations to work through this week," he said.

"This is about setting the agenda for the next four years and making sure there are good working arrangements [in place].

"I'd rather spend an extra few days getting it right now than rush into something."

The Greens leader also suggested the party had been not happy with all aspects of its Labor partner's policy direction over the past term.

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He negotiated the establishment of an Independent Prison Ombudsman, and has The Greens are just Labour with an environmentalism twist. The most left-wing thing about them is a I voted greens as I was hoping for a coalition rather than single party government , but I love the fact Jacinda is PM.

ACT ended election night on a staggering 8% of the party vote, up from 0.5% in 2017. The Greens ended the night on a respectable 7.6%, up from 6.3% in 2017. Both minor parties will keep the pressure on Labour to be the transformational government it failed to be in its first term.

He singled out responses to climate change, social housing shortages and casualisation of the workforce as concerns.

"That raises … questions about things like whether the Government should be outsourcing work or whether we should have more permanent jobs for government staff," Mr Rattenbury said.

Labor to work with Greens but equal partnership 'not on the table'

Mr Barr congratulated the Greens on their results and acknowledged that Labor party remained in a tight contest with its governing partner for a handful of seats.

"I'm also pleased to see that, in many instances, the Greens gains come at the expense of the Canberra Liberals rather than ACT Labor," he said.

"We're going to have a very progressive parliament once all the counting is concluded and we sit down to form the next government."

Mr Barr said he and Labor deputy Yvette Berry would begin negotiating an agreement with Mr Rattenbury once the election outcome was clearer.

However, he pointed out that Labor, which collected almost 40 per cent of first preferences, would be the largest party in the Assembly and would lead the Government.

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The risk of skewing an election by providing additional private funding for conducting the election in certain areas of the state may be real. "The record before the court, however, does not provide the support needed for the court to make such a determination, especially in light of the fact that over 100

The key to a successful negotiation is preparation . Lots of preparation . From background research, to concrete strategy and planning, time spent All the examples follow the story of NextWidget, a smart-widget startup, as they prepare to renegotiate their contract with Fabricorp, their manufacturer.*

He emphatically ruled out Mr Rattenbury becoming deputy chief minister.

"That's not on the table," he said.

"A senior ministerial role for Shane Rattenbury has been there before and could be there again."

He also ruled out allowing the Greens to "dictate" which portfolios they received.

"We'll have a sensible mature negotiation, there won't be demands, it won't be shouty — it will be focused on our community and implementing the policies that we need to implement."

Thinnest of margins: seven votes separating the south

The southern electorate of Brindabella — traditionally a Liberal stronghold — was the scene of one of the election's biggest surprises.

The electorate, which covers the Tuggeranong valley, swung very hard to Labor (7.4 per cent) and the Greens (5.9 per cent), as voters turned from the Liberals.

The two parties are now in an extraordinarily tight tussle — with a seven-vote margin at present — for Brindabella's fifth seat, ceded by former Liberal MLA Andrew Wall.

Mr Werner-Gibbings, the Labor candidate, reflected on an "extraordinary" and emotional election night.

"To be 'predicted' by [ABC election analyst] Antony Green, then 'elected', and then relegated to 'possible' all in the space of 90 minutes was a rollercoaster," he said on Sunday.

"I woke up this morning feeling absolutely fine in the head, but there's also, in the solar plexus, a weird feeling of concern and … disappointment at the lack of clarity.

"But I can wait — I may never feel this feeling again!"

Mr Davis, who is a campaign veteran despite being aged in his 20s, said he was "always prepared to not know the result" for days.

"My impression was that the fifth and final seat was always going to be a close contest," he said.

"So I expected this result and I'm going to do my best to wait patiently and find a few distractions until we know for sure whether or not I'll have the privilege to serve."

The ACT Electoral Commission will continue counting preference votes on Monday.


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Liberals and Greens win last two ACT election seats as Electoral Commissioner announces final results .
Canberrans vote in 10 Labor, nine Liberal and six Greens MLAs in an election that sees Labor attorney-general Gordon Ramsay lose his seat.The 25-seat Legislative Assembly will include 10 Labor members, nine Liberals and an unprecedented six Greens.

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