In contrast to last weekend’s triumphant Liberal/National coalition win, yesterday’s local ACT elections were a blowout for Jon Stanhope’s Labor party, which won a majority of local assembly seats. But all due congratulations to John Humphreys and the Liberal Democratic Party, which took away a healthy 1.3% aggregate of the vote in the electorate of Molonglo, amounting to 1308 votes. The also managed 1.2% (602) in Ginninderra, and 0.7% (420) in Brindabella. Unfortunately, none of this translated into winning a seat. But the Greens are clinging desperately to a lone seat in Molonglo, and the Democrats are continuing their death spiral by losing their only seat. Also showing poorly was the Free Range Canberra party, the brave defender of chicken rights. (I’m not making this up.)
The ACT election process is desperately screwy and complicated, involving “primary” and “secondary” votes, “preferences”, mathematical formulae and ratios, and arcane terminology like “Hare-Clark” and “Robson Rotation”. I’m still trying to figure it all out.