Murrumbidgee – Australia 2016

Incumbent MPs contesting Murrumbidgee

  • Jeremy Hanson (Liberal)
  • Giulia Jones (Liberal)

Geography
Murrumbidgee covers the south-western suburbs of Canberra, including the Weston Creek and Woden Valley districts, and parts of South Canberra and Tuggeranong. Key suburbs include Kambah, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, Woden, Lyons, Hughes, Curtin, Stirling, Chapman, Weston Creek, Duffy and Holder.

Redistribution
Murrumbidgee is a new seat, taking in areas previously contained in Molonglo and Brindabella. The majority of the electorate was previously in Molonglo, including all of the Weston Creek district and most of Woden Valley. The suburbs of Kambah, Torrens and Farrer were transferred from Brindabella.

History (Molonglo)
The electorate of Molonglo was created in 1995, when the ACT electoral system was changed to introduce multi-member districts for the first time. The seat covered almost exactly the same area from 1995 until 2012, having undergone three minor redistributions prior to the 2001, 2008 and 2012 elections.

Molonglo has always elected 2 Labor, 2 Liberal and one Green. The other two seats have been shared. At three out of six elections, Molonglo elected three Labor and three Liberal. In 1995 and 1998, Labor only won two seats, with the other seat going to an independent. In 2008, the Liberal Party’s third seat was lost to a second Green.

At the first election in 1995, the Liberal Party elected three members and Labor elected two. Michael Moore was elected as an independent, and Kerrie Tucker was elected as a Greens MLA. The same split of 3 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 Greens and an independent was maintained in 1998.

In 2001, Labor won a third seat upon the retirement of independent MLA Michael Moore. This split of 3 Liberal, 3 Labor and one Green was maintained in 2004.

Gary Humphries’ term as Chief Minister had ended at the 2001 election. He was appointed to a vacancy in the Senate as the sole Liberal Senator representing the ACT in late 2002. In early 2003, his Assembly seat was filled by Jacqui Burke, returning to the Assembly for a second time.

In 2008, the Liberal Party won two seats, while the Greens won a second seat. Labor held on to their three seats.

In 2012, the Liberal Party regained their third seat, while the Greens were reduced to one seat.

History (Brindabella)
The electorate of Brindabella was created in 1995, when the ACT electoral system was changed to introduce multi-member districts for the first time. The seat covered almost exactly the same area from 1995 until 2012, having undergone two minor redistributions prior to the 2001 and 2008 elections.

Brindabella has always elected two Labor MLAs and two Liberal MLAs. The fifth seat has alternated between the two major parties and crossbenchers.

In 1995, the fifth seat was won by independent candidate Paul Osborne, a former rugby league player running as a social conservative. Osborne was re-elected in 1998.

Labor won a third seat in 2001, and maintained that seat in 2004, which helped Labor win a majority for the first time in ACT history.

Labor lost their third seat in 2008, with the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan winning the final seat.

The Liberal Party won a third seat at the Greens’ expense in 2012, in part thanks to party leader Zed Seselja switching to Brindabella from Molonglo. This is the only time the Liberal Party has won a majority of seats in an ACT electorate.

Candidates

  • A – Like Canberra
    • Shelley Dickerson
    • Rod Vickers
  • B – Labor
    • Rebecca Cody
    • Mark Kulasingham
    • Brendan Long
    • Jennifer Newman
    • Chris Steel
  • C – Sustainable Australia
    • Jill Mail
    • Mark O’Connor
  • D – Liberal
    • Jessica Adelan-Langford
    • Jeremy Hanson*
    • Peter Hosking
    • Paul House
    • Giulia Jones*
  • E – Community Alliance
    • Michael Lindfield
    • Nancy-Louise Scherger
  • F – Liberal Democrats
    • Fergus Brown
    • Brendan Cumpston
    • Roman Gowor
    • Tom Hamer
    • Alexander Klinkon
  • H – Greens
    • Emma Davidson
    • Jennifer Faerber
    • Caroline Le Couteur
  • Ungrouped
    • Robbie Swan (Sex Party)
    • Margaret Webber
    • Brendan Whyte

Assessment
Both Labor and Liberal appear to be strong enough to safely maintain two of their seats. The fifth seat is an open race between Liberal, Labor and Greens. The Greens would likely need to pick up a higher vote to win the fifth seat. If either major party gains a swing, they will likely win the seat. If they were to stay roughly still, the winner might be decided based on which of the two major parties is able to efficiently distribute their primary vote between their top three candidates, although Labor would likely benefit from Greens preferences if the Greens are not in contention.

2012 result

Party%Quota
Liberal 41.22.473
Labor 39.82.387
Greens 10.40.625
Bullet Train for Canberra3.80.231
Motorist Party2.50.152
Others2.20.132

Booth breakdown


Polling places in the new seat of Murrumbidgee have been split into three parts. Polling places in the Weston Creek area have been grouped as “north west”. Most of the Woden Valley area has been grouped as “north east”, while the remainder of Woden Valley has been grouped with Kambah as “south”.

The Liberal Party outpolled Labor in the south, and Labor topped the poll in the other parts of the seat.

The Liberal vote ranged from 36.6% in the north-east to 41.5% in the south. The Labor vote ranged from 39% in the south to 44% in the north-east. The Greens vote ranged from 9.8% in the south to 12.4% in the north-east.

Voter groupLIB %ALP %GRN %Total votes% of votes
South41.539.19.812,18926.9
North West39.741.910.610,27122.7
North East36.644.312.46,67814.8
Pre-poll44.837.39.511,71725.9
Other votes41.536.710.94,4169.8

Election results in Murrumbidgee at the 2012 ACT election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The second paragraph in History (Brindabella) should start with “Brindabella” not “Molonglo”.

    It’s arguable whether the polling places in Woden Valley south of Hindmarsh Drive should be grouped with the rest of Woden Valley rather than the Tuggeranong booths south of Sulwood Drive.

  2. Liberals need to win the final seat here to form government.

    I’m tipping the Greens to take it; they had swings towards them in this seat in the federal election, and Caroline Le Couteur did relatively well for a Green in the 2012 election, even beating Rattenbury in some booths.

  3. Electoral forum in the Weston Creek area was fun – candidates were in furious agreement on the extent of their links to the community and the importance of consulting the community. Really hard to tell if there is a swing on – and if there is whether it will be soaked up by the minor parties and independents and then scatter in preferences between the major parties. The large number of candidates standing is a risk for the Liberal Party’s attempt to win a third seat in this electorate.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here