Annette Ellis, since 1998. Previously Member for Namadgi 1996-1998.
Canberra covers the southern suburbs of Canberra and the southern parts of the ACT. The two ACT electorates are neatly divided along the Molonglo River and Lake Burley Griffin, with Canberra covering the Parliamentary Triangle, Woden, Tuggeranong and the southern village of Tharwa.
Canberra is dominated by public servants, with 19% of the workforce being directly employed by government, along with another 5% of defence employees and 4% of school and tertiary education employees. Canberra is the most heavily-populated seat in the country by population. More than twice as many voters cast a vote in Canberra than in Northern Territory electorates.
The Australian Capital Territory first elected an MP from 1949 onwards, although this MP was only given full voting rights in 1968. Canberra was created in 1974 when the ACT gained a second seat, and the existing electorate was divided into Fraser and Canberra. The ACT gained a third electorate, Namadgi, at the 1996 election. Canberra has usually been a safe Labor seat, with a few exceptions. The Liberal Party won the seat at the 1975 and 1977 elections, before it returned to the ALP under Ros Kelly in 1980. Kelly held the seat until 1995, when she resigned from Parliament. The by-election was won by Liberal candidate Brendan Smyth with a 16.2% swing. The 1996 election saw a redistribution of the territory, with Canberra shifting from a southern electorate to a central electorate. Smyth lost to ACT Senator, and Minister for Trade, Bob McMullan. The 1998 election saw the ACT’s seat entitlement return to two, and Canberra returned to the southern parts of the ACT. McMullan moved to Fraser, and sitting Member for Namadgi Annette Ellis was elected in Canberra. Ellis was re-elected in 2001, 2004 and 2007.
- Giulia Jones (LIB)
- Sue Ellerman (GRN)
- Gai Brodtmann (ALP) - communications consultant and wife of ABC political reporter Chris Uhlmann.
Canberra is a safe Labor electorate, with Ellis being safely elected at every election since 1998. Since it returned to its current form in 1998, Canberra has always been the more marginal of the two seats, although the Liberals have not come close to winning. Ellis won the seat on a 7.7% swing in 1998, with a 10.1% margin. This margin was reduced to 9.4% in 2001, and has increased her margin at the two elections since, with an 11.82% margin in 2007. 2007 Greens candidate Amanda Bresnan was elected to the Legislative Assembly for Brindabella at the 2008 local election.
2007 two-candidate-preferred result
The suburbs of Canberra are divided into seven districts, four of which are in the Division of Canberra: South Canberra, Woden Valley, Weston Creek and Tuggeranong. A majority of votes cast at regular polling booths were cast in Tuggeranong, and there is little variation between the districts of Canberra. Labor’s highest vote was 64.5% in Weston Creek, with the lowest at 60.3% in South Canberra, which includes the suburbs immediately around the Parliamentary Triangle and the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin. The Greens polled their highest vote of 15.5% in South Canberra, with just under 11% in Tuggeranong.
|ALP 2CP %
|% of votes
“Other votes” includes postal, pre-poll, provisional and absent votes, as well as special hospital votes and those cast in the southern ACT village of Tharwa.