Kurrajong – ACT 2020

Incumbent MPs

  • Andrew Barr (Labor), since 2006.
  • Candice Burch (Liberal), since 2017.
  • Elizabeth Lee (Liberal), since 2016.
  • Shane Rattenbury (Greens), since 2008.
  • Rachel Stephen-Smith (Labor), since 2016.

Geography
Kurrajong covers the central suburbs of Canberra on either side of Lake Burley Griffin. Kurrajong stretches from Red Hill in the south to Watson and Downer in the north. It also covers the city centre, the parliamentary triangle, the inner south suburbs of Barton, Kingston and Manuka, and the inner north suburbs of Turner, O’Connor, Lyneham and Ainslie.

Redistribution
Kurrajong contracted on its south-western boundary, losing Deakin and Yarralumla to Murrumbidgee. These changes boosted the Labor primary vote by 1.4% and the Greens primary vote by 1%, and reduced the Liberal primary vote by 2.2%. Overall these changes made this electorate substantially more progressive.

History
The electorate of Kurrajong was created as a five-member seat in 2016, covering the core of the former seven-member seat of 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 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.

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.

The new electorate of Kurrajong was created in 2016, covering the inner north and parts of the inner south. The northern and southern ends of the electorate were shifted into Yerrabi and Murrumbidgee respectively.

The Labor and Liberal parties each won two seats in 2016, while the Greens retained their single seat.

Candidates

  • A – Greens
    • Adriana Boisen
    • Michael Brewer
    • Shane Rattenbury
    • Rebecca Vassarotti
  • B – Sustainable Australia
    • Joy Angel
    • John Haydon
  • C – Liberal
    • Candice Burch
    • Rattesh Gumber
    • Robert Johnson
    • Elizabeth Lee
    • Patrick Pentony
  • D – Community Action Party
    • Alvin Hopper
    • Robyn Williams
  • E – Labor
    • Judy Anderson
    • Andrew Barr
    • Jacob Ingram
    • Maddy Northam
    • Rachel Stephen-Smith
  • F – Climate Change Justice Party
    • Sophia Forner
    • Petar Johnson
    • Alix O’Hara
  • G – Canberra Progressives
    • Tim Bohm
    • Peta Anne Bryant
    • Therese Faulkner
  • H – Animal Justice Party
    • Serrin Rutledge-Prior
    • Julie Smith
  • Ungrouped
    • Marilena Damiano
    • Bruce Paine

Assessment
Kurrajong is the most left-wing electorate in the territory. Labor holds its two seats safely, and the Greens hold their seat safely. The Liberal Party should retain its two seats, although a poor result could see their second seat potentially come under threat from either Labor, the Greens or another party. It seems most likely the status quo will hold this year.

2016 result

2016 electionRedistribution
PartyVotes%QuotaSwing%Quota
Labor 18,79638.52.309-1.839.92.391
Liberal 15,14031.01.859-3.628.81.729
Greens 9,16518.81.126+3.019.81.185
Independents2,1354.40.262+4.43.90.235
Liberal Democrats1,0572.20.130+0.92.30.137
Canberra Community Voters8891.80.109+1.81.80.110
Sustainable Australia6451.30.079+1.31.40.082
Animal Justice Party6021.20.074+1.21.30.077
Like Canberra4190.90.051+0.90.90.053
Informal1,0522.1

Preference flows

Let’s fast forward until there were ten candidates competing for four seats, after chief minister Andrew Barr had already been elected with a full quota on primary votes.

  • Shane Rattenbury (GRN) – 0.963 quotas
  • Elizabeth Lee (LIB) – 0.637
  • Steve Doszpot (LIB) – 0.566
  • Rachel Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.499
  • Candice Burch (LIB) – 0.428
  • Brooke Curtin (LIB) – 0.405
  • Josh Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.396
  • Leah Dwyer (ALP) – 0.370
  • Rebecca Vassarotti (GRN) – 0.341
  • Marea Fatseas (IND) – 0.319

Preferences from Fatseas elected Rattenbury, and also helped the other Greens candidate:

  • Rattenbury (GRN) – 1.009
  • Lee (LIB) – 0.669
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.591
  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.522
  • Burch (LIB) – 0.450
  • Curtin (LIB) – 0.432
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.415
  • Vassarotti (GRN) – 0.383
  • Dwyer (ALP) – 0.381

Rattenbury’s small surplus mostly flowed to his fellow Greens candidate:

  • Lee (LIB) – 0.669
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.591
  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.523
  • Burch (LIB) – 0.450
  • Curtin (LIB) – 0.432
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.416
  • Vassarotti (GRN) – 0.390
  • Dwyer (ALP) – 0.382

Dwyer’s preferences mostly flowed to her fellow Labor candidates, and to a lesser extent the remaining Greens candidate:

  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.711
  • Lee (LIB) – 0.679
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.595
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.528
  • Burch (LIB) – 0.454
  • Curtin (LIB) – 0.436
  • Vassarotti (GRN) – 0.421

Vassarotti’s preferences mostly flowed to Stephen-Smith, with some also flowing to the other Labor candidate:

  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.905
  • Lee (LIB) – 0.695
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.611
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.600
  • Burch (LIB) – 0.462
  • Curtin (LIB) – 0.445

At this point no Liberal had been elected, and only Lee was in the top five candidates, but Curtin’s preferences would push Doszpot into fifth place:

  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.917
  • Lee (LIB) – 0.838
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.715
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.616
  • Burch (LIB) – 0.604

Burch’s preferences elected Lee, and also pushed Doszpot into fourth place.

  • Lee (LIB) – 1.136
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.933
  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.932
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.623

There are not enough votes to distribute for Ceramidas to catch up to his fellow Labor candidate, but let’s have a look at the final decisive count. Lee’s preferences elected Doszpot, and then Doszpot’s surplus was distributed to produce this result:

  • Stephen-Smith (ALP) – 0.946
  • Ceramidas (ALP) – 0.634

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Kurrajong have been split into three parts. Polling places south of Lake Burley Griffin have been grouped together. Those on the north side of the lake have been split between those clustered around Civic, including Braddon, Reid and Campbell, and those in the inner north.

Labor topped the primary vote in the centre (40%) and north (43%). The Liberal Party topped the primary vote in the south, with 38%.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 14% in the south to 26.5% in the north. The Greens outpolled the Liberal Party in the north.

Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of votes
North43.319.626.511,80326.3
South35.837.814.27,90217.6
Central40.027.520.56,06913.5
Pre-poll39.331.018.313,33829.7
Other votes39.431.916.25,74612.8

Election results in Kurrajong at the 2016 ACT election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. My seat.

    The redistribution made it easier for Libs to win Murrumbidgee, but it also put losing Kurrajong on the table. The amount of Liberal sandbagging here suggests they are highly aware of it.

    I think the redistribution is a bit overrated, but Greens OUTPOLLED Liberals here in the Senate last year, and even if they didn’t Labor had quota to spare. The Light Rail was successfully delivered and the cleared land on Northbourne has significantly improved visually. Two major campaign gaffes were directly from Candice Burch. Liberals are seriously not looking good here.

    Both ALP incumbents are very high profile by ACT standards – the chief minister and health minister. This will boost the ALP vote, but also make it hard for a 3rd candidate to get momentum, though Maddy Northam has strong union backing and may be left wing enough to get soft Green voters.

    Rattenbury’s seat is safe. I think the Greens are closer to a 2nd seat than Labor are to a 3rd, based on the Australia Institute poll and federal swings, but it hasn’t really been tested.

    Every year Canberra’s Inner North looks more like Melbourne’s. The growing part of the inner south with young apartment dwellers (the “prahran”?) is here, while the parts that went to Murrumbidgee are private school territory (though not quite that simple – Kurrajong still has blue ribbon areas like Forrest, Red Hill and parts of Campbell and Reid). A truly terrible result for the Liberals and outstanding result for Greens would not be out of step with the vibe here.

    2-1-2 (Labor Liberal Green) with a small chance of 3-1-1. Candice Burch loses her seat to either Rebecca Vassarotti or Maddy Northam

  2. Is Candice Burch any relation to Joy Burch (Labor, Brindabella)? It’s a pretty unusual name to get two of.

    Greens oughta do well on preferences here, between Sustainable Australia, Climate Change Justice, Progressives and AJP. That’s quite a splintering of the progressive/left vote.

    Tim Bohm (Progressives) was leader of the Bullet Train party in 2012 – they got 4.5% in Molonglo. (Also ran in Yerrabi for “Like Canberra” in 2016 – he gets around.) He might be a chance for a fourth left seat, if he ends up ahead of the minor Labor and Green candidates. Considering how much the Labor/Green vote will be concentrated with Barr and Rattenbury, that’d be worth keeping an eye on.

  3. Not sure if they’re related, but Candice Burch campaigned on being “the better Burch” last time (Joy Burch being subject to some scandal). With all of Candice’s campaign gaffes this time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Joy Burch returns the favour.

  4. I had this one as a status quo of 2-2-1. The splintering could start hurting if it comes down to the final candidates and votes start to exhaust. I agree that 3-1-1 and 2-1-2 are possible but see them as outside chances.

  5. It doesn’t seem like it would take much of a swing for the Liberals to lose their second seat here. They were already well-below 2 quotas in 2016 and then the redistribution shifted the most Liberal-voting area out of this seat. Add in that inner-Canberra is trending left and I think Labor or even the Greens have a decent shot at picking up a seat here at the expense of the Liberals.

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