Murrumbidgee – ACT 2020

Incumbent MPs

  • Bec Cody (Labor), since 2016.
  • Jeremy Hanson (Liberal), since 2008.
  • Giulia Jones (Liberal), since 2012.
  • Caroline Le Couteur (Greens), since 2016. Previously 2008-2012.
  • Chris Steel (Labor), since 2016.

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 Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, Woden, Lyons, Hughes, Curtin, Stirling, Chapman, Weston Creek, Duffy, Deakin and Yarralumla, Holder and parts of Kambah.

Redistribution
Murrumbidgee expanded to the north-east, taking in Deakin and Yarralumla from Kurrajong, while losing the western part of Kambah to Brindabella. These changes reduced the Labor vote by 1.5%, increased the Liberal vote by 1.7%, and increased the Greens vote by 0.1%. These changes effectively make the final seat (won by the Greens in 2016) a notional Liberal seat.

History
The electorate of Murrumbidgee was created in 2016 out of parts of the former electorates of Molonglo and Brindabella.

The Labor and Liberal parties each won two seats in 2016, while the final seat was won by the Greens.

Candidates

  • A – Animal Justice Party
    • Yana Del Valle
    • Edmund Handby
  • B – Sustainable Australia
    • Geoff Buckmaster
    • Jill Mail
  • C – Greens
    • Terry Baker
    • Emma Davidson
    • Tjanara Goreng Goreng
  • D – Shooters, Fishers And Farmers
    • Mark Gilmayer
    • Gordon Yeatman
  • E – Labor
    • Bec Cody
    • Tim Dobson
    • Brendan Long
    • Marisa Paterson
    • Chris Steel
  • F – Climate Change Justice Party
    • Rohan Byrnes
    • Andrew Demetrios
    • Richard Forner
    • Jackson Hillman
    • Peter Veenstra
  • G – Liberal
    • Ed Cocks
    • Jeremy Hanson
    • Giulia Jones
    • Amardeep Singh
    • Sarah Suine
  • H – Canberra Progressives
    • Robert Knight
    • Stephen Lin
  • Ungrouped
    • Fiona Carrick
    • Lee Perren-Leveridge
    • Brendan Whyte

Assessment
The Greens seat in Murrumbidgee is very marginal, and the Greens position was weakened by the redistribution. If the Liberal Party is on track to strengthen their position in the Assembly, winning a third seat here is an obvious target, but Labor could potentially take the final seat from the Greens if they do well.

2016 result

2016 electionRedistribution
PartyVotes%QuotaSwing%Quota
Liberal 21,42542.82.568+1.244.52.671
Labor 17,26534.52.069-5.2331.979
Greens 5,32510.60.638-0.210.70.644
Sex Party1,7463.50.209+3.52.90.172
Animal Justice Party1,0712.10.128+2.120.122
Liberal Democrats8131.60.097+1.61.90.114
Independents6871.40.082+1.41.60.095
Like Canberra6581.30.079+1.31.30.076
Sustainable Australia6521.30.078+1.31.20.075
Community Alliance Party4130.80.050+0.80.70.044
Others0.10.008
Informal1,2412.4

Preference flows

Liberal leader Jeremy Hanson was elected on a full quota on primary votes. We’ll fast forward until there are nine candidates competing for the final four seats.

  • Giulia Jones (LIB) – 0.724 quotas
  • Caroline Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.692
  • Chris Steel (ALP) – 0.644
  • Bec Cody (ALP) – 0.638
  • Peter Hosking (LIB) – 0.611
  • Jennifer Newman (ALP) – 0.498
  • Brendan Long (ALP) – 0.399
  • Robbie Swan (SXP) – 0.327
  • Paul House (LIB) – 0.327

House’s preferences split evenly between the two remaining Liberals.

  • Jones (LIB) – 0.857
  • Hosking (LIB) – 0.753
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.698
  • Steel (ALP) – 0.648
  • Cody (ALP) – 0.643
  • Newman (ALP) – 0.503
  • Long (ALP) – 0.405
  • Swan (SXP) – 0.337

Swan’s preferences were most helpful to Le Couteur:

  • Jones (LIB) – 0.891
  • Hosking (LIB) – 0.787
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.768
  • Steel (ALP) – 0.673
  • Cody (ALP) – 0.673
  • Newman (ALP) – 0.523
  • Long (ALP) – 0.424

Long’s preferences split evenly between the three remaining Labor candidates, and pushed Steel and Cody up into something close to a four-way tie with Hosking and Le Couteur for the final three seats.

  • Jones (LIB) – 0.905
  • Hosking (LIB) – 0.794
  • Steel (ALP) – 0.793
  • Cody (ALP) – 0.789
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.788
  • Newman (ALP) – 0.638

Newman’s preferences flowed to both Steel and Cody, with more flowing to Cody. Cody and Steel won the second and third seats.

  • Steel (ALP) – 1.011
  • Cody (ALP) – 1.080
  • Jones (LIB) – 0.925
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.831
  • Hosking (LIB) – 0.807

Cody and Steel’s surpluses mostly flowed to Le Couteur for the crucial round of counting:

  • Jones (LIB) – 0.935
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.907
  • Hosking (LIB) – 0.812

Le Couteur’s final margin of victory over Hosking was 0.095 quotas, or 1.6% of the total vote.

Booth breakdown

Polling places in 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 topped the primary vote in all three areas, with a vote ranging from 42.1% in the north-west to 45% in the south.

Labor’s primary vote ranged from 32.7% in the north-east to 34.1% in the south.

Voter groupLIB %ALP %GRN %Total votes% of votes
North West42.135.212.111,03322.7
North East42.532.712.69,27119.1
South45.034.19.47,73415.9
Pre-poll47.031.89.614,83030.6
Other votes45.530.79.75,64111.6

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


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5 COMMENTS

  1. I think the final seat will be a GRN retain (or notional gain). Le Couteur retiring makes it harder for Greens but she wasn’t an incumbent coming into the 2016 election, and her main political activity and residence before that was in the Inner North (not Woden/Weston). The Greens made quota here on federal results last year with a swing towards them from 2016, which suggests the brand is strong on its own terms and not just a personal vote.

    There seems to be LESS of an “it’s time” factor than the last election (with Covid) and the Liberals inconsistency around stage 2 light rail will hurt them here. I expect this to lead to a swing away from Liberals that the redistribution can’t counter.

    Prediction: 2-2-1 (status quo)

  2. Typo in your assessment Mr Raue

    “If the Liberal Party is on track to strengthen their position in the Assembly, winning a second seat here is an obvious target”

    You mean a third seat surely, which would make sense as a requirement for a Liberal government ever.

  3. I can see Jeremy Hanson soaking up a fair chunk of the Liberal vote that could really hurt their 3rd seat possibility. Concur with status quo, Prediction: 2ALP, 2LIB, 1GRN

  4. While the redistribution makes the hinge seat in Murrumbidgee notionally Liberal, I’m not sure how much that means considering this seat has changed a lot since 2016. The big unknown is how Molonglo Valley will vote. At the last election it was fairly marginal, but there are a lot more people living there now. I’m surprised neither party is pushing for the bridge over the Molonglo River to be fast-tracked. Seems like a key piece of infrastructure in a key marginal seat.

  5. Factors I fiorgot to mention are Hanson would have gotten a boost for being leader, both as a proportion of the Liberal vote and in general, that isn’t present this time around. I think it and LRT explains the swing to Liberals here.

    Last time all Labor candidates were clean skins but Chris Steel is relatively high profile and will get a higher concentration of the ALP vote plus a small boost that didn’t cone from other ALP candidates.

    @Some guy I think Wright and Coombs will vote similarly to the rest of Weston Creek. Coombs was a very strong booth for Labor last year at 64% 2PP (compared to 57.5% electorate wide) and the Greens actually had a relatively good showing (>16% when the electorate average was 13%). The R10 bus and recent changes to Cotter Road will help Chris Steel/Labor here

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