Yerrabi – ACT 2020

Incumbent MPs

  • Alistair Coe (Liberal), since 2008.
  • Deepak-Raj Gupta (Labor), since 2019.
  • James Milligan (Liberal), since 2016.
  • Suzanne Orr (Labor), since 2016.
  • Michael Pettersson (Labor), since 2016.

Geography
Yerrabi covers the northern suburbs of Canberra, including the entire Gungahlin district, parts of the Belconnen district and the town of Hall. Yerrabi covers the suburbs of Gungahlin, Forde, Bonner, Ngunnawal, Kaleen, Mitchell and Franklin.

Redistribution
Yerrabi retracted on its south-western boundary, losing the Belconnen-area suburbs of McKellar, Lawson and Evatt to Ginninderra. These changes increased the Labor vote by 0.6%, reduced the Liberal vote by 0.2%, and reduced the Greens vote by 0.3%.

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

Yerrabi elected three Labor and two Liberal MLAs in 2016.

Candidates

  • A – Democratic Labour
    • Olivia Helmore
    • Bernie Strang
  • B – Liberal
    • Leanne Castley
    • Alistair Coe
    • James Milligan
    • Krishna Nadimpalli
    • Jacob Vadakkedathu
  • C – Greens
    • Andrew Braddock
    • Mainul Haque
  • D – Sustainable Australia
    • John Kearsley
    • Scott Young
  • E – Canberra Progressives
    • Mike Stelzig
    • Bethany Williams
  • F – David Pollard Independent
    • David Pollard
    • Stephanie Pollard
  • G – Animal Justice Party
    • Bernie Brennan
    • Francine Horne
  • H – Labor
    • Tom Fischer
    • Deepak-Raj Gupta
    • Suzanne Orr
    • Michael Pettersson
    • Georgia Phillips
  • Ungrouped
    • Mohammad Munir Hussain (Federation Party)
    • Helen Cross
    • Fuxin Li

Assessment
The Liberal Party would need a sizeable swing to win a third seat here, but it is probably the best chance for the Liberal Party to win a thirteenth seat in the Assembly so would be one to watch if there is a swing on.

2016 result

2016 electionRedistribution
PartyVotes%QuotaSwing%Quota
Labor 22,51243.92.635+5.244.52.672
Liberal 18,36635.82.150-3.135.62.138
Greens 3,6347.10.425-2.36.80.406
Sex Party2,0344.00.238+4.03.90.234
Liberal Democrats1,3962.70.163+1.02.80.167
Sustainable Australia7321.40.086+1.41.40.082
Like Canberra6551.30.077+1.31.30.077
Animal Justice Party4580.90.054+0.90.90.052
Others1,4662.90.172+2.92.90.171
Informal1,2472.4

Preference flows

We’ll start with ten candidates left in the race: five Labor, four Liberal and one Green.

  • Meegan Fitzharris (ALP) – 0.990 quotas
  • Alistair Coe (LIB) – 0.976
  • Michael Pettersson (ALP) – 0.626
  • James Milligan (LIB) – 0.575
  • Veronica Wensing (GRN) – 0.513
  • Suzanne Orr (ALP) – 0.496
  • Jacob Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.455
  • Amanda Lynch (LIB) – 0.423
  • Jayson Hinder (ALP) – 0.423
  • Deepak-Raj Gupta (ALP) – 0.385

Gupta’s preferences push Fitzharris over quota and boost the other Labor candidates:

  • Fitzharris (ALP) – 1.088
  • Coe (LIB) – 0.982
  • Pettersson (ALP) – 0.699
  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.579
  • Orr (ALP) – 0.560
  • Wensing (GRN) – 0.530
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.494
  • Hinder (ALP) – 0.487
  • Lynch (LIB) – 0.428

Fitzharris’ surplus boosted her three remaining Labor colleagues:

  • Coe (LIB) – 0.983
  • Pettersson (ALP) – 0.724
  • Orr (ALP) – 0.588
  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.580
  • Wensing (GRN) – 0.535
  • Hinder (ALP) – 0.510
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.498
  • Lynch (LIB) – 0.429

Lynch’s preferences pushed Coe over quota and also boosted the other Liberals:

  • Coe (LIB) – 1.124
  • Pettersson (ALP) – 0.733
  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.717
  • Orr (ALP) – 0.600
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.576
  • Wensing (GRN) – 0.547
  • Hinder (ALP) – 0.522

Coe’s surplus boosted Milligan into the lead:

  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.794
  • Pettersson (ALP) – 0.734
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.615
  • Orr (ALP) – 0.602
  • Wensing (GRN) – 0.549
  • Hinder (ALP) – 0.523

Hinder’s preferences brought Pettersson closer to quota:

  • Pettersson (ALP) – 0.947
  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.808
  • Orr (ALP) – 0.802
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.627
  • Wensing (GRN) – 0.582

Greens preferences elected the two remaining Labor candidates and left the two remaining Liberals competing for the final seat.

  • Pettersson (ALP) – 1.090
  • Orr (ALP) – 1.016
  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.823
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.646

There were not enough Labor surplus preferences to push Vadakkedathu ahead of Milligan, but here is the final stage before Vadakkedathu is eliminated:

  • Milligan (LIB) – 0.849
  • Vadakkedathu (LIB) – 0.674

The margin between Milligan and Vadakkedathu was 1,495 votes, or 2.92% of the formal vote.

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Yerrabi have been split into three parts. Polling places in the Belconnen district have been grouped as “south”. Polling places in the Gungahlin district (along with Hall) have been split between north-east and north-west.

Labor topped the primary vote in all three areas, ranging from 40.2% in the south to 49.4% in the north-east.

The Liberal primary vote ranged from 32% in the north-east to 38% in the north-west.

Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of votes
North-East49.432.06.713,05728.6
North-West41.138.07.16,04613.2
South40.235.110.14,4169.7
Pre-poll44.237.85.517,73238.9
Other votes40.635.28.54,3889.6

Election results in Yerrabi 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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4 COMMENTS

  1. The final seat here will be a mess but I think Labor will eke out the win. Light rail could have been a one off election special, but I think seeing it in action is powerful. It will also influence the demographics that are moving to Gungahlin towards the progressive. In a few elections Harrison and Franklin might start voting like the inner north.

    Coe being leader should help Liberals a little but I don’t see what 3rd candidate of theirs is getting up. Maybe castley who ran for Fenner? But a vote concentrated with one candidate will hurt compared to Labor who will split relatively evenly between their 3 incumbents (Ginninderra effect). I don’t want to go too into detail on Coe but suffice to say I don’t see him getting a huge personal or “chief minister in waiting” vote.

    Greens don’t seem to have much momentum here yet. Labor scored all the political points around light rail. Kaleen and Giralang overlap with federal Canberra and would have been heavily targeted by Greens last year, but the dial didn’t shift much.

    David Pollard and Fuxin Li are quite visible and the latter is very well funded, but I don’t see them having the grassroots campaign to change a lot of votes.

    Prediction: Status quo (3 Labor 2 Liberal)

  2. Mistake above. Kaleen South had a big pro- Green swing (7%) and they picked up a respectable 3% in Kaleen and Giralang. It’s still weak compared to Watson (which sits in an equivalent location on the opposite side of Northbourne). Greens did in fact do well enough last year to be in contention, I’m just not seeing that strength this election. The campaign for Brindabella seems much more coherent.

    The Greens will be able to win here more easily when more young people start living along light rail and in Gungahlin town centre. I think Gungahlin will become a “cool” part of town over time as the stereotypes about it being far away subside.

  3. Deepak having a short time to get profile but with SXP gone and I do think the good will from the light rail could stay. Even if Coe gets a swing to him, I don’t see it effecting much, as per what John has mentioned.

    Prediction: 3ALP 2LIB (small outside possibility 2ALP-2LIB-1GRN but see the greens more chance in the other seats)

  4. As someone living in Yerrabi, I was surprised to see how strong the Labor vote is in some areas. Much of Yerrabi didn’t exist 20 years ago, and as such, I suspect many people don’t really have strong allegiances.

    The light rail is interesting. It’s certainly popular, but most people have stopped using it on a regular basis since COVID19 hit. As a result, the predicted urban sophistication hasn’t happened, and what retail and services businesses did start along the route are often hanging on by their fingertips. Also, many of the people who did use it were international students…and there are precious few of those around at present.

    I’m not sure how people in Yerrabi beyond walking distance of the light rail feel about it. I suspect there is also somewhat of an “it’s Time” factor going on – not necessarily towards the Liberals, but more just a feeling that any government in power for 19 years is a bit stale.

    John, I don’t think Gungahlin will ever be the “cool” part of town. It’s too modern, and has been far too poorly planned. For a start, there is precious little greenery anywhere near the Town centre, and the majority of the businesses are chain stores. You could pick up the entire place, and it would not look out of place in any major Westfield shopping centre across Australia.

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