Brindabella – ACT 2012

Incumbent MPs

  • Brendan Smyth (LIB), since 1998. Previously Federal Member for Canberra 1995-1996.
  • Steve Doszpot (LIB), since 2008.
  • Amanda Bresnan (GRN), since 2008.
  • John Hargreaves (ALP), since 1998.
  • Joy Burch (ALP), since 1998.

Southern Canberra and southern ACT. Brindabella covers the district of Tuggeranong and small parts of Woden Valley. Brindabella specifically covers the Canberra suburbs of Banks, Bonython, Calwell, Chisholm, Conder, Fadden, Gilmore, Gordon, Gowrie, Greenway, Isabella Plains, Kambah, Macarthur, Monash, Oxley, Richardson, Theodore and Wanniassa. The electorate also covers the village of Tharwa and the sparsely populated southern two thirds of the ACT.

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 covers almost exactly the same area as it did in 1995, having undergone two minor redistributions prior to the 2001 and 2008 elections.

The first election, in 1995, saw the ALP and the Liberals each win two seats, with the final seat going to independent Paul Osborne. Osborne was a former football player elected on a conservative platform, running on opposition to abortion and euthanasia. Labor MP Bill Wood had been a member of the Legislative Assembly since its establishment in 1989, having previously served as a Queensland MP representing a Cairns electorate from 1969 to 1974. Fellow Labor MP Andrew Whitecross was a newly-elected MP. Liberal MP Trevor Kaine had also served in the Assembly since 1989, including as the second Chief Minister of the ACT from 1989 to 1991. His fellow Liberal MP Tony De Domenico had been elected in 1992. Kaine and De Domenico both served as ministers in the Carnell Liberal government that took office after the 1995 election, with De Domenico as Deputy Chief Minister.

Whitecross served as Labor leader and Leader of the Opposition from March 1996 to August 1997. De Domenico resigned in 1997, and Liberal candidate Louise Littlewood was elected on a countback.

At the 1998 election, Wood, Kaine and Osborne were re-elected. Both Whitecross and Littlewood contested the election, but were defeated by fellow candidates from their own parties: the Liberal Party’s Brendan Smyth and the ALP’s John Hargreaves. Smyth had served as the federal Member for Canberra from the 1995 by-election until the 1996 election. Osborne had been joined by another member of his ticket, elected to represent Ginninderra.

Three months after the 1998 election, Kaine resigned from the Liberal Party, eventually forming his own United Canberra Party.

At the 2001 election, both Labor MPs Wood and Hargreaves and Liberal MP Smyth were all re-elected, with independents Kaine and Osborne defeated. They were replaced by the ALP’s Karin McDonald and the Liberal Party’s Steve Pratt. This resulted in the ALP holding three of Brindabella’s five seats, helping the party form a minority government led by Jon Stanhope.

The 2004 election was the most stable election in Brindabella, with MPs Hargreaves, Smyth, McDonald and Pratt retaining their seats. Bill Wood was the first MP for Brindabella to retire voluntarily, and was succeeded by the ALP’s Mick Gentleman.

In 2008, the ALP was reduced to two seats, with their third seat going to the Greens. Two MPs, one Labor and one Liberal, were defeated by fellow candidates from their own parties. Karin McDonald retired, and Steve Pratt and Mick Gentleman were defeated. They were replaced by the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan, the ALP’s Joy Burch, and the Liberal Party’s Steve Doszpot.

Sitting Labor MP John Hargreaves is retiring, and sitting Liberal MP Steve Doszpot is running for Molonglo.

Group A (Liberal)

  • Val Jeffery
  • Nicole Lawder
  • Zed Seselja, Liberal leader, sitting Molonglo MLA since 2004.
  • Brendan Smyth, sitting MLA since 1998.
  • Andrew Wall

Group B (The Greens)

  • Amanda Bresnan, sitting MLA since 2008.
  • Johnathan Davis
  • Ben Murphy

Group C (Labor)

  • Joy Burch, sitting MLA since 2008.
  • Rebecca Cody
  • Mick Gentleman, former MLA, 2004-2008.
  • Karl Maftoum
  • Mike Kinniburgh

Group D (Bullet Train for Canberra)

  • Mark Erwood
  • Adam Henschke

Group E (Australian Motorist Party)

  • Burl Doble
  • Kieran Jones-Ellis


  • Mark Gibbons
  • Michael Lindfield
  • Calvin Pearce

Political situation
At five ACT elections, the ALP and the Liberal Party have always won two seats each. The fifth seat has been the only one to change party status. It was held by social conservative independent Paul Osborne in 1995 and 1998. It was won in 2001 and 2004 by the ALP, and in 2008 it went to the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan.

Unless either major party has a catastrophic result, the race will be over that final seat. The Liberal Party will be aiming to win a third seat in Brindabella by defeating Bresnan. At the last election, the Greens polled 0.82 quotas in Brindabella, without an incumbent MP. After four years in Parliament Bresnan should be hard to dislodge.

The Liberal Party is aiming to win an extra seat in Brindabella. Liberal leader Zed Seselja has switched from Molonglo to Brindabella and he is hoping that a high personal vote will allow the Liberals to win a third seat, either off Labor or Greens.

2008 result

Steve Doszpot4,9807.860.47
David Morgan3,2275.100.31
Steve Pratt3,9786.280.38
Audrey Ray1,7212.720.16
Brendan Smyth8,45813.350.80
Canberra Liberals22,36435.312.12
Val Jeffery4,1096.490.39
James Sizer7201.140.07
Community Alliance4,8297.620.46
Ben Doble9301.470.09
Burl Doble1,0831.710.10
Brian McLachlan8731.380.08
Geoff Rake7331.160.07
Bruce Ritchie7991.260.08
Australian Motorist Party4,4186.980.42
Amanda Bresnan5,2608.310.50
Sue Ellerman3,3405.270.32
The Greens8,60013.580.82
Joy Burch4,9657.840.47
Mick Gentleman4,6127.280.44
John Hargreaves7,03811.110.67
Tracy Mackey4,0306.360.38
Wayne Sievers2,4783.910.23
Australian Labor Party23,12336.512.19

2008 preference distribution
No candidates individually reached a quota on primary votes. After the elimination of lower candidates, the race was reduced to eight candidates: four Liberals, three Labor and one Green:

  • Smyth (LIB) – 0.99 quotas
  • Bresnan (GRN) – 0.87
  • Hargreaves (ALP) – 0.86
  • Burch (ALP) – 0.72
  • Doszpot (LIB) – 0.64
  • Gentleman (ALP) – 0.63
  • Jeffery (LIB) – 0.54
  • Pratt (LIB) – 0.52

Following this, Pratt was eliminated, putting Smyth well over quota. Smyth’s surplus then elected Doszpot, leaving this situation after the distribution of Doszpot’s surplus:

  • Bresnan (GRN) – 0.92
  • Hargreaves (ALP) – 0.88
  • Burch (ALP) – 0.73
  • Gentleman (ALP) – 0.64
  • Jeffery (LIB) – 0.61

Jeffery’s surplus then put Bresnan over quota, and at this point Burch led Gentleman for the fifth spot by only 42 votes.

  • Bresnan (GRN) – 1.11
  • Hargreaves (ALP) – 0.93
  • Burch (ALP) – 0.70
  • Gentleman (ALP) – 0.70

Bresnan’s surplus overwhelmingly favoured Burch, putting her well ahead of Gentleman. This left Gentleman as the last one knocked out, electing Hargreaves and Burch.

  • Hargreaves (ALP) – 0.95
  • Burch (ALP) – 0.84
  • Gentleman (ALP) – 0.73

Booth breakdown
Booths in Brindabella have been divided into three areas:


  • North – Farrer, Kambah, Pearce, Wanniassa
  • South East – Calwell, Chisholm, Fadden, Gilmore, Gowrie, Richardson, Theodore
  • South West – Bonython, Conder, Gordon, Isabella Plains, Monash, Tuggeranong and Tharwa

The ALP vote was higher, around 38%, in the north and the south west, while the ALP vote was lower at 34% in the south east. The Liberal vote peaked at 37.7% in the south east. The Greens vote was highest at 15% in the north, compared to 12% in the south east and 11% in the south west.

Polling booths in Brindabella at the 2008 ACT election. North in green, South East in orange, South West in blue.
Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of votes
South West38.3133.6211.7115,04423.75
South East34.7637.7312.4313,50021.32
Other votes34.6437.0814.0918,87829.81



Labor primary votes in Brindabella at the 2008 ACT election.
Liberal primary votes in Brindabella at the 2008 ACT election.
Greens primary votes in Brindabella at the 2008 ACT election.
Polling booths in Brindabella at the 2008 ACT election, showing which party polled the most primary votes in that booth. Labor in red, Liberal in blue, Community Alliance in yellow.


  1. I reckon Jonathon is the dark horse in this race. This kid is well known and liked in the valley. He will probably get a huge personal vote

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