Molonglo – ACT 2012

Incumbent MPs

  • Zed Seselja (LIB), since 2004.
  • Katy Gallagher (ALP), since 2001.
  • Shane Rattenbury (GRN), since 2008.
  • Andrew Barr (ALP), since 2006.
  • Jeremy Hanson (LIB), since 2008.
  • Simon Corbell (ALP), since 1996.
  • Caroline Le Couteur (GRN), since 2008.

Molonglo stretches from the southern suburbs of Canberra to the outer northern suburbs. The electorate covers all of the districts of North Canberra, South Canberra and Weston Creek, along with a majority of Woden Valley and Gungahlin. Molonglo covers Lake Burley Griffin, Civic and the Federal Triangle.


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 covers almost exactly the same area as it did in 1995, having undergone three minor redistributions prior to the 2001, 2008 and 2012 elections.

Molonglo has always elected 2 Labor, 2 Liberal and one Green. The other two seats have been shared. One seat was held by an independent until 2001, when it was won by the ALP. The ALP has held three seats ever since. The Liberal Party won three seats at every election except 2008, although after both the 2001 and 2004 elections they lost one of their seats due to a Liberal MLA resigning from the party. The Liberal Party failed to win a third seat in 2008, when the Greens gained a second seat.

At the first election in 1995, the Liberal Party elected Kate Carnell, Gary Humphries and Greg Cornwell. The ALP elected Rosemary Follett and Terry Connolly. Michael Moore was elected as an independent, and Kerrie Tucker was elected as a Greens MLA.

All of the first MLAs for Molonglo (barring Tucker) had served previously in the Assembly: Humphries, Moore and Follett since 1989, Connolly since 1990, and Cornwell and Carnell since 1992. Follett had served as the ACT’s first chief minister in 1989, and again from 1991 to 1995.

At the 1995 election, the Labor minority government was replaced by a Liberal minority government, led by Kate Carnell.

Connolly resigned in February 1996, to be replaced by Marion Reilly. Follett also resigned in December 1996, and was replaced by Simon Corbell.

At the 1998 election, Carnell, Humphries, Cornwell, Corbell, Tucker and Moore were re-elected. Reilly ran for re-election, but was defeated by fellow ALP candidate Ted Quinlan.

Carnell resigned as Chief Minister and from the Assembly in 2000, and was replaced by Gary Humphries at the head of the minority Liberal government. She was replaced in early 2001 by Jacqui Burke.

In 2001, Corbell, Quinlan, Humphries, Cornwell and Tucker were re-elected. Michael Moore retired, and his seat was won by the ALP, who elected Katy Gallagher as their third Molonglo MLA. Burke was defeated by fellow Liberal candidate Helen Cross. Cross resigned from the Liberal Party in September 2002 to serve out her term as an independent.

Gary Humphries’ term as Chief Minister had ended at the 2001 election. He was appointed to a vacancy in the Senate as the sole Liberal Senator representing the ACT in late 2002. In early 2003, his Assembly seat was filled by Jacqui Burke, returning to the Assembly for a second time.

In 2004, all three Labor MLAs (Corbell, Quinlan and Gallagher) were re-elected along with Liberal MLA Burke. Greg Cornwell retired, and his second Liberal seat was won by Zed Seselja. Kerrie Tucker also retired, and the sole Greens seat was won by Deb Foskey. Helen Cross lost her seat to Liberal candidate Richard Mulcahy. This was the second election in a row where Molonglo elected three Labor, three Liberal and one Greens.

In 2006, Ted Quinlan retired and his Labor seat was filled by Andrew Barr. In late 2007, Richard Mulcahy resigned from the Liberal Party to serve as an independent.

At the 2008 election, the ALP retained their three seats. The Liberal Party retained their two seats, but failed to regain Mulcahy’s seat. The Greens increased their seats from one to two. Labor MPs Corbell, Barr and Gallagher were re-elected, as was Liberal MP Zed Seselja. Jacqui Burke was defeated by fellow Liberal candidate Jeremy Hanson. Greens MP Deb Foskey retired, and Mulcahy was defeated. Both seats went to Greens candidates Shane Rattenbury and Caroline Le Couteur.

Following the election, the Greens agreed to support Labor in government, with Rattenbury elected as Speaker. In 2011, Jon Stanhope retired and Kate Gallagher was elected Chief Minister.

Sitting Liberal MLA Zed Seselja is running in Brindabella.

Group A (The Greens)

  • Alan Kerlin
  • Caroline Le Couteur, sitting MLA since 2008.
  • Shane Rattenbury, Speaker and sitting MLA since 2008.
  • Adriana Siddle

Group B (Liberal Democratic Party)

  • Ian Gardner
  • Trisha Jha

Group C (Australian Motorist Party)

  • David Cumbers
  • Mark Curran

Group D (Liberal)

  • Steve Doszpot
  • Jeremy Hanson
  • Murray Gordon
  • Giulia Jones
  • Elizabeth Lee
  • James Milligan
  • Tom Sefton

Group E (Bullet Train for Canberra)

  • Tim Bohm
  • Shelley Dickerson

Group F (Labor)

  • Katy Gallagher, Chief Minister and sitting MLA since 2001.
  • Meegan Fitzharris
  • Angie Drake
  • Andrew Barr, sitting MLA since 2006.
  • Simon Corbell, sitting MLA since 1996.
  • David Mathews
  • Mark Kulasingham


  • Stuart Biggs
  • Philip Pocock

Political situation
Five of Molonglo’s seats should be safely held by the three main parties: two Labor seats, two Liberal seats and one Green seat. The final two seats (currently held by Labor and the Greens) could potentially be vulnerable. On the final count in 2008 the third-polling Liberal candidate (Giulia Jones) was 0.09 quotas behind the second Green, and 0.2 quotas behind the third Labor candidate. If there was a swing to the Liberal Party it could see them gain one of the Labor or Greens seats.

The Liberal vote was strong in 2008 partly due to Zed Seselja’s personal vote. With Seselja running in Brindabella this may make it harder for the Liberal Party to win a third seat in Molonglo.

2008 result

Luciano Lombardo3430.390.03
Frank Pangallo3,5133.980.32
Phil Thompson3960.450.04
Pangallo Independents4,2524.820.39
Andrew Barr5,4956.230.50
Eleanor Bates1,6251.840.15
Simon Corbell4,5905.200.42
Louise Crossman1,3791.560.12
Katy Gallagher13,93115.781.26
Mike Hettinger2,8223.200.26
David Mathews2,0422.310.19
Australian Labor Party31,88436.122.89
Alvin Hopper1320.150.01
Owen Saddler1510.170.01
Nancy-Louise Scherger1350.150.01
Norvan Vogt5860.660.05
Community Alliance1,0041.140.09
Joanne Allen1360.150.01
Richard Mulcahy2,0572.330.19
Ben O’Neill1480.170.01
Richard Mulcahy Canberra Party2,3412.650.21
David Cumbers4930.560.04
Kim Evans3560.400.03
Stuart Green3610.410.03
Angus Laburn2430.280.02
Darren O’Neil3100.350.03
Stephen Rowland3220.360.03
Anthony Seddon3660.410.03
Australian Motorist Party2,4512.780.22
David McAlary3980.450.04
David Pinkerton3760.430.03
Liberal Democratic Party7740.880.07
Elena Kirschbaum3,2093.640.29
Caroline Le Couteur3,3343.780.30
Shane Rattenbury9,56410.840.87
The Greens16,10718.251.46
Belinda Barnier1,2491.420.11
Jacqui Burke1,5481.750.14
Jeremy Hanson3,2783.710.30
Giulia Jones2,2522.550.20
Gary Kent1,6881.910.15
Zed Seselja16,73918.961.52
Clinton White1,0541.190.10
Canberra Liberals27,80831.502.52
Helen Cross1,1201.270.10
Tony Farrell1720.190.02
Greg Tannahill2020.230.02
Kerri Taranto1510.170.01

2008 preference distribution
Opposition Leader Zed Seselja and Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher were both elected on primary votes. After the elimination of minor candidates, eleven candidates remained for five seats:

  • Pangallo (IND) – 0.48 quotas
  • Barr (ALP) – 0.78
  • Hettinger (ALP) – 0.42
  • Corbell (ALP) – 0.70
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.38
  • Kirschbaum (GRN) – 0.38
  • Rattenbury (GRN) – 0.98
  • Kent (LIB) – 0.32
  • Jones (LIB) – 0.42
  • Burke (LIB) – 0.40
  • Hanson (LIB) – 0.52

Kent’s preferences pushed Rattenbury over quota, and after Rattenbury was elected, nine candidates remained for four seats.

  • Pangallo (IND) – 0.49
  • Barr (ALP) – 0.78
  • Hettinger (ALP) – 0.43
  • Corbell (ALP) – 0.70
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.39
  • Kirschbaum (GRN) – 0.38
  • Jones (LIB) – 0.49
  • Burke (LIB) – 0.49
  • Hanson (LIB) – 0.62

Le Couteur outpolled Kirschbaum by 82 votes. On Kirschbaum’s elimination, Le Couteur was pushed into a winnable position.

  • Pangallo (IND) – 0.49
  • Barr (ALP) – 0.80
  • Hettinger (ALP) – 0.43
  • Corbell (ALP) – 0.71
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.69
  • Jones (LIB) – 0.50
  • Burke (LIB) – 0.49
  • Hanson (LIB) – 0.63

The ALP’s Hettinger was eliminated, and in the following round Burke was eliminated, 75 votes behind Giulia Jones. After Burke’s elimination, six remained:

  • Pangallo (IND) – 0.53
  • Barr (ALP) – 0.97
  • Corbell (ALP) – 0.89
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.75
  • Jones (LIB) – 0.71
  • Hanson (LIB) – 0.84

Pangallo’s elimination pushed Barr over quota, and after his preferences were distributed, four candidates remains for three seats:

  • Corbell (ALP) – 0.97
  • Le Couteur (GRN) – 0.86
  • Jones (LIB) – 0.77
  • Hanson (LIB) – 0.91

On the final count, the third Liberal candidate, Giulia Jones, fell short of the second Green by 0.09 quotas, or 921 votes.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Brindabella have been divided into five areas, based on the districts of Canberra: Gungahlin, Inner North, Inner South, Woden Valley, Weston Creek.

The ALP’s vote was highest in the inner north, followed by Woden Valley and Weston Creek, with the vote lowest in the inner south. The Liberal vote peaked at over 40% in Gungahlin, followed by almost 34% in the inner south. The Liberal Party was pushed into third place behind the Greens with 23% in the inner north. The Greens polled 26% in the inner north, in the high teens in the three southern districts, and 9.7% in Gungahlin.

Polling booths in Molonglo at the 2008 ACT election. Gungahlin in yellow, Inner North in blue, Inner South in red, Woden Valley in green, Weston Creek in orange.
Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of votes
Inner North38.8123.1126.7219,73622.86
Weston Creek36.1432.9016.1311,04712.79
Inner South32.9533.9318.3710,93912.67
Woden Valley36.3429.8418.449,77811.32
Other votes35.2533.6115.9426,73230.96
Labor primary votes in Molonglo at the 2008 ACT election.
Liberal primary votes in Molonglo at the 2008 ACT election.
Greens primary votes in Molonglo at the 2008 ACT election.
Polling booths in Molonglo at the 2008 ACT election, showing which party polled the most primary votes at each booth.
Polling booths in Molonglo at the 2008 ACT election, showing which out of the Liberal Party and the Greens polled more votes in each booth.


  1. Seems like a risk for the Liberals to have Zed Seselja and Steve Doszpot swapping seats – the “personal vote” for Zed mentioned above will not necessarily follow him to Brindabella, nor that for Steve to Molonglo (and I notice that in the list of Liberal candidates, Steve is not noted being a sitting MLA transferring in, and he should be, as Zed is in the Brindabella article). This could push Giulia up by 0.1 quotas and get her over the line she was so close to last time.

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