ACT News


Greens shaken, not too disturbed

Former ACT Greens MLAs say the proliferation of minor parties hurt the party's vote in the federal election but say they are optimistic Simon Sheikh can still clinch the ACT's second Senate seat.

On Monday, former ACT Greens leader Meredith Hunter said the Greens' territory campaign was ''incredibly run'' but the national tide towards conservative parties had been reflected in the local vote.

''Last time we were at about 16 per cent to 18 per cent in the House of Representatives' seats,'' she said. ''This time it has dropped back.

''It's a bit of a reflection that there were a lot of people in the community veering across to the conservatives.''

Ms Hunter said ''the plethora of minor parties'' had swung discontented and disillusioned voters away from major parties generally, including from the Greens.

Candidates for parties such as the Bullet Train Party had also drawn some of the Greens vote by picking up on single Greens policies.


Greens candidate for Fraser Adam Verwey said the presence of the Bullet Train Party in the 2013 contest could explain a 5 per cent swing against the party in that seat.

On Monday, the seat of Canberra was showing a swing of almost 6.5 per cent against the Greens. ''The amount of candidates in Fraser almost doubled,'' Mr Verwey said.

''We saw it in the ACT election and again this time that the Bullet Train Party have taken some of the first-preference vote from the Greens.

''If we added those together we've maintained our vote in Fraser.''

Former Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur said nationally the party had done well to retain its seats, including Adam Bandt's lower house seat of Melbourne, and was set to pick up at least one more Senate seat.

''I'm disappointed the Greens' vote has gone down overall,'' she said.

However, Ms Le Couteur, who was the surprise of the 2008 ACT election, warned against writing off Mr Sheikh's chances of claiming the ACT's second Senate spot from Zed Seselja.

Former Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan predicted a ''knife edge'' result but said: ''It's coming down to a lot of preferences and below-the-line votes. The Greens may still take that seat - the seat everyone said was unwinnable.''