Territory proves power of one
Labor voter, Peta Hamera, 21, of Pearce, with her dog Muffy. Photo: Melissa Adams
In a contest as close as the recent ACT election, one person can make all the difference.
Just 41 first-preference votes divided the two major parties, and the ACT Greens were left with one remaining MLA in the Legislative Assembly.
Polling booths in suburbs marked blue had a higher proportion of Liberal voters and those marked red had a higher proportion of Labor voters. Click here for a detailed breakdown
Now that one man, Shane Rattenbury, must choose which party he will usher into government after four days of negotiations with the major party leaders. He is widely tipped to reach a decision today.
The results could hardly have been closer at Melrose High School in Pearce, where just one first-preference vote divided ACT Labor and the Canberra Liberals, polling 925 and 924 respectively.
Peta Hamera, who voted Labor at Pearce on October 20, said she was surprised by the closeness of the poll.
''Everyone was saying Labor's got a good number of votes, you wouldn't think your vote counted,'' she said.
Ms Hamera and ACT Labor leader Katy Gallagher both attended Melrose High School. When Ms Hamera was still a student there she met the MLA and showed her around the campus.
Ms Hamera, who hopes to study to become a teacher's assistant next year, said health and education were the most important issues swaying her vote.
Mr Rattenbury met again with Ms Gallagher and Canberra Liberals leader Zed Seselja on Thursday as both leaders continued to make their case for the MLA's support to form minority government.
''Negotiations are continuing, we're having very useful conversations and really at a level of detail now that will enable us to get finished quite soon,'' he said.
''I'm hoping to wrap it up as soon as possible but it really is down to finalising - some of the issues are quite complex.
''It's issues such as light rail, education policy, they're the sort of things where there are significant levels of detail that need to be worked through.''
Mr Rattenbury, who has said he will step down as Speaker in the new assembly, gave no indication which way he was leaning.
At a Greens party meeting on Sunday many members indicated Mr Rattenbury should back Ms Gallagher. But a number spoke in favour of the Canberra Liberals, arguing the Greens needed to distance themselves from the ALP to reclaim the party's identity.