ACT News


Undecideds hold the key: leaders

The leaders of the major parties have declared that undecided voters will determine the outcome of tomorrow's ACT election.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the last seat in each electorate would come down to several hundred votes.

''This election is too close to call and every vote counts,'' the Labor leader told party candidates and supporters yesterday.

A Canberra Times opinion poll published yesterday predicted Labor would hold on to power in a minority government supported by the Greens.

But the Patterson Research Group survey of 1203 voters, conducted between October 11 and 14, showed that 10 per cent of voters remained undecided in Brindabella and Ginninderra and 7 per cent still had not made up their minds in the tightly contested seven-seat electorate of Molonglo.

Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said he was not getting ''hung up'' on The Canberra Times poll, which predicted the Legislative Assembly would remain unchanged at seven Labor MLAs, six Liberals and four Greens.


''I don't get too hung up about one poll, we've seen any number of polls over the past few weeks that have been reasonably different to what has been published today,'' Mr Seselja said.

''Even if you were to accept those numbers, I think it shows it's very close.

''If you look at the numbers in Brindabella, that could go either way, Molonglo could go either way.''

Writing exclusively today in The Canberra Times, Ms Gallagher, Mr Seselja and Greens leader Meredith Hunter make a final personal pitch to the territory's 256,702 eligible voters.

In a letter to Labor campaign teams yesterday, Ms Gallagher warned them not to become complacent over Canberra Times polling showing that 54 per cent of voters preferred her as chief minister, compared to 26 per cent for Mr Seselja.

''We know there are lots of people who haven't decided who to vote for and this means the election result is far from decided,'' Ms Gallagher wrote.

''We need to work hard to make sure that all Canberrans know that if they want me to lead the next government then they must vote for ACT Labor on Saturday.''

The Opposition Leader said he was pinning his hopes on Canberra's undecided voters.

''Those people who are undecided, and there are a number of undecideds, will probably decide this election over the next couple of days,'' Mr Seselja said.

He shrugged off Ms Gallagher's commanding lead in the polling on preferred chief minister, saying the election would not be decided on whether the electorate liked Ms Gallagher.

Ms Hunter said that her Greens colleague Amanda Bresnan was coming under pressure in her seat of Brindabella. ''If we go to Brindabella, we have seen quite a change, we've seen Zed move from Molonglo to Brindabella and for part of the Canberra Liberals' strategy to have a full-on assault down there in that electorate,'' Ms Hunter said.

''We always knew that last seat in Molonglo was going to be the one we were going to have to wait some days to see a result.''

Writing in The Canberra Times today, Ms Hunter says her party has a vision for Canberra as a ''21st century'' city.

''The Greens vision for a healthier, more liveable and better connected Canberra is underpinned by real and achievable initiatives,'' she writes.

Mr Seselja points to the differences between voting Liberal and voting for Labor or the Greens.

''This election is about choice,'' the Liberals leader writes.

''Urgent care clinics or not. A green bin or not. An autism school, or not. A pool for Lanyon, or not. More car parks, or not. Better roads, or not. And lower cost of living, or tripled rates. It's that simple.''

Ms Gallagher says her campaign has been focused on ''detailed policy'' and she defends ACT Labor's record in the territory.

''Labor's vision for Canberra is positive and forward-looking, with clear goals,'' she writes.

''Labor has worked hard to deliver good government in the ACT. We have been able to combine prudent financial management with a socially progressive outlook.''


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