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Undecideds hold the key: leaders


Lisa Cox, Noel Towell

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.''


  • I am still concerned by the weight of certainty the Canberra Times has put on their Poll as it does not seem to reflect the community's concern about 15 solid years of the same Party in power.

    Voters need to think about how to achieve is a solid majority Government after Saturday!

    Outraged of Palmerston
    Date and time
    October 19, 2012, 7:48AM
    • I am still concerned that people might fall for the lies and scare tactics perpetrated by the Libs about rates tripling, something they know to be untrue. I'm still concerned that the Libs will do what Libs do and slash jobs. I'm still concerned that the Libs haven't had any of their policies scrutinised by treasury and they may have used rubbery figures. I am still concerned that the Libs are sadly lacking in talent and couldn't run a chook raffle. I am still concerned about the future of the ACT if these second ratters get in through a deliberately negative, Tea Party style campaign.

      Outraged of Monash
      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 8:19AM
    • Ah, concerned liberal apologist, normal people get sick of the way the liberals feel they have a right to lie to us. They do it in every jurisdiction. Thats why the polls are saying what they are saying and why you will be crying into your Moet on Saturday night.

      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 8:51AM
    • That's right Outraged. A majority Greens government is exactly what the people of Canberra need!

      Seriously, if the public held strong concerns about anything it would have surfaced in the poll. Maybe it's just that Liberal voters can't handle the truth - that most thinking voters doesn't trust Zed nor the Liberals enough to vote for them. There's been too much negative campaigning, too little on policy detail.

      Zed seems to have taken advice from Abbott on how to run a campaign, with disastrous results - he has shown contempt for the electorate in failing to have his policies properly costed and instead hoped that minor discontent over plastic bags and green bins would do the job for him, with an extra nudge from the 'triple rates' hogwash.

      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 9:35AM
    • As a dyed in the wool non-Liberal, I am not interested in Parties - I am now just interested in Good Governance regardless of their political learnings.

      I fear that we will be crying into our Moet/lattes/VB regardless come Sunday morning if we end up with another Coalition government.

      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 9:55AM
    • The issue of a majority government will not be an issue. Regular Labor voters voted Greens last time to make a point. It did not work out how they planned, so they will go back to voting Labor.

      Outraged of Monash, Labor have committed to eliminating the cashcow that is Stamp Duty. Short of slashing jobs or services, that revenue shortfall will be made up elsewhere.
      I agree about the lack of talent, but would actually extend that statement to every member of the Legislative Assembly, regardless of party allegiance.

      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 11:10AM
    • 2001 to 2012 = 15 years?

      I didn't know Joe Hockey lived in Palmerston!

      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 12:49PM
  • I am putting the Liberals last after they demonstrated they are in the pockets of industry with their decision to dump on the environment by withdrawing the plastic shopping bag ban and allow polluting wood heaters in Molonglo.

    Not a Happy Camper Zed
    Date and time
    October 19, 2012, 8:18AM
    • "polluting wood heaters" Nothing worse than an affordable way to stay warm in winter is there. Let's have a ban all over Canberra.

      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 11:11AM
    • "Not a happy camper Zed", excuse me but if you really don't want the plastic bag ban repealed, how do you suggest we carry our groceries home without having to deal with bag fees at the checkout? Why are you so determined for that irritating piece of bastardry to continue? What happened to CHOICE, when I can CHOOSE whether or not I want a plastic bag or other free bag or not??

      Repeal the plastic bag ban
      Date and time
      October 19, 2012, 12:52PM

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