Labor candidates chosen for Canberra and Bean
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Labor candidates chosen for Canberra and Bean

ACT Labor has preselected Alicia Payne for the seat of Canberra and David Smith is set to move to the lower house after being preselected in the seat of Bean.

Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh had already been preselected unopposed for his seat of Fenner, while former senator Katy Gallagher is set to return to the role after also being preselected unopposed.

Policy analyst and staffer Alicia Payne will represent Labor in the race for Canberra at the next election.

Policy analyst and staffer Alicia Payne will represent Labor in the race for Canberra at the next election.

Photo: Jamila Toderas

Ms Payne, who is factionally unaligned, was victorious in running in the new inner-city electorate against former charity boss John Falzon, staffer Jacob Ingram, lobbyist Simon Banks and greyhound lobbyist Kel Watt.

It's believed that while Mr Falzon, who was supported by the party's powerful left faction, received the most votes out of the five candidates, Ms Payne received preferences from the three other candidates, who were either unaligned or from the party's right faction.

After the shock resignation of Gai Brodtmann three weeks ago, Senator David Smith announced he would attempt to move to the lower house in the seat of Bean.

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Senator Smith, like Ms Brodtmann, is from the right faction of the party. He was up against the left's Louise Crossman and unaligned Taimus Werner-Gibbings, after Gail Morgan was found to be ineligible to put her hand up for the seat.

The results come after months of controversy and bitterness surrounding the process, with female members of the party receiving flyers that made damaging personal allegations about Mr Watt, of which he has strenuously denied. The flyers, and documents sent out a week later, were investigated but their origin – believed to be within the party – was never found.

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The national executive of the party has stepped in twice already during the process. First to investigate the flyers and to overturn a decision blocking Senator David Smith from accessing a list of the party's members across the territory. After a fiery ACT Labor conference, where a previously ineligible candidate for preselection was again given the chance to run for Bean, the national executive intervened again, ruling the candidate out of contention.

On the first day of voting last week a hoax text message was sent to some members, telling them the location of voting had changed and that it was possible to vote by text message. Party secretary Matt Byrne was quick to tell members the message was fake, but it's yet to be seen if it could be the cause for a challenge to the results.

Members of the party were concerned on Friday to see a sponsored post on Mr Leigh's instagram story, where he promoted a petition to give the territory the right to legislate on euthanasia, with candidate for Canberra Alicia Payne as the first signatory. A spokeswoman for Mr Leigh didn't say who paid for the post to show up in people's feeds, but maintained no public money had been spent.