While today's election is too close to call, political watchers are variously predicting a big crossbench holding the balance of power, or even a majority Liberal government.
Professor of politics John Warhurst said it was "terribly close".
"It's almost impossible to predict under Hare Clark what will happen ... but the Liberals might well get those three lots of three [seats] and a couple of twos to get to 13," he said.
He cited the "it's time" factor, opposition to light rail, the "allegations of insider culture", higher rates and the loss of the popular Katy Gallagher to federal politics.
"You've got four or five potential issues there and if you wrap them all up together it's the Liberals' biggest chance," he said. "I think governments lose office. The job of the Liberals is to present themselves as a reasonable alternative. I don't think they've done any more than that, particularly."
Former ACT Labor minister John Hargreaves said it was a difficult election to call given the new electorates and the expansion to 25 members.
He believes Labor voters might stick with the party, but throw out sitting members.
"If you have the opportunity to take your anger out on the sitting people of your own persuasion there may be a temptation to go down that path. We'll have to wait and see," he said.
He did not believe independents and minor parties would get a seat, instead predicting 11 Labor, 11 Liberal, one Green, with the final two deciding the election.
"If the Greens get two then it's game over for the Liberals," he said.
Former Liberal chief minister Gary Humphries, no longer a member of the party, predicted a minority Liberal government, supported by a substantially bigger crossbench.
Labor would win just 10 of the 25 seats, he said. Independents or minor party candidates could win in Yerrabi and Ginninderra, and even possibly in Murrumbidgee. The Greens would win only one seat, he said.
"In both the ACT specifically and in recent years the Australian electorate generally, people have chosen to move away from major parties and hedge their bets with minor parties and independents and that I think will manifest itself again in the ACT in a way that it hasn't for a few years," he said.
Former independent Michael Moore predicted up to 10 seats for Labor, and 12 for the Liberals. He predicted a good showing for independents, and said government would come down to negotiations with the crossbench.
He also made the surprising prediction that Labor could end up with just one seat in Andrew Barr's central seat of Kurrajong.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said Canberrans would get a good indication of whether or not the Liberals had won the primary vote within about an hour of polls closing on Saturday, but the closer the result, the longer it would take to discover who would form government.
The major parties could be expected to win 10 seats each, with the election down to who won the final seat in each of the five electorates, he said.
The Liberals were expected to win the final seat in Tuggeranong. Murrumbidgee looked to be a race between the Greens and Liberals. In Ginninderra, the final seat could be a tussle between Labor and the Greens. In the central seat, the Greens were expected to win the final seat. That scenario would see the election hinge on the result in Gungahlin.
One possibility was that the Liberals would substantially outpoll Labor but be unable to form government because the Greens backed Labor.
Mr Green said one of the factors this year was the loss of some of the big vote pullers from the 2012 election, including Katy Gallagher, Zed Seselja, Brendan Smyth and Mary Porter, with voters facing a number of candidates they didn't know or recognise. That could see more "linear voting" down party columns and would play against the independents.