The ACT Greens have announced 15 candidates to contest next year's territory election, their biggest field to date.
The Greens are confident of holding the balance of power after 2016, and say their analysis points to retaining the central city seat, winning a seat in Belconnen and picking up a seat possibly also in Woden-Weston.
That scenario would see Shane Rattenbury returned, along with the lead candidate in Belconnen, his chief of staff Indra Esguerra, and the lead candidate in Woden-Weston, Caroline Le Couteur, who was in the assembly from 2008 to 2012 and was recently appointed to the board of the ACT Public Cemeteries Authority.
Mr Rattenbury said while it was difficult to assess the extent of a protest vote against the long-term Labor government, Labor was going through renewal with a new leader and a suite of new candidates and the electorate would probably accelerate the "clean out" of candidates it didn't want, as it had with the Liberals in 2008.
The progressive side of politics would win a majority, with a Labor-Green government the most likely outcome, he predicted.
The switch to five-member electorates had made it more difficult for minor parties and independents to get elected, with the Greens the only third party likely to win seats.
The Greens have analysed the 2012 results under the new electoral boundaries, with this result:
Tuggeranong: 3 Liberal, 2 Labor.
Belconnen: 2 Liberal, 2 Labor, with the Greens the favourites for the final seat in a preference battle with Labor, with 0.63 of a quota on first preferences, to Labor's 0.48 (a quota is the number of votes needed to win).
Inner south and north: 2 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 Green.
Woden-Weston: 2 Liberal, 2 Labor, with the final seat fought out among all three parties, the Greens the favourites with a quota of 0.65, the Liberals on 0.44 and Labor on 0.4.
Gungahlin: 2 Liberal 2 Labor, with the final seat a three-way battle and most likely to go Liberal.
The Greens say they would do better still on 2008 results, winning five seats.
Mr Rattenbury, who holds the balance of power in the assembly, defended his close alliance with Labor this term, saying he had brought a Greens perspective but worked cooperatively.
"The community doesn't want to see us bickering the whole way through a term. They want people to knuckle down and deliver," he said.
"This term I've carried a very significant burden of that singular vote and it's important to wield that power as responsibly as possible. You need to recognise that it's one vote of 17. At the same time, I have 26,000 people who voted for the Greens at the last election."
The Greens had helped deliver renewable energy, an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target, and a big investment in public transport. If the Liberals won, that would be unpicked, he said.
With Ms Couteur living in Downer but standing in Woden-Weston, Mr Rattenbury dismissed questions about the candidates living outside their electorates, saying Ms Le Couteur lived previously in Garran, and the candidates were heavily involved in local organisations across the city. "I don't think the arbitrary drawing of boundaries is especially important," he said.
Renewable energy analyst Michael Mazengarb leads the Greens ticket in Tuggeranong, where he lives.
In Gungahlin, women's rights advocate Veronica Wensing heads the ticket. Ms Wensing, of Hackett, and her partner were among 31 couples who married under the ACT government's short-lived legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2013.
Mr Rattenbury welcomed the number of women – seven of the 15 candidates.
Labor is in the midst of preselection, voting in mid November to choose 25 candidates from a field of 35 who have put themselves forward. The Liberals are not choosing candidates till next year, with the election in October.
The Greens candidates are:
1. Michael Mazengarb
2. Ben Murphy
3. Johnathan Davis
1. Indra Esguerra
2. Richard Merzian
3. Jason Chappel
Kurrajong (inner north and south)
1. Shane Rattenbury
2. Rebecca Vassarotti
3. Jillian Thomsen
1. Caroline Le Couteur
2. Jennifer Faerber, who works for Greens leader Richard Di Natale
3. Emma Davidson
1. Veronica Wensing
2. Andrew Braddock
3. Tobias Holm
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