Labor's primary vote is set to fall, but not by enough to prevent the Barr government winning another term at this year's ACT election, new polling suggests.
Ten weeks out from the October 17 ballot, progressive think tank The Australia Institute has published polling results which indicate an expanded Greens vote will help carry Labor over the line.
The result would consign the Canberra Liberals and Alistair Coe to another term on the opposition benches, despite the party on track to achieve a higher primary vote than Labor.
The uComms survey, which polled 1049 residents across the ACT on the night of July 20, is the first published research on how Canberrans might vote in an election year which has so far been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the summer bushfires.
Respondents were asked about their voting intentions in a poll conducted for the purpose of gauging support for the introduction of truth in political advertising laws in the ACT.
Just over 37.5 per cent of respondents said they would vote Labor if the ACT election was held today, which would fall short of the 38.4 per cent the party polled in 2016.
The Greens would receive 14 per cent of first preference votes, a major jump on the 10.3 per cent it polled at the last election.
The Liberals were chosen by 38.2 per cent of respondents, a 1.5 per cent increase on the primary vote achieved by the Jeremy Hanson-led party in 2016. But the increase in support likely would not be enough to overcome the Labor and Greens vote.
About 9.5 per cent of respondents said they would vote for a minor party or independent.
Labor was most popular with 18-to-34-year-olds, winning 41 per cent of votes, while the Liberals were clearly favoured by those aged over 65 (42 per cent). The Greens were well supported by people aged 35-50, according to the uComms survey.
The poll did not calculate a two-party preferred figure as it wasn't considered a useful guide to predicting the election result given the ACT's five electorate, five member system.
However, the fifth seat in each of the electorates would appear to be up for grabs with both parties polling below 40 per cent.
Evidence of early voting intentions arguably carries more weight when it comes to predicting this year's election than it might have in the past, given the expectation that far more people will vote ahead of polling day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elections ACT will be actively encouraging Canberrans to vote early as part of efforts to reduce the number of people casting their ballot at any one location at the same time. Some 15 polling stations will be set up, and be open for extended hours, during the pre-poll period, which will open on September 28.
Chief Minister and Labor leader Andrew Barr effectively started Labor's campaign for re-election earlier this week, unveiling a $150 million solar panel and battery loan scheme as the party's first major policy announcement.
The Liberals are channeling most of their energy into promoting their plans to freeze rates in their first term of government, address Canberra's house and rent prices and plant one million trees.
The Greens have so far announced policies on housing, employment, drug law reform and the environment.