October 21, 2012
The Greens in the ACT election have definitely gone backwards. There has been a swing against them of around 4.6 per cent and, at this stage of counting, they appear to have lost two of their four seats, but they still retain the balance of power in the Assembly. Though neither major party won a majority in the election it is more than likely that the Labor/Green alliance will be returned.
The Greens' momentum is no building across the nation. Antony Green says:
The Greens are clearly not travelling as well as in 2008. Along with the Queensland state election results in March, the failure to win the Melbourne by-election in July, and set backs in NSW local government in September, Saturday's set back for the Greens suggests the Green vote has declined since the last Federal election.
Another interpretation of the ACT result is that the 2012 result is not a desertion of the Greens, but rather a return to status quo with the Greens again determining which party governs the territory for the next four years.
Though the Liberals have gained eight seats on the back of a 7 per cent swing, they have neither the numbers nor the right to claim government --they failed to take votes from Labor, or gain a majority of seats. Around 52 per cent of the electorate voted for the Labor Party and the Greens.
Presumably, the Greens will determine which party governs the territory for the next four years on policy grounds---on the major party's willingness and capacity to deliver on the Greens’ agenda. This includes a light rail system for Canberra and emissions reduction as part of a climate change policy. What will the Liberals offer in the way of policy concessions?