Canberra, let’s get  this straight. MLA’s and potential MLA’s don’t have to stand in the electorate which includes their actual street address. You don’t have to run where you live.

There’s so much being made about these new electoral boundaries and the fact that it may force some of our elected members to move house. That’s bollocks.  Since self government we’ve had at least a dozen cases of MLA’s representing an electorate that they didn’t actually live in. And nobody cared.hanson

This isn’t like a statewide jurisdiction. We’re just one little city. It’s possible to live in Nichols and to have a deep understanding of what goes on in Belconnen. It’s not as if we have electorate offices in the suburbs.

I don’t believe anyone is going to be selling their house and moving just to satisfy a journalist at the Canberra Times that they’re being true to their electorate. That’s silly talk.

I’m an election junkie and I’m so pleased that the new boundaries are on the table.

I love a good poll and I look forward immensely to the next one here in the ACT

Today we got our first official look at the new playing surface for the ACT election and it looks as though it will be conducive to a good political contest. But can the Libs win it in 2016 ? It’s possible, but it’ll be tough.

The two major parties, keen to create a genuine duopoly here in the ACT made the call to expand the Assembly from 17 to 25 members and to do away with the monster 7 seat electorate known as Molonglo. So 5 electorates of 5 members spread across Canberra making it much tougher for minor parties or independents to get a look in.

In the last 12 months the operatives from each party have been doing the math and guessing where the boundaries and, for the most part they got it right.

corbell and barrThere will be very little change in the south. Brindabella remains as the ‘Tuggeranong’ seat with the only change being that Kambah  has been shaved off to join the Woden/Weston Creek seat. If current MLA’s decide to run where they actually live then Brindabella is the only seat which houses 5 incumbents in Burch, Gentleman, Lawder, Smyth and Wall. I daresay they will all run in the seat and it’s quite possible that there will be no change in 2016. Tuggeranong is where  the Libs do best and with the political cloud of ‘light rail’ hanging ominously over the south that’s not likely to change.

Weston Creek/Woden will be known as Murrumbidgee. Hanson, Jones and Corbell would be the incumbent MLA’s if they chose to run where they live. Very interesting seat this one.  If the Libs are to win Government they will have to do it in their own right…they’re not likely to get any help from the cross bench. That means they must win a majority of 3 members in at least 3 of the 5 seats.  They’re likely to do that in Brindabella, but if they are to win Government they must also do it in Murrumbidgee. That’s why I figure Jeremy Hanson will run in Murrumbidgee and try to make the most of the strong ‘leaders vote’ to help drag  2 more conservatives over the line.

The question for Hanson is, which is the  other seat that they’re going to win 3 in ? It ain’t going to be the centre seat of Kurrajong. This is where Rattenbury will run for the Greens and where they’ll probably win their only seat. I daresay it’s also where Chief Minister Andrew Barr will run.

Belconnen has never been strong for the Libs and although Vicki Dunne is a long term Ginninderra based MLA, her personal vote is not massive. Alistair Coe is a campaigning machine and he’ll do well, but it’s unlikely that he will have the clout to pull others over the line in those northern seats.

If the Libs are to make light rail the centrepiece election issue, it’s likely to have the least traction in the new Gungahlin seat of Yerrabi.

At this early stage, I’m  predicting 12/12/1 with Rattenbury again holding the balance of power.

Your thoughts ?