Chief Minister Andrew Barr keeps grip on power in ACT election
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr keeps grip on power in ACT election

The ACT Labor Party has claimed victory in the territory election, with Chief Minister Andrew Barr announcing his party will form government with the Greens.

Saturday night's result means left wing parties have been given a mandate to hold the state for more than two decades from when Labor came to government in 2001.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has kept Labor's grip on power.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has kept Labor's grip on power.Credit:Dion Georgopoulos


With 78 per cent of the vote counted by 10pm on Saturday, Labor had secured 11 seats and the Greens three, combined tipping the alliance over the required threshold of 13 seats to form government in the ACT's 25 seat legislative assembly.

"I've spoken to Shane Rattenbury [Greens leader] and we will sit down ... over the coming week to put together a new government for this city. But it will be a government that will be led by ACT Labor," Mr Barr said in his victory speech on Saturday night.

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Liberal leader Alistair Coe had campaigned on better services and lower taxes while chief minister Andrew Barr touted the territory's response to the coronavirus pandemic — it has gone 99 days without a COVID-19 case — and bushfires as part of his claim to another term.

"It is a humbling experience to lead a political party, and to lead a government. And particularly in a year like this one," Mr Barr said.

"We've had an extraordinary series of challenges thrown at us, as a city and as a community, and we've got through it because we've worked together.

"We've got through it because we've applied progressive values to our government decisions and because we've applied compassion and we haven't left people behind."

Mr Rattenbury flagged that his party and Labor would not agree on everything while in government.

"We've had some really clear feedback during this election from members of the community who are not entirely happy with how things have been going," he told Greens supporters.

"We have to take that on board as well. And there are things we need to reset on and we need to reflect on, and I really thank people who have come up to us in the election campaign and given us that feedback."

In his concession speech, Mr Coe called on the returned government to do more about housing affordability in Canberra.

"When I was elected to the leadership of the Canberra Liberals four years
ago, I said that Canberra was at risk of becoming a two-paced society. One-pace where people can keep up with the cost of living and another that is increasingly falling behind," he said.

"That threat remains very, very real. And it is incumbent upon the next government of the ACT to do much more to support those in this city who can't afford rent, can't afford to buy a home, are living in poverty or are doing it tough."

The Liberal leader, whose future role in the party is not known yet, thank his supporters.

"I know to be a Liberal in Canberra is not easy. I thank you all for flying the flag. I thank you all for the confidence, optimism, and positivity that you've given this campaign."

More than half of the votes in the election were cast before polling day, many digitally, contributing to a speedy result.

The ACT uses the proportional Hare-Clarke voting system through which voters determine their own preference flows, so final results will take some time to determine.

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