This paper provides a contextual account of the issues and dynamics of the 2012 election for the ACT Legislative Assembly, along with an account of its outcomes.

The 2012 election proved to be the closest in the history of ACT self-government and produced yet another minority government.


Elections for the ACT Assembly are held every four years on the third Saturday in October. Elections are regulated by the Electoral Act 1992 and managed by the independent commission Elections ACT.

Members of the ACT’s Legislative Assembly are elected using a proportional representation electoral system known as the Hare-Clark system (see Appendix 3). This electoral system was chosen by a majority of ACT voters at a referendum in 1992. The Hare-Clark system is also used to elect Members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly.

Hare-Clark is a type of proportional representation system known as the single transferable vote method. Electors vote by showing preferences for individual candidates. To be elected, a candidate needs to receive a quota of votes. Each elector has a single vote, which can be transferred from candidate to candidate according to the preferences shown by the elector until all the vacancies are filled.

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