16 October 2004

Labor returns to power in Canberra

Ha! Gotcha! Sadly, it's only the ACT. Still, the 'landslide' received by the Man of Steel did not last all that long. More on that when the final figures are posted. The number of seats changing hands in the House of Representatives really does not indicate a landslide. The ACT result does not indicate an opposition headed for permanent oblivion.

Stanhope claims 'unprecedented' ACT victory
Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has claimed victory in the ACT election, with the Labor Party set to secure at least nine of the Assembly's 17 seats, the Territory's first ever majority.

"It is a fantastic result for the Labor Party. It's a tremendous victory and at least a 6 per cent swing across the board," he said.

"That is an unprecedented result for not just the Labor Party but any political party in Australia. In two elections we have increased our support by 22 per cent.

"This result is a vindication of how we have governed."

Liberal leader Brendan Smyth conceded defeat but says it is by no means a train wreck.

"Where are we? It's quite apparent that the Labor Party will be returned to government. They clearly have eight seats and there's a Green," Mr Smyth said.

"I'd like to say congratulations to John Stanhope and his colleagues for a return to government. I wish you well."

Labor could possibly take 10 seats, the Liberal Party is expected to retain its six seats, with the Greens occupying the cross bench.

It's hard to compile an ACT two party preferred at this stage of counting but the results are impressive.

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