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Labor retains government in ACT poll

AAP logoAAP 15/10/2016 Katina Curtis

ACT Labor has won a fifth term as the Canberra Liberals contemplate 19 years in opposition.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr, in declaring victory on Saturday night, said Canberrans had voted for a positive vision of a city that was confident, self-reliant and where everyone had the opportunity to achieve their potential.

"Tonight I want to thank the people of Canberra for backing a positive plan for our city," he told the Labor Party faithful.

The result was a fundamental rejection of a narrow-minded conservative agenda, Mr Barr said.

The Labor leader confirmed he would work with returned Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury to form a government.

"There is absolutely no doubt that we will form a government in the coming week," Mr Barr said.

The Liberals went backwards on their 2012 performance, recording a 3.3 per cent swing against them.

Labor's vote improved marginally, up 0.2 per cent from the 2012 election.

Liberal leader Jeremy Hanson rang Mr Barr to congratulate him on retaining government, with the help of the Greens.

"It is the case that it is very difficult for us to form government and we have to acknowledge that from here, it is unlikely that we will do so," he told his party's celebration in an announcement greeted with loud booing.

"That is a disappointing thing but tonight is not the night to dwell on that. There will be plenty of time for us to consider the ramifications of that."

This Liberals would continue after those people who had been forgotten by the Labor-Greens coalition, Mr Hanson said.

Mr Barr thanked the Liberals leader for sticking by a promise to fight the election based on issues.

Labor won 39 per cent of the primary vote, with the Liberals on 35.6 per cent and the Greens 10.6 per cent.

Both major parties are on track to win at least 10 seats in the 25 seat Legislative Assembly.

ABC election analyst Antony Green expects the best the Liberals can get is 11 seats, possibly 12.

The Greens will have at least one seat - in the central electorate of Kurrajong - with an outside chance of winning a second.

Mr Rattenbury, who is likely to retain a ministry in a minority Labor government, says the minor party remains in the game.

"We will not know until next Saturday if there are going to be more Greens," he told the party faithful.

But he said Canberra voters clearly rejected the Liberals as a party "looking backwards, a party that brought no vision for this city".

Mr Hanson said his party had run a very good campaign, from the television ads to their messages and the "corflute wars" around the election signs that lined Canberra's roads.

"It's been a battle, a very good battle out there on the ground," he said.

But Labor's likely deputy leader Yvette Berry said it was her party's campaign of talking to people that got them over the line.

"We were having a very positive campaign around conversations and it clearly shows that a negative campaign with corflutes doesn't win an election," she told ABC TV.

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