Dan Jervis-Bardy

ACT election 2020: Coe sparks speculation about leadership after shock heavy defeat | The Canberra Times

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Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe has defended his ACT election campaign, as the post-mortem begins into a heavy defeat that could see the party lose two seats. Mr Coe immediately sparked speculation about his future on Saturday night when he declared “it had been an honour to lead the Canberra Liberals” in a speech to the party faithful. He called Labor leader Andrew Barr just after 8.30pm to congratulate him on another successful election, which saw the Liberals suffer a 3.6 per cent swing against them across the ACT. Addressing candidates and supporters at QT Hotel soon after the call, Mr Coe said he was resigned to the fact that Labor and the Greens would be returned for another four years. “Of course, it has turned out that it has not to be,” Mr Coe said, after entering the Liberals election night event to cheers of “Alistair, Alistair”. “You have all done an extraordinary job in extraordinary circumstances.” Mr Coe said the Liberals had run a positive campaign which was true to its values. He said the Opposition had suffered “pretty considerable attacks” from its Labor opponents, which were “tough” but not unexpected. With 75 per cent of the vote counted, Brindabella MLA Andrew Wall looked set to lose his seat, while Candice Burch’s is in a fight to secure another four years in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Three seats remained in the balance at 10.30pm according to the ABC analyst Antony Green; the final spots in Kurrajong, Murrumbidgee and Brindabella. Mr Coe stressed the final result was far from settled, with the Liberals were banking on preference flows and strong support from older Canberrans who cast paper ballots on Saturday to improve their position. But regardless of how those final votes fall, the result will be a bitter pill to swallow for Mr Coe and the Liberals, who had been quietly optimistic about their chances of ending Labor’s 19 years in power. Clearly dejected, Mr Coe stuck true to the messages he pushed through the campaign, saying his passion to make “the ACT the best place to live, work and raise a family burns strong”. “I joined this party 20 years ago, it is a party for the forgotten people. It is a party that represents a broad spectrum of views,” he said. “We have to continue to do all we can to make sure we represent a continually diverse Canberra. “Our campaign was true to our values, it was positive. We advocated to empower people, we advocated to empower families, we advocated to empower communities.” In comments which sparked speculation about his future as party leader, a reflective Mr Coe said holding the position had been the “greatest honour of my life”. READ MORE:


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