Brisbane City Council election live

Antony Green is live-blogging the Brisbane City Council election count (first results should come through in about 30 minutes), so rather than set up in competition with him, I think it’s best if we all head over there.

UPDATE: Feel free though to use this thread to discuss the results if you’re finding Antony’s multiple posts problematic.

UPDATE 2: You can also feel free to discuss councils other than Brisbane.

UPDATE 3: Looks like I can’t help myself. Live blogging follows below:

7.30pm Brisbane time: ABC computer now predicting a huge win for Campbell Newman plus a Liberal majority on council, though Antony still expressing caution about the latter.

7.40pm: Although it seems Ross Vasta’s bid for Wynnum-Manly has failed with a vengeance.

8.05pm: The Liberals needed a notional gain of three seats to win the council. As I see it, they have won Marchant and Holland Park. Parkinson, Enoggera, Doboy, Central and Northgate are all in play (perhaps also Jamboree, where counting proceeds at a snail’s pace), but the Liberals only lead in the first two. I suspect Labor will pull further ahead in Central as more figures come in.

8.35pm: Further figures have moved Holland Park back to the doubtful column, but the Liberals are now home in Parkinson. So the Liberals still need to bag one more doubtful ward. Holland Park is the only one where they are ahead – they are slightly behind in Enoggera, Doboy and Northgate. Labor pulling further ahead in Central, but Greens preferences are a possible wild card here.

8.47pm: Antony Green says Jamboree is now in the Liberal gain column, but the ABC computer figures are lagging badly here. The ECQ shows a Liberal 54.25-45.75 lead on two-party preferred with 44 per cent counted, which sounds pretty convincing. So you could almost call it for a Liberal majority at this point.

8:54pm: More figures in at ABC, and the Liberals have recovered their earlier handsome lead in Holland Park, probably putting any doubts about their majority to rest.

9.04pm: Antony, who has more up to date figures, suggests the four Liberal gains are all holding firm and they are only slightly behind in Enoggera. Doboy still looks in doubt to me, but maybe Antony knows something I don’t.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

162 comments on “Brisbane City Council election live”

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  1. It’s a very comprehensive victory for Newman – won the Mayoral vote in 24 of 26 wards. Note, though, that the scepticism expressed by William and others here on the disparity Galaxy showed between the Mayoral vote and the ward vote was wrong. On the ABC’s figures – it’s 9% – 14.5% to Newman and 5.5% to the Libs in the wards.

    Liberals shouldn’t get too excited, though. The “Can-Do” campaign was an exercise in ignoring the Liberal brand. See here:

    Anyone looking for federal implications might note that the two wards that swung to Labor were Morningside – smack in the middle of Kevin’s territory with a hard working local Councillor – and Wynnum Manly where Ross Vasta was trying to get in after being chucked out of Bonner in the federal election.

    What will be interesting is now the Libs have a majority on Council, if they start acting like Liberals. Early in Newman’s term, he commissioned a consultants’ report which recommended the privatisation of everything and sweeping staff cuts (the BCC employs over 7000 people). He ran away from it. I’m not sure that people who aren’t from Brisbane realise that Labor also had a majority on the Civic Cabinet – effectively Ministers because the scope and reach of the BCC’s responsibilities are broad. A friend of mine on FB just suggested Labor should have stopped “cohabiting” in this fashion two years ago – but a lot of Councillors liked the extra dosh and the power, I guess. Still, they’ll have no chance to be anything but an opposition now, and I hope they come up with some “fresh thinking”.

    Anyway, I’ll stop rabbiting on – I ended up liveblogging it sort of in the LP thread I’ve linked to!

  2. Except to say re Sinic at 51, I voted Labor but I agree they deserve this result. They ran a pathetic campaign. Big swing against Milton Dick – former state secretary – in what used to be yellow dog ALP territory in Richlands. But then the last few state and federal campaigns have effectively been outsourced to Hawker Britton!

    Labor more or less conceded the Mayoralty, and their co-existence with the Libs in the Civic Cabinet meant that they couldn’t define an alternative agenda to Newman’s, having signed off on a lot of what he wanted.

    It shouldn’t have been impossible to beat or at least put a dent in Newman’s lead.

  3. Oh, the Courier-Mail finally get around to covering the campaign after it’s over!

    The performance of the MSM in reporting what was an important election has been pathetic. Even if it was an uninspiring campaign, they should be covering it.

  4. And what’s this?

    His main protagonist, Labor leader in council and deputy mayor David Hinchliffe was fighting for his Central ward after a fierce contest with Greens candidate Anne Boccabella.

    Whatevs, Courier-Mail journo.,23739,23376890-952,00.html

    Hinchliffe is in trouble because of a big swing to his Liberal opponent, Vicki Howard!

  5. You’ve been a busy little blogger this evening Mark.

    The MSM coverage up here in Capricornia has been abysmal also.

    Two new Super Councils in the area and a good whack of the voting public going to the polls with barely a clue about most of the candidates.

    As I said earlier in post 17, Labor didn’t bother to even run their brand up here let alone do any active campaigning.

  6. I’m five beers down, so I won’t look for the link – but re the coverage in Capricornia, I thoroughly agree with what Jason Wilson said on an earlier post about the Qld local gov’t elections – have the media just decided it’s too hard to cover local elections? Too boring? Pffft to that. Elections matter.

  7. However, if the Libs or anyone could actually figure out how to get greater Brissie to work, most of us would be in awe. BTW does anyone know if a large chunk of the Town Hall is still teetering on collapsing? Down it’s own orifice, as it were?

  8. Mark,

    I would have to agree with you that most of the Labor post election parties would seem more like a wake than a celebration.

    Much better for your own self esteem to stay away from too much doom & gloom.

  9. Question re Council Elections in Qld, here in WA Voting isn’t Compulsory, what is the go over there ?

    Over here, voter turnout for council elections is pretty poor. Also, it’s first past the post as well, and in most councils it is now all done via Postal Voting.

  10. Well, it was one of the wards where a Labor candidate was re-elected! But I still suspect the vibe wouldn’t have been great.

    Anyway, nice to chat! I went to uni with your local Federal member, incidentally!

  11. 64 was addressed to Scorpio at 62. Crossed with Frank.

    Frank, it’s compulsory, and it’s optional preferential just like the state elections here. But unlike the state elections the Councils all have four year fixed terms and the whole state votes on the same day.

    For those with memories of Howard’s attempted wedges last year, it’s also interesting to observe that the fast-tracking of the Council amalgamations which were supposedly going to destroy Rudd in Qld was to fit in with the fixed term timetable for today’s elections. I suspect no one remembers the results of any of the plebiscites Howard legislated for, or even if they ever happened.

    Beattie was right to hold his nerve!

  12. I can see some troubled waters ahead for these new Super Councils.

    Naked parochialism is bound to rear its ugly head and the early council meetings should be quite interesting.

    I think Beattie made a mistake with this amalgamation process thinking it would be a relatively smooth transformation like the previous one.

    The big problem this time is the distance between many of the towns gathered into the enlarged Authorities and the varied range of supporting industry bases of many of them.

  13. Rockhampton result is appalling. There was no one for labor people to vote in the mayorality. Rocky votes 70% ALP at state and federal elections. The supposedly ALP outgoing mayor endorsed a rapid right wing ideologue.

    The town was full full of labour people who couldn’t bring themselves to vote tories.

  14. [Anyway, nice to chat! I went to uni with your local Federal member, incidentally! ]

    She did very well for Labor in the Federal Election I must say.

  15. Yeah!

    A lot of “insiders” were claiming that she was going to go backwards against the trend but I didn’t believe it!

    I agree it might be more than teething problems for the Super Councils. But I think Beattie thought it would take two elections at least for things to really mesh in together.

    Does anyone know whether Bob Abbott ran a ticket for the Sunshine Coast?

    I was also interested to see “Snow” Manners – the great anti-recycled water campaigner – get precisely nowhere in Toowoomba.

  16. collingwoodlegend Says:

    [Rockhampton result is appalling. There was no one for labor people to vote in the mayorality. ]

    You’re dead right there colly. I’ll check again tomorrow and see if the count has advanced more towards a final figure, but so far, I think there is only one readily identifyable Labor Councillor elected.

  17. No ALP person for Mayor of Rockhampton! was their a reason for that, I was under the impression that after Mt Isa this was the ALP’s second strongest Town in Queensland

  18. Mark,

    If you cast your mind back to about June last year, I confidently stated that she would have an increased majority and easily retain the seat.

    There were some who cast doubt on that and also on my predictions of picking up Flynn and Dawson.

    Local knowledge always has an edge on wishfull thinking. I always thought that Hinkler was going to be too tough though.

    The main reason for that was the local branches supporting substandard candidates previously and the electorate is now suspicious of the quality of anyone that they put up.

  19. I agree, Scorpio. I noticed that when I was writing about the state election in 06 – I was trying to source info from all over the place, but the further I got from Brissie and areas I knew the thinner ground I felt I was on. It often doesn’t appear to affect commentariat pundits though, but then they never apparently have to admit it when the get things wrong.

    It was a pity about Hinkler.

    Anyway, it was good fun winning money on Centrebet on Flynn, Dawson and Forde!

    I only had a punt on seats in Qld, SA (where I spent a week during the election campaign), and Sydney (where I also spent a few days just before voting day). Worked for me! I wouldn’t have risked my dosh on seats in Melbourne or Perth, for example.

  20. Mexican Beemer Says:

    [No ALP person for Mayor of Rockhampton! was their a reason for that, I was under the impression that after Mt Isa this was the ALP’s second strongest Town in Queensland ]

    I’ve got no idea MB. The local Branches have probably just gone into hibernation after the Federal election and are saving up their energy for the next State poll.

    Most probably there was no Labor Member willing and able to put their hand up to put in the hard yards and run.

    In a lot of respects, Rocky is more of a strong hold for Labor than Mt. Isa. I have lived and worked in both cities.

  21. “Does anyone know whether Bob Abbott ran a ticket for the Sunshine Coast?”

    Mark, quite a few of the divisional candidates gave their imprimatur to Bob. But if there was any public reciprocity from The Big Fellah, I didn’t glom it, but havn’t had a real hawk-eye on the campaign till Natoli’s dog-whistle two days ago.

  22. Same here Mark. I also got a nice little pick-up on Maxine in Bennalong.

    Funnily enough, I offered to have a bet of $100 on Maxine to beat Howard with a local Liberal bigmouth in early September and he refused saying that there was absolutely no way Howard would be beaten and he didn’t want to take my money.

    I felt at the time that this was typical of most die-hard Coalition supporters, that Howard was invincible and that there was no way that they would lose Government.

    They are still having difficulty coming to grips with it. The “born to rule” mentality is fairly well ingrained.

  23. With 47% of the primary vote, it looks like Val Schier is the new mayor here in Cairns. She ran a tight campaign and released information about campaign funding before the vote.
    My commiserations to the spivs and developers who funded the losing candidate. They will be crying in their bulldozers and hill side developments about that one. Interesting that he will reveal his funding after the election is held.
    Compared to state and federal elections, it was strange to hear all day on radio and TV political ads imploring us to vote one way or the other. The media blackout that applies in these other contests is not employed for council elections.

  24. Yeah, I was surprised at the strength of the swings. But probably not as surprised as some of the Party Operatives.

  25. Yep, when I read the comment here that the ALP’s Enogerra candidate was trying to cuddle up to Campbell, I figured they were dead in the water.

    That’s either desparate or dumb. Or both.

    But I reckon they did some polling this week which showed them which way the wind was blowing. From what I heard, they thought they’d be ok a fortnight ago.

  26. Glad to see George Megalogenis back on deck in the OZ.

    At least he puts a bit of effort into researching an issue prior to writing an article on it and comes across as a “reporter” rather than an “opinion” writer.

    His Blog in yesterdays OZ had a steady stream of commenter’s and he saw fit to jump in every now and again and set some of the more deranged commenter’s straight.

    The main thing though, is there is a sense of balance to his writing which is sadly lacking in most of his contemporaries.

  27. [From what I heard, they thought they’d be ok a fortnight ago. ]

    That’s probably the main reason why they got such a pasting.

    I was surprised that Helen Abrahams got beaten. The redistribution may have been a factor there. She seemed to have a fairly strong support base in the Gap but it apparently didn’t hold at the Gabba.

    There may have been other factors of which I am unaware though.

  28. It just goes to show that one should wait till all the booth figures are in before writing a candidate off.

    Those last two booths must have been solid Labor booths because she was well behind when I last checked.

    I’m glad to see she got up. I have known her for a long time and was surprised to see her so far behind seeing she has always to my knowledge, been a very capable and active Councillor.

  29. The Sunshine Coast Regional Council looks like being.

    Bob Abbott – Mayor

    DWYER, Tim
    DICKSON, Christian
    BLUMEL, Debbie
    GRIFFIN, Vivien
    GREEN, Russell
    BRENNAN, Lew

    With 4 divisions in doubt.

    The only candidate endorsed by Abbott was Russel Green.

    In div 9 Cate Malloy and Bruce Dunne had a preference deal, plus Dunne’s major support base (the surf club) would have had a lot of people pre-poll voting because of the surf championships on the Gold Coast – maybe closer than it looks.

    Cate Malloy loses her 3rd election in a row State, Federal then Local.

    Debbie Blumel former Labor candidate for everything finally wins an election.

  30. I notice what seems to be a high percentage (around 5%) of informal votes right across the Gold Coast, given that we have optional preferential, hard to understand unless there is a large protest component.

  31. Five of the ten councillors elected in Rocky are ALP members. But they will probably not work together.

    The outgoing Mayor who is an ALP member supported using Workchoices, she claimed she had no alternative due to LGAQ advice.

    I’d love to know who though the member for Capricornia would go backwards? She seems to be often underrated within the ALP and by the conservatives.

  32. [Debbie Blumel former Labor candidate for everything finally wins an election.]

    About time too, ruawake. How many times has she been a candidate now?

  33. This is all a bit strange viewed from SA. Are the council elections in Qld openly Labor vs Liberal? Over here the party affiliation of council candidates is never mentioned. Is Adelaide the odd one out?

  34. Great result in Richlands. Largest swing (15%) in an Ward… had it not been for the redistribution (and loss of Forest Lake), the Libs would have won. This is a swing larger Forde, and they still loss.

  35. Diogenes, in Victoria, council candidates may be openly either Lib. or Lab. or Green, or not openly stated or Independent.

  36. Diogenes – Brisbane City Council is normally openly Labor vs Liberal and must be the exception to the rule. With the other councils it’s not mentioned much, but I think us political tragics know where the affiliations lie and thus discuss it that way.

    Also I wanted to say well done to Drew Hutton in my ward of The Gabba, 27% of the vote is no mean feat. Conversely Helen Abrahams is a solid local member and it was good to see she held on.

  37. Well some comments:

    First, I’m not surprised Newman won; when I was in Brisbane a week ago I got absolutely no perception of a desire for change against Newman. Several people I asked didn’t even know who the Liberal mayoral candidate was. Also, personal bias on transport planning matters here but Newman has tried to fix Brisbane’s transport problems, unlike the former Federal Liberal government. State Labor is working hard on transport now, but they did very little from 2000 to 2004, when the problem really developed.

    Delighted to see Bob Abbott win the Sunshine Coast mayoral contest. In my experience he is a person genuinely committed to improving quality of life, and not just a stooge in developers pockets. Given that he came from the smallest of the three previous Councils (Noosa 50000 pop vs Maroochy 120000 and Caloundra 90000) it showed that people in the new combined city could see past local parochialism and vote for the best candidate.

  38. I was disappointed with the lack of any campaign by Labor…if they thought they could ride on the shirt-tail of the fed election, they were mistaken.

    At least the Liberals made themselves visible, but I will not consider voting for them at any level until all the members of the former federal government are long gone and they re-invent themselves.

    Yep…voted Green as opposed to informal and it will be interesting to see what spin the Liberals will put on it in question time.

  39. 96 Ogmios – why would the Libs ask about a council election in federal parliament in question time. Seems like a waste of a question to me.

  40. The only people remotely interested or knowing of the council elections and the result are your political tragics and many Queenslanders and even some of those see it as a minor event.

  41. Sorry I should have said people didn’t know who the Labour candidate for Brisbane Mayor was. But perhaps that is the point.

    Is there some chance that Labour polling told them a while ago that Newman would win so they basically just ran dead in a contest where there are no $ per vote as in State and Federal elections?

  42. Gary

    That is true but I think it is a regrettable view. Despite its low interest and level of media scrutiny, local governments make decisions that can affect communities for better and for worse.

    In my experience in government local government was always the least scrutinised level of government but often the most crooked. In Qld, where I came from, Councillors having a “material conflict of interest” while voting on development approvals did not even become an offence until the 1992 LG Act!

    My description of local government would be:
    “Government of the real estate developers, by the real estate developers, for the real estate developers”.

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