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. 97

    Gary, I’m willing to wager that a snide remark will be made in some way this week in parliament from either side.

    Loser to mail William $50…I’m game.

  2. 101 Ogmios – I’m not suggesting it won’t come up at all, as in a snide remark. I’m suggesting it will not be the main focus of a question. Are you? Big difference.

  3. Gary…I do not believe it will be the focus of a question at all.

    So bets off…I’ll still sending William the money though…haven’t contributed for months.

  4. Joe Hockey is already out of the starting block claiming Newman’s win demonstrates a Lib revival:

    As Graham Young says, this is “baloney”:

    Collingwoodlegend at 88, the “Livermore will be in trouble” story started in the Crikey guide to the election – apparently based on a view that coal miners wouldn’t like Labor’s climate change stance and some spin from someone or other that she wasn’t a good local member or campaigner. It then spread throughout the punditariat, and was being mentioned in the campaign itself. I got through to the Crikey folks to tell them it was almost certainly wrong – but once something like that takes off among Canberra based commentators who probably never go anywhere near Brisbane let alone Rocky, it stuck.

    It’s an interesting case study in itself of how MSM political “analysis” works.

    I should add that I really appreciated the fact that Charles Richardson from Crikey took the time to actually come up here and travel round all the marginals talking to folks in order to inform his writing on the election, rather than sitting in Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne pontificating as too many “insiders” do. So good on him.

  5. Would one of the brilliant psephologists here please explain to me the acronym OO ? I imagine it is the old GG?
    Cheers everyone

  6. There’s little connection between the BCC election and the state of the Liberal Party – Brisbane politics doesn’t necessarily have much connection with national or state politics. Brisbane politics seems to me to be quite pragmatic and has, since Soorley was Lord Mayor, been about the person and “their team” more than the Liberal/Labor brand.

  7. It’s a bit hard to claim the BCC election is a Liberal revivial when Newman’s campaign id everything it could to hide the Liberal brand during the campaign. This result is Newman’s – with some major contribution from an inept ALP.

  8. So will Drew Hutton now FINALLY stand aside and let others in the Greens undertake their perennial tour of duty as a candidate hog?

  9. Was Brisbane a case of Labor not coming to terms with fact they had lost the last election and behaving like a govt in exile? If you look at Labor’s recovery from the early 1990s wipeouts it seems that a bad loss can be recovered from quicker than a narrow one.

  10. Good thought Geoff.
    Labor seemed to hold the view that they were beaten last time because Newman was easier to market than Tim Quinn. The fact that they maintained a strong majority in the chamber led them to believe that they still had the confidence of the electorate – and so they did little to examine why they lost the Lord Mayoralty.

    Big mistake. But as you say, the large thumping this time may lead them to do some serious work on regaining the confidence of the voters in 4 years.

  11. re BrissyRod @113
    Drew may be a perennial candidate but he didn’t run for Mayor this time (he ran in The Gabba, encompassing parts of the old Dutton Park & East Brisbane), The Mayoral vote grew for the Greens this time around.

    I did notice was the exhaust rate for Green candidates – seemed to be about 65%. Were there no direction of preferences? And while the ALP lost considerable ground the Greens maintained their vote across Brisbane and even ran in areas they’ve not covered before. However, the Green vote seemed to be decreasing in the northern suburbs, increasing in central & south-eastern Brisbane, and static in the west.

  12. It’s quite obvious to me. The electorate clearly didn’t want Labor to be in power everywhere in Australia. Wall to wall Labor and all that.
    John Howard and Dennis Shanahan got it right this critically important election for all Australians.

  13. yes OO is the Opposition Orifice, the only functioning part of the Liberal party at the moment.

    I don’t think people see council elections in terms of left or right politics or do they draw any connection between candidates and one party or another. The only issue of late [considering the laughable state of the Libs and Nats in Qld of late] that may have made some consider delivering an anti-ALP vote was the emotive council amalgamations issue. I guess people riled by that were more likely to get and vote.

  14. I am glad that William has drawn the line at Council elections because I fail to see the significance or ideology of sewage, drainage and curb & guttering. Maybe some of you can enlighten me what it means for labour or liberal managerial determination of the biggest council in Australia?
    What ideological underpinning is there for the running of a local office that sub contracts out many services. Is there a train of thought that gives precedent to certain ideals. ? I would of thought that council control of services was based on intimate knowledge of voter prejudices rather than federal prerogative.

  15. BCC doesn’t subcontract out services, which is the whole point I was making earlier about the danger of the Libs actually acting according to their ideology – re the earlier comment about the consultants report Newman received in his first term recommending the privatisation of everything.

    BCC has over 7000 employees and is responsible within its municipal area (with a population just short of 1 million) for many things state governments do in other capital cities – major roads, most public transport, water, a lot of infrastructure, cultural facilities, etc. Surely this point has been made often enough on this thread.

    The City Budget is 1.5 billion dollars.

    Do we need to justify further why this election mattered?

  16. Were there no direction of preferences?

    The Greens directed preferences in only two wards – Morningside (to the Libs) and Holland Park (to Labor). The Libs and Labor ran just vote one tickets for the Mayoralty and every ward.

  17. And while the ALP lost considerable ground the Greens maintained their vote across Brisbane and even ran in areas they’ve not covered before.

    That’s a very optimistic spin.

    The Greens shouldn’t have gone backwards in the Mayoral vote when there was bugger all difference between Labor and Liberal in policy. At best The Greens maintained their vote in the wards, and Drew deserves some credit for establishing a basis in the areas of the new Gabba ward where no candidate had previously been run. But none of the folks from The Greens I talked to today were feeling chipper.

    Basically, The Greens failed to gain any new votes, except where they hadn’t run before, and went a little backwards if you take into account areas where there had been Greens running in the past and across the city for the Mayoral race. Static is probably about the most favourable description for their performance, sadly.

    Was Brisbane a case of Labor not coming to terms with fact they had lost the last election and behaving like a govt in exile?

    That’s spot on, Geoff, except they weren’t even in exile. As I’ve observed earlier in the thread, they still held a majority of spots in Civic Cabinet. So they were in effect in an uneasy and unstable coalition with Newman. They should have withdrawn at least two years ago, given up the Ministerial style salaries, and acted like an opposition. Then they might have had a shot of winning. Short term power trumped electoral sense.

    Sacha, you forget how strongly Soorley spoke out on many social issues (such as Indigenous reconciliation) which had little to do with his actual responsibilities. He certainly did a fair bit towards branding himself as Labor – and left Labor at that.

  18. The complete lack of any real campaign by Labor still puzzles the hell out of me. Who was managing it – and are they still employed today?

  19. No one should blame Athony Chislom for the Labor debacle, if blame has to placed it should be with Milton Dick and David Hinchcliffe for not having the ticker to run for mayor.

  20. Collingwood – I’m more than happy to see the blame shared. So long as it comes to rest where it should – and that changes are made

  21. “No one should blame Athony Chislom for the Labor debacle, if blame has to placed it should be with Milton Dick and David Hinchcliffe for not having the ticker to run for mayor.”

    Peter Brent (Mumble) says the Party leader is always blamed for a loss, and the Campaign Manager always gets credit for a win. :^)

    But seriously, given the shocking state of the ALP campaign and the size of the swings against both Hinchcliffe and Dick, it’s hard to see how either of those two could have made any difference at all. In fact, if Hinchcliffe hadn’t been the sitting councillor, Central would be safely Liberal.


  22. I think Milton should be blamed for the campaign and for Greg Rowel. I think Hinchcliffe should have run for Mayor, it takes a truely remarkable person to win the mayoralty without council experience, a Jim Soorely or a Campbell Newman. A political novice like Rowell, who was constantly undermined by the ALP coucillors during the campaign had no chance.

    Credit to Rowell for having a go condemnation to Milton Dick for sending him ‘over the top’, to be slaughtered.

  23. I agree completely Collingwood. Rowell was totally out of his depth and shouldn’t have been there. Dick lived up to his name with that decision. As for being undermined by councillors – he was certainly undermined by the Enoggera candidate’s letter to the residents that arrived 2 days before the election. If anything sealed my vote for the Greens (and I’m a rusted-on Labor voter) it was that letter. It was disgraceful.

    As for Dick, he looks like surviving the biggest swing against Labor in the city. Which probably means he won’t learn much.

    I want to see Labor return to power in Brisbane (and I want to be able to vote for them next time) so here’s some pointers:
    1. Be a positive Opposition. Put forward positive policies that present a plan for a sustainable and liveable city into the future.
    2. Emphasise improving public transport and weaning us off our reliance on cars.
    3. Beware conflicts of interest. Receiving donations from developers is not a good look.
    4. Choose your mayoral candidate by mid-term. Find someone with clear local government (or other relevant management experience), good people and media skills (and give them some training in this!) and give her/him 2 years to market themselves to the community. 10 months is not enough time!

  24. re Mark @123
    Well, I’ve said before that i DO have political leanings…
    But that said, I worked from the ABC website and noted the shift in votes across Brisbane with a small but perceptible improvement in the overall vote. Yes, they went backwards in some wards – I wont venture an opinion as to why as I don’t know the areas at all well, but question whether it should be seen as a general trend or related more to the individual candidates, policies and activities in each ward. I have long held that the Greens aren’t about to make spectacular breakthroughs (Cunningham notwithstanding) but will improve steadily over time, perhaps with a contraction in some areas (especially in Lib held seats as people consider the Greens as a broadly based party that just the environment – hence the loss of votes across north Sydney at the last Federal election).

    Perhaps more importantly is that they are running in areas not covered before, are getting reasonable 3rd party/independent votes (9-11%) in a number of seats (particularly in the south of the city) and could potentially influence future election outcomes.

    So, optimistic spin? Maybe, but it also depends on your expectations.

    re Zedder @ 121
    There is a lot more to Council than roads, rates and rubbish these days. The political and ideological motivations of Councillors does influence there attitude to planning (whether development, transport responses or urban open space), and has strong implications for attitude to Council provded community services such as Libraries, childcare housing support, bicycle provision etc.

    And then there is question of party cultures in this – consider the very real negative influences of political party donations in the administration of cities like Wollongong and Liverpool, and their potentially corrupting influence.

  25. Does anyone have any historical data on the percentage of voters who choose to go full preferential in Qld, rather than optional?

  26. State elections are boring enough – but city council elections are more boring than the proverbial batsh-t. Personally, I couldn’t care less which party will decide the colour of bin lids in Brisbane City.

    Lucky we’re not in America, otherwise we’d have to put up with threads with even more boring races than council elections – eg. the primary elections for the Ada County dog catcher…

  27. A mayoral candidate needs to paint a picture ….. a vision of what may need to be done. With Newman it was tunnels. Poor Greg Rowell had nothing to offer & his council team ran a mile. Where to from here & will lessons be learned by Labor??

  28. 145 [Where to from here & will lessons be learned by Labor??]

    From here it is on to the next state election and lessons will have to be learned from this dog of a campaign that was run here. Put this one down to another confirmation of the ‘disunity is death’ theory. If Labor doesn’t have all it’s parts working towards a win, they lose badly every time. Too many just put in no effort and reaped the rewards of their inaction.

    Similarly the Liberals on the Gold Coast found that truckloads of money will not overcome a disjointed and nasty campaign.

  29. Anthony Chisholm MUST take a proportion of the blame for the disasterous campaign waged by the ALP. Civic Caucus, of course, must take the other part of ‘the blame’ too.

    So why Chisholm? As I have said before ‘you cant take the position (campaign director) if you can’t take the responsibility that goes with it’. Of course, Milton Dick should share some of that blame with his good friend Anthony.

  30. I should add one more pointer to my list at 132:

    5. Stop dumping candidates on us whose only life experience has been working as a Labor staffer. Give us people to vote for who have contributed something to the community (and I don’t mean those who joined some local community group because they were a candidate and needed to show some ‘community involvement’ on their CV).

  31. BrissyRod @ 148

    There’s more than enough blame to go around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more lacklustre and disorganised campaign in my life. Of course Chisolm should shoulder the responsibility – as should Dick, Hinchliffe, the entire campaign committee and probably most of the counsellors who were so focussed on tripping up the Lord Mayor that they failed to come up with any kind of vision or plan for Brisbane’s future. They failed our trust and consequently lost it.

    It won’t be easily regained and Labor must not make the mistake of thinking that they simply have to wait till Newman fails. They need to present a credible alternative.

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