New South Wales council elections thread

By popular demand, here’s a thread for discussion of the New South Wales council elections. Can’t tell you much about them myself, except that they’re on tomorrow. Antony Green has an index of candidates and the ABC will be publishing results, no doubt in more digestible form than the New South Wales Electoral Commission.

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.

366 comments on “New South Wales council elections thread”

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  1. You might be typing raw HTML into the visual editor… flick over to the HTML editor, or just use the buttons in the visual one. (This will make it easy for you to do proper lists now, too!)

  2. I’ll be in Campbelltown. I think it’ll be a very bad day for Labor and a very good day for the Greens, although I doubt we’ll see much shift in councils like Campbelltown.

  3. The Libs didn’t endorse anyone here in the Sutherland Shire… which is strange. So now I know – I must put the Independents last on my preferences.

    Unfortunately there are no Greens in C Ward.

  4. Generic Person: Liberals always win here, nothing new!
    And I’d expect the Greens to hurt Labor more tomorrow, particularly in Marrickville, Waverley, Leichardt.

  5. Count, how will the Greens do in Miranda/Sutherland Shire?
    I’ll vote for the Greens running in my Hornsby Council ward, you’ll be pleased to know.

  6. “Count, how will the Greens do in Miranda/Sutherland Shire?”
    Ummm, I’m not sure. The area is pretty Conservative and we lost votes here at the last Federal level. I would expect that some disillusioned Labor supporters will come over, but we also have some other minor environmental parties running, which may split the vote.
    “I’ll vote for the Greens running in my Hornsby Council ward, you’ll be pleased to know.”
    Good on you mate.

  7. I’m definitely lodging a protest vote against Labor, particularly over Premier Rees promoting that corrupt bastard Tripodi to the Finance Ministry.

  8. No 15

    If you’re voting Greens, it’s not really a protest vote. It goes straight to Labor.

    Vote independent or Liberal if you want to actually affect change.

  9. GP don’t you under stand the voting system?
    If you are handing out HTV’s you should familiarize yourself with the system and stop making ignorant incorrect statements.

  10. Hmm, from the NSW Electoral Commission site.

    Please remember: Voting is compulsory for all residential electors enrolled in a Council area in which there are elections for councillors or mayors or there is a referendum. Voting is also compulsory for all electors on the non-residential rolls of the Council of the City of Sydney.

    Voting is not compulsory for electors enrolled on all other Councils’ non-residential rolls.

    Here in WA it isn’t compulsory to vote in Council Elections full stop, and most councils are elected via Postal Voting and have done away with physical elections.

    Oh and there is no overt Party Politics either – ie no Party endorsement, Bunting etc.

  11. hahahaha – is it compulsory to vote in these elections?

    You poor suckers. Like Frank, we South Australian’s get off easy, letter in the mailbox every couple of years asking us to tick a few boxes, and zero (or at least minimal) party politics.

    I always try to get interested. Usually end up failing spectacularly. I just – like most others – can’t summon the enthusiasm. Which is probably why we always get such incompetent council members I guess.

  12. Compulsory voting doesn’t help the enthusiasm levels or the competence of the elected councillors.

    We get the same incompetent ego-maniacs and time servers in the pocket of developers as everyone else. Oh well, at least the primary school will have a sausage sizzle on.

    Traditionally there have been very few Liberals running as Liberals in the past, they ran as Indepedents. Obviously feeling confident this time around.

    Like most, I think Labor will get a kicking today. The Greens will benefit close to the city and the Liberals everywhere else. Good Independents will do well everywhere.

  13. My first vote ever as a New South Welshperson, how exciting. Fortunately I got a nice ALP brochure in my letterbox or I wouldn’t have a clue who to vote for. I don’t even know what ward I’m in. Nor do I know whether we are currently in or out of power here. No doubt after tonight we will be out.

    How do I get an avatar?

  14. Surprise, we don’t have wards, just a citywide vote for mayor and councillors. In beautiful voting weather, I voted for Tom Mavec for mayor. I know nothing about him but I’m sure he’ll be a splendid mayor. I always get a thrill from voting, and I am always filled with admiration for the peaceful, pleasant, civilised way we conduct our politics.

  15. Looks like Cambell Newman will lose his crown as top elected Liberal this weekend, either in WA or maybe a Lib Lord Mayor of Sydney.

    Or is Brisbane Council larger than Sydney, I think so and maybe Grylls will keep Cambell’s title in place.

    But I forgot Cambell is not a Lib he is a LNP. Barnett, if he becomes premier will be kind of L-NP so maybe its the Sydney Mayor?

    Or maybe not. 🙂

  16. Reba Meagher (ex Health Minister) has announced her resignation from parliament. Nathan Rees can’t take a trick. But what a bizarre day to do it. Why not wait until tomorrow after the council elections.

    For a Liberal who has suffered for last 10 years it is great to see Labor begin to eat their own. The Liberals could take power through a series of by-elections over the next 2 years (unlikely but possible).

  17. ruawake, there’s no way the Libs are going to win Sydney. They’ll come second last after the Independant candidate. Moore will win on the back of Greens/Labor preferences, if not outright.

    The Greens are going to clean up around the state, though they’ve got a huge chance of improving numbers in Sydney with Labor preferencing them.

  18. Does anyone know off the top of the bat how many (if any) of the four seats the Libs are likely to win in the upcoming NSW by-elections? From my reckoning there are going to be four of them, presumably they will be held on the same day.

    While a seat like Iemma’s is unlikely to go Liberal, it could very well fall to a decent independent (or even a Green perhaps) such is the state of the Labor brand in NSW at the moment. Mind you, I’m sure Barry can find some way to stuff it up…

  19. There’s no way the Libs will win Sydney lord mayoralty. I’d give Clover Moore 90% chance with a slim chance of the ALP winning. Anyway, it’s much much smaller and less significant than the City of Brisbane.

    I’ve just finished a day at Robert Townson polling booth in Campbelltown. Labor had an exceptional result in 2004, winning 7 (up from 5 in 1999). There’s 2 Libs, 1 Green and 5 Indies (including two on Russell Matheson’s ticket).

    Labor should lose support, but I can’t see them being devestated the way a lot of local ALP tickets will be. My prediction: Labor to lose one to the Libs (ALP 6 Lib 3). It’s also possible that the Greens will gain one seat at the expense of either another ALP councillor (reducing them to 5), Bob Thompson, Sue Dobson, or Russell Matheson’s #2 councillor, Paul Lake.

    I’ll try and update with results around the state as the night goes on, if I can get to an internet connection.

  20. In fact the by-elections will be a bigger risk for O’Farrell than for Rees. Everyone expects Labor to get routed, so if we can hold any one of the four that will look quite good, and Rees can spin it as “the start of the road back” etc. But if O’Farrell fails to win Ryde (swing required 9.9%), he’s through.

  21. Bear in mind that of the four seats one is not held by the ALP and two of the others won’t fall, no matter how bad the ALP falls. The ALP will not lose Cabramatta or Lakemba, so any attempt to spin the ALP “only” losing one of its three seats is ridiculous.

  22. Adam, I agree. I am surprised that the “expectations” game has already been won by Labor. Everyone expects Libs to win Ryde. I think O’Farrell should be doing more to lower expectations – the usual “average swing is 3 point something and so it will be difficult to win” etc.

    A 9 percent swing is huge but everyone expect the Libs to get it. If they don’t I think Mike Baird will start to count numbers.

  23. I wouldn’t put Port Macquarie in the Nationals box so quickly. Two strong independents will give them a run for their money and are likely to draw preferences away from them. One is Rob Oakeshott’s press secretary and the other is Lisa Inteman, a former councillor who’s got the support of a few big community groups.

    We also don’t know if the Libs are running a candidate, which would fracture the conservative vote, but by the time it came to preferences I don’t think it’d be that big of a deal.

  24. Ben, I’m talking about Cabramatta, Lakemba, Rockdale and Ryde, all held by Labor. Labor could indeed lose all four. By-elections are not like regular elections. British Labour just lost Glasgow East, one of the safest seats in the country. We lost Bass Hill when Wran resigned, and it was just as “safe” as these four. In the current circs, holding any of them would actually be a surprise.

  25. Max and others

    LGAs in NSW have quite a lot power and spend a shedloada money especially ones like Blacktown City where the budget is enormous. More people will vote in Blacktown than in for example NT. The population of each ward dwarfs those of WA lower house seats.

  26. Max at 37, spot on, Fatty O’Barrell will probably do something disasterous, pick a candidate who is a murderer, mafia members, etc, etc. It’s happened before in NSW. The best the good people of NSW can hope for is for the Greens to pick up some of these sets (Lakemba, Cabramatta). Have you noticed how Lee Rhiannon has been getting excellent news coverage lately? I’m not a Greens voter by any means, but happy to see them leading the agenda.

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