Victorian council elections: November 29

UPDATE (29/11/08): For inside dope on progressive counting, Ben Raue of The Tally Room will feed through results provided by his contacts in the Greens. Andrew Landeryou at VexNews might be good for news from the other side of the fence. The Poll Bludger Investigations Unit is also at work in comments.

Local government is the proverbial bridge too far as far as my own commentary is concerned, but here by popular demand is a thread for reader discussion of the imminent Victorian council elections. I gather that most of these are held by post with a deadline of Friday, November 28 for receipt of ballots, but a few holdouts (Banyule, Brimbank, Greater Dandenong, Glen Eira, Hobsons Bay, Knox, Moreland, Port Phillip and my old home of Yarra) do it the old-fashioned way the following day (see the Victorian Electoral Commission for more detail).

Not sure how much success I’ll have with this, but it’s a worth a try. Readers who know or care about a particular local government contest are invited to write a brief, non-partisan overview in comments. If it meets my specifications I will give it a run up here, while keeping an ongoing invitation to other commenters to suggest additions or amendments. To get the ball rolling, I’ll start with everything I can tell you about the race for the lord mayoralty.

Melbourne City Council: After serving two four-year terms as lord mayor, John So is not seeking a third. The candidates to watch appear to be former state Liberal leader Robert Doyle; Adam Bandt, the Greens candidate who came within swinging distance of Lindsay Tanner in the seat of Melbourne at last year’s federal election; current councillor Catherine Ng; Will Fowles, who I’m told is from the Labor Left; Peter McMullin, former Geelong mayor and Labor election candidate linked to the party’s Right faction (although his running mate is the none too Labor-friendly Tim Wilson, director of the Institute of Public Affairs’ free trade unit); and Gary Morgan of Roy Morgan Research fame. The latter has helpfully furnished us with his very own opinion poll, which shows Doyle well ahead of Bandt on first preferences with Ng in third place. Second preferences are apparently set to produce a close race for second between Bandt, Ng and Morgan, with none posing a threat to Doyle. Bandt appears not to have done well out of preference recommendations, including those of candidates linked to Labor.

Darebin City Council: Three wards electing three councillors. Hat tip to Martin B and Caroline Church for the following.
Rucker ward: There are two Labor candidates, two Greens (Trent McCarthy and Helen Brown) and five others, only one of whom has much of an independent local profile – Darren Lewin-Hill. The ward is the stronghold of the Labor Unity sub-faction associated with state MPs Theo Theophanous and Nazih Elasmar, and is not being contested by the rival sub-faction of Michael Leighton and Robin Scott, the former and current members for Preston. At corresponding booths in the 2007 federal election, Labor polled 49 per cent of the primary vote, the Greens 31 per cent and Liberal 16 per cent. If those numbers are reflective of this vote, the result should be straightforward: one Labor and one Greens candidate will be comfortably elected, with the third seat going to the other Labor candidate or, less likely, Lewin-Hill if he can gather enough Labor preferences and votes from Liberals.
Cazaly ward: There are 17 candidates, nine of whom identify as Labor members (4 Unity, 4 Socialist Left, one unaligned), plus one Greens, one “conservative independent” (allegedly a former Labor member with a decidedly non-conservative activist history) and six other independents. The Labor candidates include incumbents Vince Fontana, a former mayor and member of the Leighton-Scott faction, and Alison Donohue, who is also receiving Leighton-Scott preferences but is apparently not directly linked. Haphazard preference arrangements suggests their proliferation might be down not to dummy candidates, as one might suspect, but to poor party organisation. Donohue and two other candidates, Ben Morgan and Joe Cutri, seem to have fared the best of the nine on preferences. The corresponding federal booth results were Labor 60 per cent, Liberal 20 per cent and Greens 16 per cent, suggesting Greens candidate Mohammed El-leissy will have to rely on Labor fragmentation to get a look-in.
La Trobe ward: Even more candidates than Cazaly ward, with better organisation lending greater credence to suspicions of dummy candidates. No fewer than 16 candidates recommend some permutation of preferences for Gaetano Greco and Tim Laurence of the Labor Socialist Left, while five candidates recommend preferences for the Unity ticket of Stanley Chiang (another associated of Leighton and Scott) and Tania Sharkas. Also on the receiving end of most Socialist Left preference arranagements is Melissa Salata of the Theophanous-Elasmar sub-faction of Labor Unity, who is hostile to the Leighton-Scott sub-faction. That leaves only the Greens candidate, Sara Scally, and another who recommends a preference to her. The campaign between the Socialist Left and Unity has been bitter: Laurence took internal party action against Chiang (which was dismissed), and there were counter-claims that Laurence broke party rules with his material. The federal election booth numbers here were Labor 62 per cent, Liberal 23 per cent and Greens 8 per cent, suggesting the issue is likely to be how the three seats divide between Socialist Left and Unity.

Banyule City Council: Consists of seven wards in Melbourne’s inner north-east. Olympia ward: Incumbent Anthony Carbines is chief-of-staff to Education Minister Bronwyn Pike (and the son of upper house MP Elaine Carbines), and thus unquestionably aligned to Labor. Beale ward: Incumbent Wayne Phillips was the Liberal member for Eltham from 1992 to 2002, when he became one of dozens of victims of the first Brackslide. Ibbot ward: Incumbent Tom Melican is said to be an independent. Hawdon ward: Vacant ward being contested by two Labor members, Sandra MacNeil and Martin Appleby, along with an independent and a Green. Grimshaw ward: Labor incumbent Dean Sherriff is being contested by two fellow party members, Frank Beard and Jess Paul. Sherriff’s career on council was saved in April 2007 when a conviction for criminal damage was overturned on appeal, but he retains a conviction for assault relating to the same incident. Griffin ward: Incumbent Jenny Mulholland challenged by Steve Walpole, a Labor member, and Dora Bergman, a one-time running mate of Mulholland. Bakewell ward: A rematch between Liberal incumbent Peter McKenna and Labor member Michael Paul, following a very close result in 2005. Andrew Landeryou’s VexNews reports that Greens candidate Ian Kirk has raised eyebrows by giving McKenna his second preference. A Greens supporter in comments claims this was in response to Paul’s attitude in preference negotiations, but the Labor camp insists discussions were entirely cordial until Kirk advised he would preference McKenna on the grounds that he was a “serious candidate”.

Glen Eira City Council: Glen Eira has gone against the prevailing trend by changing from postal to attendance voting. This has apparently discouraged dummy candidates, resulting in 26 nominations compared with 61 in 2005. The council consists of three wards which each elect three councillors, with seven sitting councillors seeking re-election. The assessments that follow come direct from Winston in comments. Camden ward: Michael Lipshutz and Helen Whiteside are standing for re-election and appear to be working together with the backing of the Liberal Party – although neither are members. Other candidates include local businessman Frank Penhalluriack (who actually lives in Kew) and a residents group ticket headed by Peter Blight. Lipshutz is a prominent member of the Jewish community and with over one third of the ward Jewish should have no problems getting re-elected. Penhalluriack has number one position on the voting card which will help him. Lipshutz, Whiteside and Penhalluriack are spending big and will probably be elected. Rosstown ward: Nine candidates. Three sitting councillors standing: Margaret Esakoff, Steven Tang and Rob Spaulding. This is the only ward with a Greens candidate – Neil Pilling – who could be the wild card as he is getting some flow of preferences. Tucker ward: Ten candidates, two sitting councillors standing: Nick Staikos (Labor) and Henry Buch (Liberal). Buch may struggle as he only recently joined council on a countback after the resignation of former Mayor David Feldman. Fellow Liberal and former councillor Jamie Hyams has scored number one position and should be elected. The other candidate with a chance is Jim Magee, who lead the fight to save the local swimming pool and polled well in the 2005 election.

Kingston City Council: The council has been reformed from seven single-member wards to three three-member wards. Hat-tip to Deano in comments for the following. North ward: Incumbent councillors Greg Alabaster and Arthur Athanasopolous are likely to be returned, but the third is up for grabs. Contestants are Paul Peulich, son of Liberal MP Inga Peulich, and Liz Larking, a past councillor and former ALP member. Mara Hayler is running for the Greens. Central ward: No fewer than 21 candidates have nominated, included 73-year-old mayor Bill Nixon and councillor Rosemary West. Other candidates include past councillor Ron Brownless, said to have done well out of preference recommendations, and John Natoli, an independent running a “well-organised campaign”. Three candidates have Labor links, including former state upper house MP Noel Pullen. Geoff Heard is said to be a “dark horse” and a “greenie”, although the actual Greens candidate is Dean Andrew. South Ward: John Ronke, incumbent for the Braeside Park ward, is said to be certain to win one of the three seats. Twelve candidates are competing for the other two. They include Donna Bauer, said to have run a “big spending campaign”; Trever Shewan, a former councillor; Carlos Lopez, the candidate of the Greens; Jeremy Nash, a member of the ALP; and Peter Wertheimer, an RSL captain.

Port Phillip City Council: JH writes in comments: “Another interesting council will be Port Phillip with the Unchain crew looking a reasonable chance in Catani Ward (Serge Thomann has been getting lots of press) and MAV boss Dick Gross could have a fight on his hands to be re-elected in Junction Ward. Having said that, I’ve not seen HTVs for anyone, so I don’t know who’s giving what. The Greens are running in every ward bar Albert Park, which is uncontested.”.

Bendigo Shire Council: The Greens have an incumbent mayor here in David Jones, seeking re-election in Kangaroo Flat ward. Another Greens incumbent is former mayor Julie Rivendell of Eppalock ward. The council consists of nine single-member wards: I gather councillors have an annual vote to determine who hte mayor will be for the coming year. The Greens between them have held the position for three of the past four years. North West Plains ward councillor Kevin Gibbins was a Liberal candidate at the 2004 federal and 2006 state elections.

Mount Alexander Shire Council: Commenter Follow the Preferences has high hopes for the Greens here. The council consists of the three-member Castlemaine ward in the centre, which is surrounded by the single-member rural wards of Tarrengower, Calder, Coliban and Loddon. The Greens have one incumbent in Philip Schier of Castlemaine ward, with Jan Garood and Doug Ralph respectively contesting Coliban and Calder.

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.

381 comments on “Victorian council elections: November 29”

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  1. I don’t live in Melbourne any more and I haven’t spoken to anyone in the Victorian ALP about this, but I expect Labor would prefer Doyle to Bandt. Doyle is a fairly moderate conservative and left parliament full of bile towards the state Liberals, so his election would not be seen as a victory for Ted Baillieu. Bandt on the other hand would use the Lord Mayoralty to build a base to challenge Labor in inner Melbourne at both state and federal levels. It’s a bit sad that the electoral politics of inner Melbourne and Sydney pit Labor and the Greens against each other, but that’s the fact of the matter. Labor has to defend its seats in these areas against the Greens, and if preferencing Doyle helps to do that, then that’s what will happen.

  2. It is incorrect to describe Glen Eira as a holdout for having attendance voting because it has been introduced for this election (the council prior to the 2005 election decided on attendance voting but the decision was overturned after that council was sacked).

    I have read attendance voting reduces stooge candidacy in urban councils.

    The Melbourne City Council has been stacked with business votes by the City of Melbourne Act 2001.

    The last person the state government wants in the Lord Mayor`s robes is Adam Bandt.

  3. Adam if you want Labor and the Greens to stop fighting each other so intensely then you should support the introduction of PR in the lower houses.

    Your statement about the electoral politics of inner Melbourne and Sydney has echoes of the whinge on television by Ms Pike after her narrow victory in 2006 where she said something like she was disappointed that the Greens had chosen to challenge Labor where progressive politics had been so strong for so long. Imagine the political storm if a Labor MLA in a Labor/Liberal marginal had complained about the Liberals challenging them.

    Green gains are expected in these elections partly because more councils have multi-member wards (which all have PR (I have never got my head around how multi-member majority-preferential, which was the previous multi-member ward system (a good thing the Backs government removed it because it is undemocratic), works)).

  4. I was not saying that you thought that that the Greens should not try and take seats off Labor but that there was a certain similarity in logic but your statement did not have the distinct undertone of wanting the seat still to be a safe Labor seat like she originally won preselection for.

  5. It’s been a long-standing practice that the major parties don’t endorse candidates for local government elections, or else endorse them selectively. This is because of the abundant evidence that voters don’t like party politics in local council elections. The Liberals have never (as far as I can recall) run endorsed candidates for local government. You can bet that most of the independent councillors in middle-class areas are Liberal Party members. In Victoria Labor does so only in some of its heartland councils in the northern and western suburbs. So in the Lord Mayoral race there are two ALP members running but neither is an endorsed Labor candidate. In some councils there are “ALP supported” candidates running against each other – they are allowed to use the Labor logo but not to call themselves “endorsed Labor candidates.”

  6. Members of a political party who do not have endorsements should have ‘endorsed (insert the name of their political party here)” written next to their name on the ballot paper.

  7. I understand the tradition of the parties not endorsing someone but when I read the local rag and nearly everyone clames to be unaligned I feel cynical.

  8. Dont know about you Tom, but if the government doesn’t want Adam as Lord Mayor, it seems to be a good reason to vote for him. Aside from his policies. And since Melbourne has been close to electing theGreens at local state and federal levels, his policies seem ok.

  9. Is a shame the Morgan poll is such an obvious crock. We don’t know how people are travelling.

    Then again, it’s only Mayor of Melbourne.

  10. I think the finding that Doyle is leading is likely to be correct. There is a big non-resident business vote in the CBD and they will all go for Doyle. East Melbourne also votes Liberal. Bandt and the two Labor candidates will split the suburban vote. I don’t know what Ng’s base is – maybe some of the Chinese business community.

  11. I agree with Adam. Doyle is the only figure in the race with serious profile, and he’s probably a moderate enough figure that he’ll get significant crossover support. I’d think Bandt and Ng would be next, but I’m a little bit surprised Singer isn’t doing better than he is, as So’s deputy.

    In any case, that poll makes a lot more sense than the Centrebet results, which currently have McMullin leading ahead of the kooky right-wing guy, and look a bit like someone’s been dropping acid…

  12. Tom @ 3

    Whilst attendance elections may lessen the amount of stooges running, it certainly doesn’t stamp it out as has been evidenced in Moreland:

    Adam @ 12

    Whilst you may be correct in Fowles sharing the residential vote with Bandt, I’d suggest that McMullin is much more likely to share the business vote with Doyle, which is why those to are close to equal favourites according to Sportingbet (I’m not aware of a Centrebet market that Rebecca speaks of):

  13. JH, how do you know any or all of those candidates are “stooges”? In a multi-ethnic area like Moreland, running a “ticket” of candidates (a Greek, a Turk, a Lebanese, etc), who cross-preference each other so that one of them gets elected, seems a perfectly reasonable tactic. It’s no great secret and I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  14. The poll should be virtually disregarded for a number of reasons. Firstly, 30% haven’t made up their minds. Secondly, how did Morgan end up with 18% of the preferences from a tiny proportion of the primary vote?

    And that doesn’t even make sense. He’d be getting excluded fairly early on so none of those preferences would be coming to him anyway.

  15. Doyle would be good because he is a moderate politician and does have a semi-high profile compared with other candidates and a profile does mean something in these races…just look at Boris over in London.

    I dont think the Greens honestly have a shot.

    It is between Doyle and some of the other non-political groups.

    I think Doyle will win big with residents living especially near or along St. Kilda Road…lots of voters there he should pick up and im one of them.

  16. Colac Otway has former Liberal staffer Simon Price running perhaps to set up a run for Corangamite in 2010. The Green-endorsed candidate has a controversial record on the Council. have endorsed Warrnambool has 2 ALP members unendorsed and an endorsed Green running.

  17. Hi Geoff – can you or anyone else tell me who this Greens candidate is, and why he or she is controversial. I’ll then have enough for an entry on Colac Otway in my post, although more detail would be helpful. I assume we’re talking about a separate election for the mayoralty here? Also, can you tell me anything more about Warrnambool? I take it your last sentence didn’t come out right.

  18. I’m working on a new version of Cassandra, my preferential voting calculator, and I fired it up for a test spin with the Gary Morgan poll.

    Using the 2nd preferences to pad up their votes (as per the poll) the result was Catherine Ng elected on Gary Morgan preferences. However, as some people have noted, there’s something fishing about the 2nd preference question on that poll. I think to show Morgan himself is still in the race (although I don’t think he is at all!)

    Distributing the 30% unknown vote roughly proportionally between the top 6 candidates (eg Doyle 37%, Green 24%, Ng 15%, Singer 7%, Morgan 5%, Columb 4%), the result was also Catherine Ng elected, but this time on Green preferences.

    But who knows what this version of Cassandra is doing under the hood at the moment!

    2nd (probably better) scenario results:
    * C Melbourne Grow

    * At this point, no candidates had quota, so started eliminating
    * Eliminated Shifting the Burden
    * Eliminated Melbourne Supercity. World
    * Eliminated Residents Equity
    * Eliminated McMullin-Wilson For Melbourne’s Future
    * Eliminated Passion for Melbourne
    * Eliminated Fowles A Fresh Vision
    * Eliminated Team Melbourne
    * Eliminated Morgan Clarke Our City
    * Eliminated The Greens
    * Elected C Melbourne Grow from quota

    1st Scenario Results:

    * C Melbourne Grow elected.

    * Eliminated Shifting the Burden
    * Eliminated Melbourne Supercity. World
    * Eliminated Residents Equity
    * Eliminated Passion for Melbourne
    * Eliminated Fowles A Fresh Vision
    * Eliminated Team Melbourne
    * Eliminated McMullin-Wilson For Melbourne’s Future
    * Eliminated The Greens
    * Eliminated Morgan Clarke Our City
    * Elected C Melbourne Grow from quota

  19. Hi William,
    According to the Victorian Greens site, the candidate for Colac Otway is Stephen Hart. No mention of this candidate having been on council before. To some people ANY Green candidate is controversial! Hart is not listed as being a current councillor on Colac Otway Shire.

  20. While I’m clearly not impartial, I don’t think the Morgan poll for Lord Mayor is rubbish in terms of its assessment of first preferences, at the time it was taken. The second preference line Morgan tried to run was, in my view a little odd. However, the candidates who are spending six figure sums (Singer, McMullin, Ng, Doyle, Morgan, Fowles) subsequently filled our letterboxes with stuff (McMullin’s taking the low road to the top job, which cost an extra $100,000 or more). We’re in the race though, in spite of being outspent many times over. It seems McMullin thinks the race is between him, us and Ng. If he felt Morgan, Singer or Doyle were in the race, he’d have smeared them too. Doyle’s been very low profile; apart from a piece of paper in the mail, and a billboard or two, there’s been nothing. The only person to knock on my door was someone for Will Fowles (who perhaps didn’t notice the green triangles in the window).

    Most of the votes would be in the post by now. All we get to do is wait. For those who think betting markets are more accurate than polls, I respectfully disagree.

    Yarra‘s going to be interesting. We’re in with a chance at four of nine, and will almost certainly get three. What will be interesting will be to see whether Cr Jolly is returned. If he’s not, then I think Cr Farrar will be returned along with Amanda Stone.

    Moreland‘s stooge city this time around. Word is Labor’s flooded the place with candidates to try to retain control of the council. I’m not convinced that’s going to help (without commenting on the ethics of such a course of action). Preference leaks are almost inevitable when you put up that many people.

  21. [Morgan hangs in there to quite late in both scenarios]

    He’s either the last excluded or the second last, in both your scenarios. That seems a little odd for someone with 5% of the primary.

  22. Hmm, well, here’s more information for the second scenario.

    Elimated Shifting the Burden
    Preferences: 100.0% flows to The Greens,

    Elimated Melbourne Supercity. World
    Preferences: 100.0% flows to Fowles A Fresh Vision,

    Elimated Residents Equity
    Preferences: 100.0% flows to Team Melbourne,

    Elimated McMullin-Wilson For Melbourne’s Future
    Preferences: 100.0% flows to Fowles A Fresh Vision,

    Elimated Passion for Melbourne
    Preferences: 100.0% flows to Morgan Clarke Our City,

    Elimated Fowles A Fresh Vision
    Preferences: 40.82% flows to Activate Melbourne, 16.33% flows to The Greens, 42.86% flows to Morgan Clarke Our City,

    Elimated Team Melbourne
    Preferences: 10.26% flows to Activate Melbourne, 89.74% flows to C Melbourne Grow,

    Elimated Morgan Clarke Our City
    Preferences: 54.95% flows to The Greens, 45.05% flows to C Melbourne Grow,

    Elimated The Greens
    Preferences: 19.24% flows to Activate Melbourne, 80.76% flows to C Melbourne Grow,

    C Melbourne Grow elected.

  23. Hmm, anyone else notice Activate Melbourne (the Doyle ticket) is not being eliminated in these test runs? Damn it Cassandra! You’ve lied to me again! Still, I feel confident saying that Morgan and Ng have done well out of preferences, and Singer (Team Melbourne) haven’t done so well.

  24. Is elimate a half world between elevation and elimination. Do these candidates hover in a nether world of uncertainty forever.

  25. In a few scenarios I’ve generated, Singer actually wins. That Shelley Roberts is preferencing him high up gives him the edge over Ng – if Singer + Roberts is more than Ng, and there is a very good chance that that will be the case, then Singer will collect Ng’s preferences, overtake Doyle and when Doyle or McMullin are excluded, might be home.

  26. Further to that point, it has to be said that this race will likely be much more like the 2001 election than the 2004 election, that is, that the primary votes will go SPLAT with many candidates scoring in that 10% to 14% range. Any slight nuanced changes in primary vote estimates can generate wildly different preferencing scenarios.

    For example:

    1. Under the right conditions, Fowles can comfortably win (through having him pick up Crawford, Morgan, McMullin and finally Bandt – but this requires Singer beating Ng and Fowles + Crawford beating McMullin).

    2. Under the right conditions, Singer can comfortably win (through having him pick up Roberts, Ng and Doyle in that order, from which position he can theoretically beat any of Fowles, Bandt or McMullin).

    3. Under any of many scenarios, Ng can comfortably win.

    4. Under the right conditions, Bandt can scrape through (provided at least 40% of McMullin’s primary voters use his mailed HTV card rather than the VEC-lodged HTV card* – in this scenario I have Bandt, Doyle and McMullin finishing in the last three, with McMullin’s exclusion getting Bandt over the line. This scenario also required Ng to be excluded before Singer).

    5. McMullin and Doyle can both comfortably win too, but they’ll need a decent primary vote, as they both have very awkward preference deals.

    Moral of the story: anything could happen, and the election will be decided by preference deals more so than the ideology of individual voters. Note that that’s not a whinge (disclaimer: I’m a Green), just a realistic observation that the vast majority of the 98,000 electors of Melbourne City Council have not researched the ideological slant or political allegiance of all eleven candidates, or exactly who their preferences might be helping to elect. Hell, if people don’t do it in Federal elections, they’re not going to do it in Local elections.

    The final point I’d like to make is that Sportingbet’s assertion that Nick Columb is third most likely to win is TOTALLY NUTS.

  27. * Where I mentioned in the above post that McMullin has two HTV cards, this is what I was referring to:

    Preference backdown

    Herald Sun, November 7th 2008

    By Ian Royall

    MELBOURNE mayoral candidate Peter McMullin has made an embarrassing back down over a preference deal for this month’s city election.

    Mr McMullin was earlier this week accused of reneging on a preference swap deal with rival Nick Columb. But Mr McMullin said yesterday he would honour the original agreement.

    His how-to-vote cards will give Mr Columb’s Passion for Melbourne ticket his third preference.

    Under the latest deal, Robert Doyle will drop from third preference on Mr McMullen’s ticket to 10th.

    That is:

    Under the VEC-lodged HTV card (which is in the booklets that arrive with ballot papers), McMullin is directing his preferences as follows:

    1. McMullin
    2. Fowles
    3. Doyle
    4. Singer
    5. Ng
    6. Crawford
    7. Columb
    8. Roberts
    9. Bandt
    10. Morgan
    11. Toscano

    But in the HTV that he sent out seperately, that arrived in letterboxes last week, McMullin is recommending:

    1. McMullin
    2. Fowles
    3. Columb
    4. Singer
    5. Ng
    6. Roberts
    7. Crawford
    8. Bandt
    9. Toscano
    10. Doyle
    11. Morgan

    Obviously, this will mean very different outcomes depending on how many of McMullin’s primary voters follow which card.

    For the record, the lower list is what was originally negotiated, and the upper list is what was submitted after a (literally) last-minute change by some factional hacks on McMullin’s team.

  28. Oh, and Adam @ 16 – FYI:

    In Moreland, the ALP-dominated council last week voted to send a letter to the state president of the Victorian ALP expressing council’s regret that ALP-supported candidates were using “stooges” or dummy candidates.

    Dummy candidates are often candidates claiming to be “independent”, but in reality their sole purpose is to funnel votes to other candidates.

  29. Are Docklands residents still part of melbourne council? There was talk for a long time that Docklands would split from Melbourne City and become its own council. Did this ever happen?

    If Docklands residents can vote in MCC, that would also be a pretty good area for Doyle.

  30. Some of the regional areas are interesting, In Mount Alexander (Castlemaine) there is a strong Green v Developer campaign. This is an area that voted 25% in the senate for the Greens and has some of the best booths in the country. Presently 1 Green councillor expect 3 more to join him and for there to be a Green Mayor in this council. Further up the Highway we have a current Green Mayor in Bendigo being supported by 4 other endorsed Greens and again a split of different interest groups and political affiliations. Country and regional areas are a good example of why the established ‘don’t run endorsed candidates’ mantra is outdated. In one of the wards in Bendigo one of the councillors seeking re-election has stood in the last Federal campaign as a Liberal, then the last State against a ALP minister, again as the endorsed Liberal, now claiming to be an independant, does not do much for the credibility.
    Historically the conservatives have run this not politics in local government. Remember that only ratepayers got the vote until Kennett.

  31. MDMConnell, Docklands wasn’t part of the City of Melbourne yet last election. This election it is, and there’s no push for it to form its own LGA.

    Docklands residents might also return high votes for the Morgan and Fowles tickets, on the councillor tickets at least, due to candidates on those teams living in the suburb.

  32. follow the preferences @ 38

    The Greens are actually only running 3 candidates in Mount Alexander, including the incumbent Philip Schier, so it will be difficult for them to have 3 more join him. And just to follow what you said about Bendigo, in the last 4 years, 3 of them have seen a Greens mayor (Julie Rivendell once and David Jones twice).

    Also, I believe Ballarat may have a (at least one, anyway) similar “Liberal” candidate who has been the endorsed Lib for a couple of elections, and is now campaigning on an “independent – keep party politics out of local government” theme.

  33. All this talk reminds of one of the greatest Australian television shows ever produced – Grass Roots.

    If you haven’t seen, get the DVD and watch it now.

  34. [I WISH Melbourne City Council elections were as simple as those in Arcadia Waters!]


    It took a whole few episodes worth of back room negotiations to elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

  35. I stand by my comment!

    Trying to get eleven Mayoral candidates’ preference negotiators to come to any sort of agreement is like herding cats.

  36. Preference negotiations are Australia’s unique contribution to world psephology. Whole dissertations have been written about our preferences negotiations. They are the duck-billed platypus, the spiny anteater of psephology.

  37. Adam wrote:
    > East Melbourne also votes Liberal.

    I don’t say you’re incorrect, as I haven’t done a comprehensive survey myself, but As an East Melbourner who generally votes Green and know quite a few others of similar leanings, I’m curious to know where your information comes from.

  38. The poster who formerly lived in Melbourne pontificates:

    This is because of the abundant evidence that voters don’t like party politics in local council elections.

    Is this based on research from the the Weimar Republic or later?

  39. Preference negotiations are Australia’s unique contribution to world psephology. Whole dissertations have been written about our preferences negotiations. They are the duck-billed platypus, the spiny anteater of psephology.

    And treated in the same way by the ecology free zone that is the ALP: ie. with contempt.

    Vide the behaviour of the ALP in Blacktown’s Fifth Ward at the recent LGA elections. The conclusion that can be drawn from that little episode is that any candidate doing a deal with the ALP would be advised to wait till they see the HTV being handed out at booths on polling day before agreeing to any preference deal.

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