The results of the council elections are in and Antony Greens looks at
the councils with the biggest changes and explains what the Liberal and
the Green votes were up, while the independent vote was down.
The following summarises the party vote across Sydney at Saturday’s local government elections.

The totals are based on 25 councils and exclude all the councils on the
North Shore and in the Hills district, where politics tends to be
dominated by independent groupings. The votes are based on council
votes, not Mayoral votes.

The councils included are Ashfield, Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Blue
Mountains, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Fairfield,
Holroyd, Hurstville, Kogarah, Leichhardt, Manly, Marrickville,
Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Rockdale, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland,
Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra.

The party vote percentages and swings are:

  • Labor 39.6% up 1.5%
  • Liberal 21.5% up 6.1%
  • Greens 7.1% up 3.7%
  • Unity 3.3% up 1.3%
  • Democrats 0.3% down 0.4%
  • One Nation 0.2% down 1.9%
  • Inds/Others 28.2% down 10.3%

Much of the decline in Independent vote came about due to changes in
electoral laws. Many independents had been unable to register a party
name because two years ago, all the parties in parliament combined to
pass a dreadful amendment forcing parties for local government to
register 12 months out from the poll. Many Independent groupings failed
to meet this deadline.

As a result, the Liberal Party picked up a lot of the conservative vote
that traditionally goes to ‘Chamber of Commerce’ type Independents. The
Greens gained a lot of vote that previously went to anti-development
Independents.

The Greens contested 18 Councils in the area covered by these totals
compared to 11 in 1999. Labor contested all 25 councils and the Liberal
Party 22. The Liberal Party did have a bigger presence, contesting more
wards in many Labor dominated councils.

The following councils saw the biggest changes.

Ashfield: Inner west, Labor vote down 8%, Green vote up 17%.

Campbelltown:
Outer south-west, where Mark Latham lives, Labor up 14% to 42%, Liberal up 5%, One Nation down 7%, Others down 15%.

Canada Bay: Amalgamated council created in 2000 from inner-west
Concord and Drummoyne. Last election dominated by anti-merger
independents. This time Labor’s vote up 11% to 35%, contested by the
Liberals for the first time who garnered 25%, others down 36%. Clearly
anger over council amalgamation subsides over time as voters realise
the new council will still take the rubbish away.

Leichhardt: Inner-west, with Labor down 8% to 24%, Greens up 23%
to 35%, Independents down 19% to 22%. Likely to be run by the Greens
who now get the chance to show how they can administer a local
government for the first time. Leichhardt is an odd area that in 1999
was even willing to elect Paddy McGuinness to council.

Marrickville: Inner-west, Labor down 3% to 39%, Greens up 14% to
30%, though much of this rise was soaking up vote for No Aircraft Noise
in 1999.

Penrith: Outer-west, Jackie Kelly country. Labor up 4% to 41%, Liberals up 8% to 29%, Greens 11% after contesting for the first time.

Sutherland:
Outer south, Liberal vote up 10% at expense of local Independents.

Sydney: Labor down 10%, others up 9%, electing Clover Moore. The
result in Sydney was roughly similar to my previous estimates for the
council based on State Election figures. In vague 2-candidate terms, a
4-5% swing from Labor to Clover Moore.

Waverley:
Inner-east, Labor down 9%, Liberals up 4%, Greens up 12%.

So, rough story is Labor down and Greens up in the inner-city, but a
solid Labor performance in the suburbs. Not what was expected two
months ago when the Carr government had great difficulty finding enough
drivers to keep the trains running.

Peter Fray

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