New South Wales

Apr 4, 2011

Green wins Balmain and joins an exclusive club

The last remaining uncertainty about the composition of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly was resolved with a full preference distribution delivering Balmain to the Greens.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

The last remaining uncertainty about the composition of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly was resolved on Saturday (pending a recount), with a full preference distribution delivering Balmain to Greens candidate Jamie Parker.

Parker succeeded in edging Labor member Verity Firth into third place by a margin of 201 votes, before going on to a comfortable 2477 vote win over Liberal candidate James Falk with the distribution of Firth’s preferences.

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8 thoughts on “Green wins Balmain and joins an exclusive club

  1. Michael James

    So the preferred candidate of the (slim) majority of voters is overidden by the second preferences of the second and third placed candidates?

    And you laud this?

  2. peter jonson

    You are talking of a majority of less than 50% there Mr. James – many would only call that a plurality. It seems Mr. James you are for a UK style First Past the Post system? The type that delivered a hung Parliament in the UK?

    In our system, in which everyone (is supposed to at least) votes Parker was preferred to Falk, and if the choice was Falk v Firth, I have no doubt Firth would have been preferred by over 50% of voters in that electorate.

    In NSW especially – where no one is compelled to preference beyond their number 1 choice, I think it is very clear that more voters wanted Parker rather than Falk. If they didn’t why did they vote for Falk at all?

  3. Gavin Moodie

    I don’t like first past the post, but had such a system been used in the recent NSW election Balmain voters may have voted tactically to ensure that they weren’t represented by a Liberal.

  4. Mike

    Isn’t it wonderful?
    We have the first of our very own, home bred anti- semite black shirt.
    Now if the Greens can gently introduce a swastika to their green logo we will be able to look back with absolute precision at the exact date our Nazi Party was conceived.

  5. Barry 09

    So a vote for the Liberals and Labor = A GREEN VOTE HA HA HA . The Greens should use that at the next elections. A HUGE win for the Greens , NO helpful Media promo’s and both BIG Parties slagging off the Greens , NO CHURCH Backing , just voters !
    GO the GREENS.

  6. Kevin Herbert

    So if Marrickville was lost to the Greens because of Fiona Byrne’s stand against Israel, as is claimed by the NSW Board of Deputies etc, then does Jamie Parker’s win in Balmain mean locals support the BDS against Israel?

    After all, Parker’s views on Israel were well known to voters.

    Enlighten me please.

    Finally, I wonder how the Marrickville & Balmain results are playing in Israel…front pages day after day no doubt. Also, I keep checking the New York Times for their coverage, but they must be saving it for an 8 page feature next weekend.

  7. michael r james

    @Peter Jonson

    Just so you know: not THIS michael R. james. (And, though I hardly use it, you can call this one, Dr James.) Below are a few articles I have written on this. Of course my namesake is a political ideologue who simply wants whatever system in which his candidate wins. Of course the fact is that >50% of all voters’ first and second preferences choose the Green candidate and this is clearly more democratic and fair than his candidate who won less than one third of first prefs.

    Of course many of us are totally fed up even with the preferential voting system that really entrenches the two old fossil parties. Federally the Greens won 1.3 million primary votes but only one seat. In NSW they won 10% of the primary vote and won one seat, compared to Labor who won twice the vote but twenty times the seats.

    The crisis in governance in two-party systems
    by Michael R James Friday, 3 September 2010

    Electoral reform to reform fractured politics.
    . by Michael R. James. ABC The Drum, 25 May, 2010

  8. Kevin Herbert

    MIKE: your automatic linking of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism has long been recognised as a failed 20th century far right Zionist delegitimisation tactic.

    The world’s moved on. You should do some reading of the huge volumes of criticism of Israel by
    Jews globally, the vast majority of them being avowed Zionists. Check out J Street or Mondoweiss or any number of Jewish based lobby groups who are far more vocal in their criticism of Israel, than the Aussie Greens.

    The Palestine/Israel debate deserves better than gratuitous name calling, particularly now that Israel has become an apartheid State.

    Its 2011, not 1981.

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