Some comfort for Labor, Greens in big polling weekend

Election results in Sydney, Melbourne and the ACT point to moderately good news for Labor -- and the Greens will take some comfort from their inner-city results. Is the anti-incumbency vibe waning?

Charles Richardson — Editor of The World is not Enough

Charles Richardson

Editor of The World is not Enough

It was a moderately interesting election weekend in Australia. Victorian local government elections, a state byelection in Sydney, and final results being declared from the recent ACT election.

7 comments

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7 thoughts on “Some comfort for Labor, Greens in big polling weekend

  1. secondsoprano

    The Sydney result has nothing to say about incumbency. For a start, as you point out, the incumbent wasn’t running (although she did “annoint” Greenwich as her successor).

    More importantly, the by-election was clearly run as a referendum on the Liberals’ law change to oust Clover Moore. The results show dramatically that voters saw this move as anti-democratic and mean-spirited, and they registered their protest loud and clear. It’s not just that the Greenwich achieved a massive swing across the board, winning every booth but one, and winning by impressive margins. The Libs also lost votes (presumably not explicable by the absence of a Labor candidate).

    In the end, the move to get rid of Clover failed spectacularly. She was re-elected as Lord Mayor, “her” candidate won Sydney as a landslide, the Libs came off looking arrogant and out-of-touch, and now they have two independents to deal with, not well.

    All in all a bit of a debable really.

  2. secondsoprano

    … that should say “two independents to deal with, not one”

  3. Charles Richardson

    Yes, I think that’s right – altho I’ve got no problem with stopping people from doing the 2 jobs at once, it clearly came across as a specifically “get Clover” move. But in the circumstances I think that still counts as a win for incumbency – the voters were saying that they liked their MP, didn’t want her to be forced to give up the seat, and in her absence supported her nominee.

  4. justin cotton

    And it could also mean there is a big gay vote in central Sydney, where people are sick and tired of being treated as second class citizens re marriage, and verbally abused in parliament by the likes of Bernardi. I was only told about Bernardi’s outrageous comments when I was in the US last month. This stuff makes news overseas.

  5. secondsoprano

    @Justin – the gay politics angle was fascinating. I think the Clover factor was predominant, and the “gay vote”, if there is such a thing, was split.

    Marriage equality as an issue was less important simply because the only candidate who DIDN’t have it as a policy was Fred Nile’s ring-in from Epping, who never stood a chance anyway and got a total of about 700 votes.

    You have Mallard, one of that very rare breed, an openly gay Liberal, who said for years in effect vote for me because I can be your voice within a conservative party. (A completely ineffectual voice it would seem, if actual change in policy is your yardstick.) The Liberal vote fell, but that wouldn’t be because of equality issues – they’ve always been officially opposed to us.

    Then there’s Greenwich, who is not only gay but the founder of the modern marriage equality movement – a professional gay, you could say (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

    Although arguably, if marriage equality is your focus, you should really vote Green (ironically, the only serious contender in this contest who is NOT gay) because they are the only party which has had our interests at heart since the very beginning. But clearly many people didn’t buy that argument(given the fall in the Green vote), preferring Greenwich by an extraordinary margin.

  6. justin cotton

    I’d have probably voted Greenwich, as I know him as a gay campaigner. Gay marriage is not my only focus though. As it happens, I don’t vote at all, as Im a New Zealander who has lived in Australia about 10 years. If I did vote in the federal election it would be Green i think.

  7. Charles Richardson

    For those who are interested, the Victorian council results are now final and the Greens gained 7 seats and lost 5, bringing their total up from 18 to 20.

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