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NSW elections: results that take us forward

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  • Pip, Peter & Zoe
    What we know of the NSW local election results adds up to a step forward for the further development progressive politics. The Lib-Lab status quo has been
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 27, 2004
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      What we know of the NSW local election results adds up to a step forward for the further development progressive politics. The Lib-Lab status quo has been shaken up, the Greens are on course to double their representation across NSW from 28 councillors to more than 50, and Clover Moore has swept elections for Mayor of Sydney making a Moore independents-Greens Sydney City Council administration likely. Whatever, criticisms or reservations anyone may have about Moore there is no doubt that the political motion that such a independent-Greens administration sets in train would be preferable to the ALP getting control of the expanded City Council. That would have spelt business as usual for the developers!

      Peter Boyle
       

      Clover Moore is off to Town Hall
      
      SMH online: March 28 2004
      
      
      By Alex Mitchell, State Political Editor 
      
      A landslide of "people power" has installed independent MP Clover Moore as Sydney Lord Mayor and given
      her team control of the new super council.
      
      She immediately pledged to place the interests of the inner-city community who voted for her ahead of the
      developers.
      
      Her stunning victory wrecked the Labor Party's plan to put former federal arts minister Michael Lee in charge of
      the forcibly merged Sydney and South Sydney councils.
      
      "Voters have shown that they want the City Council to be run by and for the people of Sydney, and not by the
      Labor Party in Sussex Street," Mrs Moore said.
      
      As counting closed last night, Mrs Moore was taking 39 per cent of the primary vote followed by Mr Lee on 25
      per cent, the Greens on 12 per cent and the Liberals on 10 per cent.
      
      Mrs Moore, the independent MP for Bligh, defeated a field of 13 other candidates in a bitterly contested Town
      Hall race in which the ALP bankrolled Mr Lee's campaign to the tune of $1 million.
      
      NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden congratulated Mrs Moore on her win, saying: "The City of Sydney has
      been saved from the clutches of the Labor Party that had immoral and corrupt intentions."
      
      He said electors across NSW had voted against the Carr Government's arrogance.
      
      "The voters have fired a rocket at the seat of Bob Carr and Labor for the contempt with which they have
      treated the people of NSW.
      
      "Labor tried to take the 'local' out of local government and tried to buy Sydney Town Hall. 
      
      "They have rightly paid the price."
      
      Greens campaign organiser, upper house MP Sylvia Hale, said the "green machine" was on course to double
      its representation across NSW from 28 councillors to more than 50.
      
      "We have retained the strength of the vote we recorded at the state election a year ago," she said.
      
      "Labor's stranglehold on some city councils appears to have been broken. There's been quite a backlash
      against the Government's arrogant style."
      
      One of the humiliated lord mayoral candidates, former state opposition leader Peter Collins, may face
      disciplinary action by the Liberal Party after giving his final preferences to Labor's Mr Lee.
      
      Angry Liberals are expected to ask the next state executive meeting on April 13 to send Mr Collins a "please
      explain".
      
      Deputy Liberal leader Barry O'Farrell said Mr Collins's action was "very disappointing", adding: "It is a kick in
      the guts to all Liberal Party supporters."
      
      Last night's stunning victory was a personal milestone for Mrs Moore because she was denied the Lord
      Mayor's job 17 years ago.
      
      In 1987 the Unsworth Government sacked the Sydney City Council and cancelled the elections to stop then
      Alderman Moore from winning the Town Hall job.
      
      She said last night the win had come late but it was still sweet.
      
      With 4 million votes to be counted in 142 council elections all over NSW, the first complete results of
      yesterday's local government poll will not become known until Tuesday.
      
      The State Electoral Office has warned that the new preferential voting system and a change in the way votes
      are counted mean the final result may not be declared until Thursday, April 8.

       
       
       

    • dave_r_riley
      AS Jim McIlroy writes in an upcoming GLW article: Socialist Alliance candidate Coral Wynter gained 3.5 per cent (533 votes at close of counting on polling
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 27, 2004
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        AS Jim McIlroy writes in an upcoming GLW article:

        "Socialist Alliance candidate Coral Wynter gained 3.5 per cent (533
        votes at close of counting on polling night), in the ward of Central
        in the Brisbane City Council elections, held on March 27.

        This was in the context of a strong result for the Greens, who won
        17.5 per cent in the same inner-city ward, north of the Brisbane
        River. Greens candidate for mayor of Brisbane Drew Hutton achieved an
        overall vote of 10 per cent city-wide.

        The result of the mayoral contest was a surprise win for Liberal
        candidate Campbell Newman, defeating incumbent Labor mayor Tim Quinn
        by 47.5 per cent to 40.3 per cent, with Green preferences being
        unable to save mayor Quinn.

        However, in a topsy-turvy result, mayor-elect Newman will have to
        deal with a hostile ALP majority in council. Labor appears to have
        won 15 council wards, with the Liberals gaining 11."

        ####End of qote:


        This result is very interesting as it breaks the near monopoly the
        ALP has had on the BCC for most of its existence. The Liberals (Sally
        Anne Atkinson)ran the Council for one term prior to 1991 and before
        that it was Clem Jones' ALP feifdom for yonks (I'm not sure on the
        time span).

        But the result indicates a significant shift away from Labor at the
        core interface level of local government -- but the Greens results
        aren't as good as I would have hoped. With the state election held so
        recently the Greens campaign for Council had no where near the same
        momentum -- being used primarily, I thought, as means to increase
        Hutton's and the Greens profile in the run up to the federal campaign
        (and especially the Senate vote where the Greens hope to get Hutton
        up) I was working the main booth in Central Ward and all the labour
        the Greens could muster was Drew and his partner for the day.

        I thought the SA could have intervened better by running more than
        one candidate and also fielding a mayoral candidate -- but it was a
        choice we had to make given the work we outlayed for the State
        Election so recently. Nonethless I think it was mistake.

        The most interesting result is Dutton Park which was a ward most
        influenced by the BCC proposed "Green Bridge" and ALP mayor's Tim
        Quinn's old ward. The Greens at closing of counting were polling just
        under 26 percent -- three percentage points behind the Liberals
        although it looks like the ALP (Helen Abrahams) will take the ward.

        Generally, I'm thinking that the core progressive impact has yet to
        be made at the local government level here in Brisbane--indeed,
        compared to the promise of the 1991 Green Alliance coalition (Greens,
        Democrats, DSP, SPA, Independents,etc)-- the alternative vote has
        been held back primarily due to some brilliant manoevreing by
        Soorley's ALP administration who effectively posed as "green" for
        most of its tenancy at Town Hall.

        This suggests, I hope, that that period has passed -- but I cannot
        see any force making gains at the local level unless it has relevance
        beyond polling day -- that really some sort of grass roots dynamic
        must be unleased before even the Greens can make a surge in the wards
        or mayoralty.

        Personally I think the local govnerment elections are the best venues
        new forces like the Alliance can utilize to make electoral gains. But
        how you do that is not so self evident. Instead over the past decade
        here I've seen the Greens activity at the grass roots shrink as they
        have preferred to play any number of electoralist games rather than
        attend consciously to community organising. Similarly, I gather that
        they have not been able to involve in campaigns like this the many
        members they recruited over the past year in the wake of the Iraq
        invasion.

        However, I think a new stage of urban restructuring is upon us here
        and the ascendency of Newman is but a symptom of that. So a more
        aggressive agenda coming from Town Hall --allied to general
        privatisation, user pays and large engineering traffic projects --
        will lead to a new round of community response and protest.

        Similarly the porkbarreling by Council which became more and more
        obvious as the ALP realised it was in trouble has been
        extraoridnarily inept and self evident to everyone. How the ALP and
        the Liberals are going to work out their priorities in that regard
        with a split between mayoralty and council should make a great
        melodrama for the next three years.

        dave riley
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