10:21pm – Let’s look at Bayside. Labor is on six seats (thanks to a massive vote in the Port Botany ward), the Liberal Party is on five, there are three independents, and one seat is still in play. Greens candidate Greta Werner has a solid lead over the second Labor candidate.
9:58pm – Labor has a chance of a majority in Georges River. They are currently leading for seven seats. Their second candidate in Peakhurst ward is in danger of falling behind Greens candidate Anne Wagstaff. If they can hold on in Peakhurst, and overtake the independent in Mortdale, they will win 8/15 seats.
9:35pm – Let’s talk about Wollongong. It looks reasonably clear that Labor has won five seats, the Liberal Party has won three, the Greens have won two, and sitting mayor Gordon Bradbery has won an ordinary council seat (which will go to his running mate if he wins the mayoralty). The fourth seat in Ward 2 is a close race between Labor and Liberal. If Labor win that seat, that will give them six out of twelve ordinary seats.
In terms of the mayoralty, Gordon Bradbery leads on 32%, followed by 28.1% for Labor’s David Brown, 16.7% for Liberal candidate John Dorahy and 12% for Greens candidate Mithra Cox. Liberal and Greens preferences will be crucial, and if they swing the mayoralty to Labor it could give the party a majority.
9:31pm – Labor is currently on track for a majority on Cumberland council but that’s on the basis of three close races. Labor is narrowly ahead of Our Local Community in Granville, and even more narrowly ahead of the same party in Greystanes, while Labor is the clear leader in a wide-open race for the final seat in Wentworthville. Wins in those three races would give them eight out of fifteen seats.
9:24pm – I’m calling a Labor majority for Newcastle council. On the basis of six and five booths respectively, Labor’s second candidate has a healthy lead in both Wards 3 and 4, which would give them seven seats including the lord mayor. The second Labor candidate is narrowly ahead of Greens councillor Therese Doyle in Ward 2.
9:19pm – Bayside council: current figures are 6 Labor, 5 Liberal, 3 independents and 1 Green, but Labor has a chance of winning a majority if their vote improves slightly in the Mascot and Rockdale wards.
9:09pm – The Greens are now leading for two seats on Parramatta council – with over 13% in Parramatta ward and 12.7% in Rosehill ward. At the moment this would produce a result of 7 Liberals, 5 Labor, 2 Greens and the last seat in Epping going either to Lorraine Wearne or the Local Independent Party, with that person effectively holding the balance of power.
9:02pm – In Balmain ward of the Inner West, John Stamolis has moved into third place. Labor’s vote is so high that their second candidate, immediate former councillor Linda Kelly, is in the hunt. Kelly is ranked fourth, with the Liberal candidate dropping to fifth.
8:48pm – Labor appears to be on track for a majority on Newcastle council. To achieve this they need to win a second seat in two wards, plus the mayoralty. They are well out in front for lord mayor, and are currently on track for a second seat in three out of four wards, which would give them eight out of 13 seats. I’ll wait for a few more booths, but it won’t be long before I’ll consider calling Newcastle.
8:42pm – On current figures in Georges River – Labor is on seven seats, Liberal 5, and three for independents.
8:31pm – The Cumberland administrator put up a question to the voters asking if they wished to maintain the council’s five pools – over 75% are voting Yes. Meanwhile Labor has a real shot at winning a majority on that council. They are currently leading for six seats and we have no real figures from Regents Park, so that would give them at least seven. They are also almost winning a second seat in Granville ward. A second Labor councillor in Granville or Regents Park (along with the second in Greystanes and Wentworthville where they are leading) would give them a majority.
8:24pm – The new Central Coast council looks set to be dominated by independents. On current primary votes the council would include 5 Labor, 3 Liberals and seven independents, although a small shift could see four of those independents lose, producing a result of 6 Labor, 5 Liberal, one Green and three independents.
8:12pm – The Greens and Labor will each win five seats on the Inner West council. It also seems likely that progressive independent Pauline Lockie will win a seat in Stanmore and that Liberal councillor Julie Passas will be re-elected in Ashfield. The other three seats will decide whether a bloc of progressive independents or Liberals will hold the balance of power. Currently left-leaning Victoria Pye is leading right-leaning Vic Macri in Marrickville, along with a big Greens surplus to help her along. The Liberal Party is over a quota in Leichhardt.
So the control of council will come down to Balmain, where the Greens are underperforming compared to their other wards, and progressive independent John Stamolis is just behind Liberal candidate Stephen Meates. Labor is polling very well so their preferences will be crucial in deciding that race.
8:08pm – Your Northern Beaches seem to have the edge on the Liberal Party in the Northern Beaches. On current figures the council will be 6 YNB, 5 LIB, 2 GRN and two other independents.
7:54pm – Looks like Labor has locked in a majority on Canterbury-Bankstown. They’re polling about 60% in Bankstown, Bass Hill and Roselands, giving them six seats, plus one each in Revesby and Roselands (although they have a chance of a ninth seat in Roselands).
7:44pm – I’m finding the Marrickville ward of Inner West interesting. Former independent mayor Victor Macri is trailing in a distant fourth behind newcomer progressive independent Victoria Pye – 20.7% to 12%. Meanwhile the Greens’ Col Hesse has a substantial surplus with Labor’s Sam Iskandar 23.5% – the Greens’ surplus will improve Pye’s position. If Pye defeats Macri it will strengthen the chance of the Greens forming a governing majority, rather than Labor.
7:41pm – Gordon Bradbery is now leading with 31.8%, ahead of Labor’s David Brown on 26.3%, Liberal John Dorahy on 18.6% and Greens Mithra Cox on 11.5%.
7:19pm – We’re getting small numbers of results from the Inner West, but I won’t make predictions yet.
7:18pm – Things are much less clear in Wollongong. Sitting lord mayor Gordon Bradbery (an independent) is in third place on 18.7% off two booths, trailing the Labor and Liberal candidates.
7:15pm – Labor lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes is looking good to win re-election in Newcastle – she’s on 43% off five booths, with her two closest rivals on about 18%.
7:10pm – Very small vote in all five wards in Northern Beaches currently has Your Northern Beaches on track for 6 seats, Liberal 5, Greens 2, and two other independents. The Liberals look unlikely to be able to stitch together a majority.
6:40pm – Polls have closed forty minutes in councils across New South Wales. Join me as I track the results. We should start to see some data after 7pm.