Blacktown Ward 2 by-election, 2017

Cause of by-election
Longstanding Labor councillor Leo Kelly died in January 2017, triggering a by-election for his seat in Ward 2 of Blacktown City Council.

Incumbent councillors

  • Jaymes Diaz (Liberal)
  • Julie Griffiths (Labor)

Geography
Ward 2 covers eastern parts of the City of Blacktown including Kings Langley, Glenwood, Marayong, Lalor Park and parts of Blacktown and Seven Hills.

History
Labor won two out of three seats in Ward 2 in 2004, with the Liberal Party winning one seat. This result was repeated in 2008.

In 2012, the Liberal Party gained a second seat off Labor. Labor regained their second seat in 2016.

These results have paralleled the overall control of Blacktown City. Labor held ten out of fifteen seats on the council in 2004, and this dropped to a narrow eight-seat majority in 2008. The loss of their second seat in Ward 2 in 2012 helped lead to a result of seven Liberal, seven Labor and one Liberal-leaning independent. After the defection of a Liberal councillor helped Labor regain control during that term, Labor then won ten out of fifteen seats in 2016, giving them a solid majority once again.

Candidates

  • Kittu Randhawa (Independent)
  • Cassie Orrock (Australia First)
  • Chris Winslow (Greens)
  • Kevin Gillies (Labor)

Assessment
Labor should comfortably retain this seat. The party won 46% of the primary vote in 2016, far ahead of any other party, and would have definitely won if only one seat was up for grabs. In addition, the Liberal Party has declined to nominate, and the circumstances of the by-election should help Labor win comfortably. The lack of a mainstream conservative candidate may lead to a surprisingly high vote for Australia First.

2016 result

Party Votes % Swing
Labor 14,567 45.91 +9.6
Liberal 8,491 26.8 -11.4
Greens 2,981 9.39 +9.1
Christian Democratic Party 2,644 8.33 +4.0
Gino Belcastro 2,181 6.87 +6.9
Jonathan Handley 868 2.74 +2.7

Booth breakdown

Booths in Ward 2 have been split into three areas: north, south and west.

Labor’s vote was highest in the south and west, where they polled around half of the total vote, with only 38.5% voting Labor in the north. The Liberal vote was around 24% in the south and west and 30% in the north.

The Greens came third, with a vote of over 10% in the north and around 9% in the south and west.

Voter group GRN % LIB % ALP % Total votes % of votes
North 10.4 30.1 38.5 10,495 33.1
South 9.2 24.0 49.9 9,061 28.6
West 9.1 24.3 52.0 5,684 17.9
Other votes 8.2 27.3 47.0 6,492 20.5

Election results in Ward 2 at the 2016 Blacktown City Council election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for Labor and the Liberal Party.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.