Randwick council election, 2017

Randwick council covers south-eastern parts of Sydney, stretching along the Pacific ocean coast from Clovelly to Botany Bay. The council also covers the suburbs of Kensington, Randwick, Coogee, Maroubra, Matraville, Malabar, Chifley, Little Bay, Phillip Bay and La Perouse.

Wards
The City of Randwick is divided into five wards, with each ward electing three councillors.

Central ward covers Maroubra. East ward covers Kingsford, Kensington and part of Randwick. North ward covers Centennial Park and Clovelly.

South ward covers Malabar, Matraville, Chifley, Little Bay, Phillip Bay and La Perouse. West ward covers Coogee, South Coogee and the remainder of Randwick.

Incumbent councillors

Central Anthony Andrews (Independent) Ted Seng (Liberal) Geoff Stevenson (Labor)
East Tony Bowen (Labor) Murray Matson (Greens) Brendan Roberts (Liberal)
North Kathy Neilson (Labor) Lindsay Shurey (Greens) Kiel Smith (Liberal)
South Robert Belleli (Liberal) Noel D’Souza (Labor) Pat Garcia (Labor)
West Greg Moore (Labor) Scott Nash (Liberal) Harry Stavrinos (Liberal)

History
Randwick Council traditionally was dominated by Labor, but since 2004 power has been shared between three political parties.

Labor’s Dominic Sullivan served as mayor from 1998 until the 2004 council election.

Labor lost its majority in 2004. The new council included seven Labor councillors, five Liberal councillors and three Greens councillors.

After that election, the Greens proposed that the three parties share the mayoralty in proportion to their numbers, with each party taking a turn in the big chair. This was rejected by Labor, with the Liberal Party supporting Murray Matson of the Greens to serve as mayor from 2004 to 2005.

For the remainder of this term, it appears that Labor and Liberal councillors shared the mayoralty thanks to the Greens alternating their votes. They supported the Liberal Party’s Ted Seng in 2005, Labor’s Paul Tracey in 2006 and the Liberal Party’s Bruce Notley-Smith in 2007.

Labor lost even more ground in 2008. Labor and Liberal each won five seats each, alongside three Greens. The two other seats went to the No Parking Meters Party and independent Anthony Andrews, a former Labor councillor.

The Liberal Party’s Bruce Notley-Smith held the mayoralty for a second term until 2009. That year Labor councillor John Procopiadis won the mayoralty with Liberal and independent support, and was promptly expelled from his party.

The Greens’ Matson returned to the mayoralty in 2010, followed by Liberal councillor Scott Nash in 2011. Throughout the 2008-2012 term the Labor-preferred candidate never won the mayoralty, with Liberals, Greens and independents leading the council.

Both major parties gained ground in 2012 at the expense of minor parties. Labor and Liberal each won six seats, alongside two Greens and independent Anthony Andrews.

The Greens remained in the balance of power, and they unilaterally decided to alternate support between the major parties without any agreement.

With Greens support, the mayoralty went to Labor’s Tony Bowen in 2012, then Liberal Scott Nash in 2013, then Liberal Ted Seng in 2014, then Labor’s Noel D’Souza in 2015 and 2016.

Candidates
The Greens are running:

  • Central – James Cruz
  • East – Murray Matson
  • North – Lindsay Shurey
  • West – Philipa Veitch

Independent mayor Noel D’Souza plans to run a ticket in all five wards.

Assessment
Randwick has been stuck in a position of shared power since 2004, with the major parties holding the most seats and the Greens holding the balance of power. This situation is likely to remain, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Labor bounced back to seven seats.

2012 council result

Party Votes % % where contested Swing
Liberal 23,141 37.3 37.3 5.4
Labor 16,872 27.2 27.2 -0.8
Greens 8,995 14.5 14.5 -9.0
No Parking Meters 4,446 7.2 9.1 0.9
Anthony Andrews 3,916 6.3 30.1 1.9
Others 4,591 7.4 12.7

Ward breakdown – 2012 council results
The Liberal Party comfortably topped the poll across Randwick Council in 2012.

The Liberal vote ranged from 33% in South to 40% in North. The party won a seat in every ward, and a second in the West ward (where they polled 39.6%).

The Labor vote was in the low 20s in four wards, with a vote ranging from 21.7% in Central to 23% in the North. Their vote was much higher, at 46%, in South, and this ward gave them their sixth councillor.

The Greens vote ranged from 8% in South to 20% in North.

Ward LIB % ALP % GRN % OTH %
Central 35.2 21.7 13.0 30.1
East 39.1 22.2 18.4 20.3
North 40.1 23.0 20.1 16.7
South 33.1 46.4 8.2 12.2
West 39.6 21.9 13.6 25.0

Election results at the 2012 Randwick council election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties.

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.