Sydney 2012 Archive

Sydney results broken down

The results from Saturday’s Sydney state by-election were decisive. It was a clear victory for independent candidate Alex Greenwich, and for Clover Moore’s political machine that supported his campaign.

The result was a slap in the face to the Liberal Party, who passed legislation forcing Clover Moore out of state Parliament and who ran a serious campaign to gain the seat after coming close to winning Sydney in 2011.

The result was a modest but positive result for the Greens, who increased their vote but were pushed aside by a strong progressive independent, as they have been in Sydney in state and local elections for the last decade.

There are numerous ways to interpret these results. Alex Greenwich gained a 12.2% swing on primary votes and an 11.8% swing on two-candidate-preferred votes, compared to Clover Moore in 2011. Is this a judgement that voters preferred a new independent to Clover? Are they voting for Greenwich as a surrogate for his mentor, or is it a signal to the Liberals that voters didn’t appreciate Clover being removed mid-term and an unnecessary by-election being forced upon them? It’s likely a combination of those things.

Certainly the swings towards Greenwich and the Greens are greater than they would have been if the ALP had stood, but the absence of the ALP doesn’t explain the swing against the Liberals. Collectively the Greens and the independent gained a swing of 17.2% on primary votes, substantially more than the 11.3% vote recorded by the ALP. It’s also worth remembering that not all Labor voters would have cast a ballot for one of the other progressive candidates.

You can also compare like with like by looking at the 2CP vote, which was between a Liberal and an independent in both 2011 and 2012. After Clover Moore held on with a slim margin of 3.1% in 2011, this margin has now been expanded to 14.9%.

The real test now will be how Greenwich performs. There is a history of retiring independents successfully transferring their seat to a chosen successor for one term, but for their successors to be less capable of holding onto the seat in the long run. Now that Greenwich is the Member for Sydney he will be judged on his own agenda and his own achievements. Clover Moore isn’t going anywhere, but will Greenwich be able to win future terms in Parliament as the ‘Clover Moore party’ candidate?

After the fold I have posted some detailed breakdowns of vote by geographic areas, and maps.

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Sydney by-election results live

Results of Sydney by-election
24/24 booths reporting primary votes.
24/24 booths reporting two-candidate-preferred votes.

Candidate Party Prim % Swing 2PP % Swing
Robyn Peebles CDP 1.9% +0.8%
Alex Greenwich IND 48.5% +12.2% 64.9% +11.8%
Chris Harris GRN 17.7% +5.0%
Shayne Mallard LIB 29.8% -6.4% 35.1% -11.8%
Glenn Wall IND 2.1% 2.1%

8:41pm – I was planning on posting a map of who won each booth, but it’s not worth it. Below is the map produced showing the top polling candidate the 2011 state election (Clover Moore in yellow, Liberal Adrian Bartels in blue). This time around, Mallard has only managed to win a single booth – St Joseph’s, Edgecliff, at the eastern edge of the seat. He won this booth with 54.4% of the 2CP vote. Greenwich has won all others (three are yet to report, but all these should be won easily based on primary votes).

I’ll leave it there tonight, and will return tomorrow with more information.

Polling booths in Sydney at the 2011 state election. Booths are coloured according to the party that won the vote in each booth in the Legislative Assembly: Clover Moore in yellow, Liberal in blue.

8:32pm – We now have primary votes from all booths, plus a large batch of prepolls. We have a small number of prepolls and all booths barring three for two-candidate preferred votes. Greenwich is at 48.5%, far ahead of Shayne Mallard, who is just under 30%. From this position he will easily win. I’m going to leave most of the analysis until tomorrow, but I will be posting a map in a minute showing what this result looks like across the seat.

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Sydney by-election this Saturday

Read the Tally Room guide to the Sydney by-election.

Voters in the state electorate of Sydney will be voting on Saturday to choose a replacement for the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, who was forced to resign as a state MP due to a new state law passed by the O’Farrell state government. This law required any state MP who is elected to a local council to resign from state Parliament before they can take their council seat.

Theoretically this law would affect any of the dozens of state MPs who were serving as councillors and MPs following the 2011 state election. These included a large number of Coalition MPs, as well as three Greens, one Christian Democrat and a handful of Labor MPs.

With the exception of Clover Moore and Lake Macquarie Mayor Greg Piper, however, none of the other MPs had run for another term on council since being first elected to state Parliament, and they all had plans to step down from council.

Clover Moore has been a thorn in the side of the Coalition government – popular with inner-city residents, she has pursued an agenda that has prioritised cyclists from the inner city over outer-suburbs residents commuting to the city by car for work. She has been able to achieve a lot more than other progressive inner-city mayors thanks to the massive budget of the City of Sydney, funded by rates from businesses in the Sydney CBD.

Previous Coalition governments have undermined progressive forces in the City of Sydney by breaking the southern suburbs of the City (traditionally Labor-voting) away to form a separate South Sydney council, allowing business interests in the inner city to control the rates from the CBD. I’ve previously blogged about state governments manipulating municipal boundaries to pacify a difficult Town Hall.

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New guides to upcoming by-elections

I have just posted two new guides for two by-elections expected in the next few months.

A by-election will be held soon in the state seat of Melbourne following the resignation of Labor MP Bronwyn Pike. The race is expected to be a head-to-head contest between Labor and the Greens.

A by-election is expected for the state seat of Sydney later in the year after legislation was passed prohibiting state MPs from running for council. The law was universally considered to be targeted at Clover Moore, the independent Lord Mayor of Sydney and local state MP. She will need to resign from Parliament in order to run for a third term as Lord Mayor in September. Her seat will likely be a contest between the Liberal Party and the Greens, although another independent or Labor candidate could also be a contender.

I have also recently completed the Google Earth map of Victorian wards, updated for the 2012 local government elections. A number of councils have changed their ward boundaries since the 2008 election map was produced.

Apart from updating those two by-election profiles, I don’t plan to post any more on the blog over the next few months. I’ve just started a new role that will occupy most of my spare time until the NSW council elections in September. In my spare time I have started working on maps for the 2013 federal election guide. If I have time I will also be covering the elections in the ACT and the Northern Territory, but most of the time will be spent getting the federal guide ready.