Brisbane City – races to watch


The biggest election to be held on Saturday will be for the City of Brisbane, which is Australia’s most populous and most powerful local government.

If you haven’t already checked out my guide to this election, you can read it here. The guide features profiles of all 26 wards, as well as a profile of the race for lord mayor. Each profile includes tables showing the results of the 2016 election as well as maps showing the voting patterns.

In this post I wanted to quickly run through some of the wards which could be important on Saturday night.

Labor currently holds five wards, alongside one Green and one independent. The other 19 are held by the Liberal National Party. My estimate of the impact of the redistribution sees one of those nineteen LNP wards flip to Labor, with Doboy’s margin changing from 4.3% LNP to 0.3% ALP.

So Labor would need a big change in wards to win a majority on council, or even deprive the LNP of its majority. A loss of five wards would push the LNP into minority, while a gain of eight wards would give Labor a majority.

There are six LNP wards held by margins of less than 6%. If these all flipped, then the council would be hung.

Four of these wards are north of the river, and two are to the south.

Coorparoo and Holland Park are two neighbouring wards on the south side of the river, and are held by the LNP by margins of 3.9% and 4.1% respectively.

The Gap and Enoggera are also neighbouring wards in the north-west of the city, and are held by 4.5% and 5.6% respectively.

Northgate is the most marginal LNP ward in the city, and is held by a 1.7% margin. It covers parts of the north-east.

The Paddington ward covers the inner north-west, and is held by the LNP by a 5.8% margin. Paddington is the main target for the Greens, who came second here in 2016.

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  1. Allegedly the ECQ is banning scrutineers?????? For election night at least.

    Even if they allow them on Monday that’s still a farce. Who’s watching the RO seal up the ballot boxes to send turn to the central counting station?

    This is simply nonsense. If voting tomorrow is safe with the virus scrutineering is even safer. They literally can’t touch anything!

  2. Benee
    I can not see how ECQ
    Could ban scrutineers, the right of candidates to appoint scrutineers is part of set out in S 59 of Local Government Electoral Act. Role of scrutineers set out. We will just have to wait and see.
    Clearly counting of votes is going to be difficult whilst maintaining social distancing, Normally there are 2 or 3 Electoral Commission staff plus 2 or scrutineers around a Table 1.8 Metres * 0.9 Metre Table.

    In managing campaigns which I am not doing this time I have taken view that scrutineers were not needed. EC presiding officers are generally mid ranking public servants not involved in politics. They run a tight ship, at toilet are officious but are scrupulously honest. EC systems are such that checking that ballot box is empty are formalities. Every ballot paper issued is accounted for.
    At a Federal election 40 years ago In a country town 1 extra ballot paper in box than issued. It turned out that ballot paper had been issued at another booth. We had to recount twice before finding the errant ballot paper. But 1) excess ballot paper noticed
    2) ballot paper eventually located.

  3. And yet analysis of past senate results shows that when counts are unscrutinised errors creep in…

    I have absolute confidence that no Australian election has been called the wrong way due to a counting error, but only because every parties’s scrutineers descend upon close counts!

    This is the first election with no scutineering, but imagine if this was the norm? Any political partisan could start applying for ECQ/AEC jobs with the hope of one day being an RO alone in a room with a ballot box with only their subordinates around… It wouldn’t just risk pre-planned ballot stuffing, impromtu is possible too. “Oh no, this booth is not voting for my favourite party? Maybe if I ‘lose’ 50 ballots to make it not add up the whole booth’s result will be declared void.”

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