Northern Beaches council election, 2021

Northern Beaches council covers the north-eastern corner of Sydney, including suburbs along the coast from Manly to Palm Beach. The council covers the entire Manly peninsula, and is bounded at its northern end by Broken Bay.

The council covers the suburbs of Avalon Beach, Bayview, Newport, Mona Vale, Warriewood, Terrey Hills, Ingleside, Elanora Heights, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Belrose, Frenchs Forest, Beacon Hill, Dee Why, Cromer, Brookvale, Curl Curl, Freshwater, Manly Vale, Balgowlah, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly.

The council has a population of about 273,000 as of 2019.

Wards
Northern Beaches is divided into five wards, with each ward electing three councillors.

Curl Curl ward covers south-central parts of the council, including Dee Why, Curl Curl, North Manly and Brookvale.

Frenchs Forest ward covers inland parts of the council, including Allambie Heights, Davidson, Frenchs Forest, Belrose, Killarney Heights and Forestville.

Manly ward covers the southern end of the council, including Balgowlah, Fairlight, Manly, Manly Vale and Seaforth. The former Manly council is entirely contained in the new Manly ward.

Narrabeen ward covers north-central parts of the council, including Collaroy, Narrabeen, Ingleside and Elanore Heights.

Pittwater ward covers the northern end of the council, including Terrey Hills, Mona Vale, Bayview, Newport, Bilgola, Avalon Beach, Whale Beach and Palm Beach.

Incumbent councillors

Curl Curl Michael Regan (YNB) David Walton (Liberal) Natalie Warren (Grn)
Frenchs Forest Roslyn Harrison (YNB) Penny Philpott (YNB) Stuart Sprott (Lib)
Manly Candy Bingham (Good For Manly) Pat Daley (Liberal) Sarah Grattan (Your Northern Beaches)
Narrabeen Rory Amon (Liberal) Vincent De Luca (Ind) Sue Heins (YNB)
Pittwater Kylie Ferguson (Lib) Alex McTaggart (Ind) Ian White (YNB)

History
Northern Beaches Council was created out of a merger of Manly, Pittwater and Warringah councils in 2016. The 2017 guide covers the previous history of these councils and how much of the new council came from its predecessors.

Manly Council had been mainly a battle between the Liberal Party and the Manly Independents party since former state MP Peter Macdonald won the mayoralty in 2004. The Liberal Party regained the mayoralty in 2008, and won a majority on the council in 2012.

Warringah Council was not contested by Labor or Liberal, but rather was a contest between various local groups. The council was sacked in 2003 and did not face election again until 2008.

The Wake Up Warringah team won three out of nine council seats in 2008, and their leader Michael Regan won the mayoralty.

Regan led a new Your Warringah ticket in 2012, winning five out of nine council seats along with an easy victory for the mayoralty.

Pittwater Council was dominated by independents, without much evidence of independents forming tickets across multiple wards.

The three councils were amalgamated to form the Northern Beaches Council in 2016.

Michael Regan formed a new Your Northern Beaches ticket, while the Liberal Party also decided to run for the new council (which was their first intervention north of Manly).

These two parties each won about the same vote – 31% for the Liberal Party and 29.6% for YNB. YNB won six seats while the Liberals won five.

The Greens also won a seat along with three independents: former Manly councillor Candy Bingham, former Pittwater councillor Alex McTaggart and former Warringah councillor Vincent De Luca.

Michael Regan was elected mayor following the 2017 election and has held the office ever since. There has been a stable majority, featuring the YNB bloc and Candy Bingham. Regan, Bingham or one of Regan’s allies has won every leadership vote. Meanwhile the Liberal Party or Alex McTaggart has unsuccessfully contested every leadership vote during this term. It appear that the Greens’ Natalie Warren votes with YNB and Vincent De Luca votes with the Liberals, for a stable 8-7 split on the council.

Candidate summary
Watch this space.

Assessment
The Northern Beaches are a conservative area, dominated by the Liberal Party at a state and federal level. Labor and the Greens are not major factors on the council, but the party system has evolved an opponent for the Liberal Party who are currently in government.

A single seat flipping from YNB to the Liberal Party may be enough to disrupt the balance of power, with two conservative independents sitting in opposition to Regan’s team.

2017 results

PartyVotes%SwingSeats won
Liberal 42,65130.96+23.25
Your Northern Beaches40,82829.64+1.96
Other independents21,96315.94+15.92
Labor 12,6549.19+7.9
Greens 11,6178.43-3.41
Good For Manly8,0455.84+3.41
Informal6,9834.82

Vote breakdown by ward

The Liberal Party topped the primary vote, but only came first in three wards. Their vote ranged from 25.6% in Curl Curl to 36.7% in Frenchs Forest.

Your Northern Beaches polled slightly less than the Liberal Party, but their vote was very uneven, ranging from 14.8% in Pittwater to 52.3% in Frenchs Forest. They outpolled the Liberal Party in Curl Curl and Frenchs Forest.

Independents (including Good For Manly) polled well in three wards, with 28.8% in Narrabeen (including De Luca), 30.3% in Manly (including Bingham) and 38.3% in Pittwater (including McTaggart).

WardLIB %YNB %GRN %ALP %IND %
Curl Curl25.632.216.014.012.3
Frenchs Forest36.752.30.011.00.0
Manly30.418.615.25.730.3
Narrabeen31.829.10.010.328.8
Pittwater30.014.811.95.038.3

Election results at the 2017 Northern Beaches Council election
Toggle between primary votes for the Liberal Party, Your Northern Beaches, independent candidates, Labor and the Greens.

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1 COMMENT

  1. My Home council and expect this to get a bit more fired up next time around, given how close the Liberal Party were to taking the Council over at the last election.

    Curl Curl – YNB and LIB each got a full quota, with the Greens managing to get over the line at the 15th Count on the back of Preferences from YNB
    Frenches Forest – This is YNB’s big strength area and it showed, getting 2 Quotas on Primaries, with LIB getting the 3rd on Primaries.

    Manly Ward – Often the Wild Card of the Council Area (as shown from its very rich history with Independents at all 3 levels), GFM and LIB took a quota each on Primaries, before the leftover votes from GFM and Labor got YNB over for 3rd place

    Narrabeen Ward – LIB and YNB won a quota each on Primary, with De Luca taking 3rd place after preferences from LIB

    Pittwater – LIB were the only party to win on Primary Vote. The rest was a complete scramble between the 4 independent groups (one of which was McTaggart, who got elected at the 24th count), LAB, GRN and YNB (who got up at the 24th count along with McTaggart). This got triggered at the exclusion of Group C Independents

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