Randwick council election, 2021

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.

The council includes a population of about 156,000 as of 2019.

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

Central ward covers Maroubra. East ward covers Coogee, South Coogee and the remainder 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 Kingsford, Kensington and part of Randwick.

Incumbent councillors

Central Anthony Andrews (Ind) Dylan Parker (Labor) Ted Seng (Liberal)
East Tony Bowen (Labor) Murray Matson (Greens) Brendan Roberts (Lib)
North Christie Hamilton (Lib) Kathy Neilson (Labor) Lindsay Shurey (Greens)
South Noel D’Souza (Ind) Carlos Da Rocha (Ind) Danny Said (Labor)
West Alexandra Luxford (Lab) Harry Stavrinos (Liberal) Philipa Veitch (Greens)

History
Randwick Council traditionally was dominated by Labor, but there was a period of power being shared between the three big parties from 2004 to 2017. Since 2017 there has been a solid Labor-Greens majority.

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.

Labor lost their sixth seat in 2017, with the Greens regaining their third seat. The Liberal Party lost two of their six seats, with three independents winning seats. Independents did particularly well in the South ward, with former Labor mayor Noel D’Souza’s independent team winning two seats.

Since the 2017 election, an alliance of Labor and the Greens has monopolised leadership roles on the council. The Greens’ Lindsay Shurey won the mayoralty in 2017, followed by Labor’s Kathy Neilson in 2018 and Danny Said in 2019.

Candidate summary
The Greens lead candidates for each ward are:

Assessment
Labor and the Greens have a long history of tension in this area and I don’t think you can assume the current power-sharing would continue on a new council. Labor is at a particularly weak point now and if they could pick up support and extra seats they could find themselves able to negotiate different deals. The current independents could potentially provide a different ally on a different council.

2017 results

PartyVotes%SwingSeats won
Liberal 19,44530.69-6.64
Independents17,42427.50+6.63
Labor 16,52626.08-1.15
Greens 9,47114.95+0.43
Shooters, Fishers & Farmers4980.79+0.8
Informal3,2954.94

Vote breakdown by ward

The following table show the vote in each ward.

The Liberal Party topped the primary vote across the council, and topped the poll in three wards. The Liberal vote ranged from 18.1% in the south (where they did not win a seat) to 38.4% in the east. This netted them one seat in four of the wards.

The Labor vote was lower, but more evenly distributed, ranging from 23.4% in the south to 30.5% in the centre. Labor topped the vote in the centre. Labor won one seat in each ward.

The Greens ran in four wards, with a vote ranging from 13.8% in the centre to 22.6% in the east. They won three seats, missing out in the central ward.

Independents ran in every ward, but there were strong incumbents in two wards. Anthony Andrews was re-elected in the Central ward with 26.8%, while Noel D’Souza, who had previously been elected as an ALP member, polled 54.8% in the South ward, winning two seats for his team.

WardALP %LIB %IND %GRN %
Central30.528.926.813.8
East27.038.411.922.6
North25.034.619.121.3
South23.418.154.80.0
West24.435.421.019.2

Election results at the 2017 City of Randwick election
Toggle between primary votes for the Liberal Party, independent candidates, Labor and the Greens.

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