Cumberland council election, 2024

Cumberland council covers suburbs in the centre of Western Sydney, immediately to the south of Parramatta. The council covers Auburn, Berala, Clyde, Girraween, Granville, Greystanes, Guildford, Holroyd, Lidcombe, Merrylands, Pemulwuy and Wentworthville.

The council has a population of about 237,000 as of 2022.

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

Granville ward covers the centre of the new council, and includes the suburbs of Granville, Holroyd, Merrylands and parts of Guildford.

Greystanes ward covers the south-west of the new council, including the suburbs of Greystanes, Pemulwuy, Woodpark and parts of Guildford West.

Regents Park ward covers the eastern end of the new council, including the suburbs of Lidcombe, Berala, and those parts of Auburn north of the railway line.

South Granville ward covers south-eastern parts of the new council, including South Granville and parts of Auburn and Guildford.

Wentworthville ward covers the north-western corner of the new council, including Girraween, Pendle Hill, Wentworthville and South Wentworthville.

Incumbent councillors

Granville Steve Christou (OLC) Ola Hamed (Labor) Joseph Rahme (Ind Lib)
Greystanes Diane Colman (Lab) Greg Cummings (Ind) Eddy Sarkis (Ind)1
Regents Park Sabrin Farooqui (Lab) Kun Huang (Labor) Helen Hughes (OLC)
South Granville Glenn Elmore (Labor) Paul Garrard (OLC) Mohamad Hussein (Lab)
Wentworthville Lisa Lake (Labor) Suman Saha (Labor) Michael Zaiter (Ind Lib)

1Sarkis was elected as a member of Our Local Community but resigned from the party in February 2024.

History
Cumberland City Council was created out of a merger of Holroyd and Auburn councils, along with the Woodville Ward (Granville) of Parramatta council, in 2016. The 2017 guide covers the previous history of these councils and how much of the new council came from its predecessors.

The last term of Auburn council saw half the seat go to minor party or independent councillors, along with three Liberals and two Labor, which was a low point for Labor.

Holroyd had been dominated by Labor and the Holroyd Independents, but the Liberal Party emerged on the council in 2008 and became the largest party in 2012. Labor and the Holroyd Independents split the mayoralty each year from 2008 to 2012. Liberal councillors held the mayoralty from 2012 to 2014, followed by Labor’s Greg Cummings from 2014 until the council’s abolition in 2016.

The Woodville ward of Parramatta City Council elected two Labor councillors and one Liberal in 2004. Labor and Liberal each won one seat in 2008, with Paul Garrard, who had previously served as a Labor councillor, winning re-election as an independent for the third seat. This result was repeated in 2012.

The 2017 election saw Labor win eight seats, along with five Liberals and two members of the Our Local Community party.

Labor’s hold on the council quickly came unstuck. Labor’s Greg Cummings, a former mayor of Holroyd, lost preselection for mayor to George Campbell, from the Auburn end of the council. Cummings received the support of the Liberal and OLC councillors and won the mayoralty against his party. He was immediately suspended from Labor and was eventually expelled.

In 2019, Cummings abstained from the mayoral election but the Liberal and OLC councillors found another Labor councillor to support for mayor. Steve Christou resigned from the ALP immediately after winning the mayoralty. He subsequently joined the Our Local Community party.

The Liberal Party opted out of contesting the 2021 election, although incumbent Liberal councillors ran as independents in three wards.

Labor again won eight seats in 2021, with the Our Local Community party (including former Labor councillor Steve Christou) as the main opposition, winning four seats. Two independent Liberals were re-elected, as was former Labor councillor Greg Cummings.

Labor councillor Lisa Lake won the mayoralty in January 2022, and has held it ever since.

Council control
Labor holds a majority of seats on Cumberland Council, and those eight Labor councillors have voted together in both mayoral elections. Six of the other seven councillors have also voted together, supporting Cr Sarkis in January 2022 and Cr Garrard in September 2023. Cr Cummings voted with Labor in 2022 and abstained in 2023.

Candidate summary
No information.

Assessment
Labor has the strongest vote in Cumberland and that is not likely to change. To maintain a majority on the council, Labor needs to win two out of three seats in three wards. They achieved this easily in Regents Park and South Granville wards in 2021, but did not win by such a clear margin in Wentworthville.

Another major factor will be whether the Liberal Party returns to the field. If they do, they will be competing with the existing conservative OLC party for the right-wing seat in each ward. It’s unlikely OLC would win four seats in such an environment.

At the moment Labor is dominant on the left-wing side of the council while the right is divided (and would continue to be divided if the Liberal Party returned to the council). Emergence of progressive independents could see Labor lose their majority but still be able to lead the council, as would an increasing Greens vote. The Greens polled 13.6% in Wentworthville Ward in 2021, but that vote was much higher in the western end of the ward. If their vote in the eastern end of the ward could match the west, they could challenge Labor for the second left seat in that ward.

2021 results

Party Votes % Swing Seats won
Labor 47,343 48.58 +9.4 8
Our Local Community 27,547 28.26 +14.0 4
Independent Liberal 12,142 12.46 -13.7 2
Other independents 7,681 7.88 -10.8 1
Greens 2,748 2.82 +1.1
Informal 6,705 6.44

Vote breakdown by ward
The following table shows the vote in each ward.

Labor topped the primary vote in four out of five wards, with a vote ranging from 32.9% in Greystanes to 64.9% in South Granville.

Our Local Community came second, with a primary vote ranging from 18.1% in Wentworthville to 35.1% in South Granville.

Sitting Liberal councillors ran as independents in three wards, polling over 22% (and winning seats) in Granville and Wentworthville and falling short with 16.5% in Regents Park.

Councillor Cummings polled 32.3% in Greystanes, clearly splitting the previous solid Labor vote.

Ward ALP % OLC % IND LIB IND %
Granville 42.5 32.4 22.1 3.0
Greystanes 32.9 34.8 0.0 32.3
Regents Park 59.7 21.8 16.5 2.0
South Granville 64.9 35.1 0.0 0.0
Wentworthville 45.5 18.1 22.8 0.0

Election results at the 2021 Cumberland City Council election
Toggle between primary votes for Labor, Our Local Community, independent Liberal candidates, independent candidate Greg Cummings and the Greens.

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