Northern Beaches council election, 2024

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  1. I’ll jump in with the first one.

    The big news over the last few days was Michael Gencher defecting from Your Northern Beaches to the Liberal Party, shifting the numbers to 6 Liberals and 5 YNB.

    The critical story from this will now be on two seats, being whether the Liberal Party and YNB can successfully defend their 2nd seats in the Pittwater and Frenches Forest Wards respectively.

  2. Frenchs Forest and Narrabeen are definitely the wards to watch. With Michael Regan ineligible to run again and Jose Menano-Pirez having nowhere near the profile of MR I don’t see them retaining the second YNB seat in FF, although there have been rumours of the current Mayor Sue Heins moving from Curl Curl to Frenchs Forest to defend it.

    In Narrabeen, a serious GRN contender could take the final position from De Luca (IND) as the 2021 election saw an 18-year-old come within 700 votes. Due to OPV, Labor running in either ward could hurt GRN chances as Labor votes tend to exhaust after first preference due to poor preference discipline, LIB ‘just vote one’ messaging and a lack of volunteers to hand out HTVs on booths.

    Frenchs Forest Ward
    YNB 6.3% vs GRN

    Narrabeen Ward
    IND 2.8% vs GRN

  3. I agree with Ethan in Narrabeen being fascinating. The Ind running in that ward is Vincent De Luca, a former staffer for former Liberal MLC and David Clarke Supporter Marie Ficarra. De Luca was kicked out of the Liberal Party after he ran for pre-selection against Brad Hazzard for Wakehurst, lost and then ran as an independent anyway. His main support base is the Netball Community.

    My position at this stage for seats:
    Pittwater Ward – 1 Lib, 1 Grn, 1 Marginal Seat (Lib vs YNB)
    Frenches Forest Ward – 1 YNB, 1 Lib 1 Marginal Seat (3-Cornered Contest between YNB, Lib and Grn)
    Narrabeen Ward – 1 YNB, 1 Lib 1 Marginal (IND vs Grn)
    Curl Curl Ward – 1 YNB, 1 Lib, 1 Grn
    Manly Ward – 1 Lib, 1 GFM, 1 Marginal (Grn vs YNB)

    This would make the council:
    LIB – 5 Likely
    YNB – 3 Likely
    Grn – 2 Likely
    Others – 1 Likely (GFM)
    Marginal – 4

  4. Is YNB considered centrist or are they teal independents? Or are they more conservative leaning independents like the new Independent MP who succeeded Brad Hazzard? (Sorry forgot the names)

  5. @Ethan how are you working out margins for multi-member wards? Unlike Queensland, there are no single-member wards in NSW (the last ones were abolished back when the Botany Bay Council was abolished), so all wards in NSW are elected using proportional voting (some wards in Queensland like Ipswich wards are multi-member and proportionally elected but most are single-member like in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Townsville, Cairns, etc, while like other states/territories some councils are unwarded).

  6. It’s more complicated, but if you look at the distribution of preferences you can often calculate what percentage of the vote needed to flip to change the last seat.

  7. Hi @Daniel T – A good question and one worth explaining to everyone.

    Your Northern Beaches, from its inception as Wake Up Warringah, to the last State Election, didn’t entirely have a political alignment, especially as it had taken in people from all sides of the political spectrum. It was more of a personality push under Michael Regan, who kept the movement united and focused on Council.

    Recently, there had been a gradual break in YNB, with Regan now moving on to State Politics, with numerous personalities trying to place themselves as the leader of the movement in Council. It is difficult to pick up who is leading now and the situation has gotten tougher for YNB with Michael Gencher defecting to the Liberal Party. YNB still has Jose Menano-Pires, who is the former President of the very infamous Forest Brand of the Liberal Party (the branch that virtually had outright control around who would run for the party in Davidson and had a significant say on Mackellar).

    It will be fascinating to see how it goes

  8. The defection of Gencher was long on the cards and perhaps inevitable given his frustration with the Regan personality politics, and not succeeding in leadership of YNB once Regan was gone. I was not surprised at all he defected although I thought it might be as an independent.

    It’s too early to call yet how things will play out. With both YNB and LIB having turn over in candidates, its harder to use incumbency as a predicter. While the LIB name matters to secure at least a councillor in each ward, its harder to say whether post Regan the same is true of YNB.

  9. It seems Labor hasn’t given up on the Northern Beaches fully… yet… with the following registered for campaigning:

    Jasper Thatcher – Curl Curl Ward (ALP Affiliation) – Registered 10/5/24

    Curl Curl was Labor’s strongest Ward gaining 0.63 of a quota last time and narrowly missing out tot eh Greens.

    Also for Northern Beaches:

    Mandeep Singh – Narrabean Ward (No Affiliation List) – Registered 7/9/23

  10. June Update: Not much to report but Labor looks like it’ll be running in Narrabean Ward again. The other Ward they ran in 2021 was Manly.

    Susan Wright – Narrabean Ward (ALP Affiliation) – Registered 22/5/24

  11. With Gencher and Menano-Pires having defected YNB, the race has gotten very interesting as YNB will effectively have to refresh with new candidates in Pittwater and either Curl Curl or Frenchs Forest (depending on whether Heins stays in CC or shifts to FF). They will have a bigger challenge coming into the election without Regan’s personal brand and without incumbents in 2 wards.

    The Libs will presumably be running with only one new candidate (in FF as Sprott not recontesting). Karina Page will be running in Narrabeen instead of Pittwater, but I suppose has some name recognition having taken over from Rory.

  12. Rumour going around that with Sue Heins moving to Frenches Forest Ward, room will be made for Joelene Hackman (Teal Candidate for Manly from 2023) to run for Council. This is confirming that the Teals are now starting to infiltrate and take over YNB. I do know as well that there are key foundations members of YNB who have quit the movement in protest at the infiltration of the hardcore Teals into the group.

    I expect JMP to run on his own, as he is likely barred from the Liberal Party. I’ve heard rumours as well that Jacquie Scruby may run for YNB in the Pittwater Ward, which would all but confirm the take-over.

  13. @Hawkeye I think there is no love lost between JMP and the Libs, who in any event, have finally run their Forest preselection with a new lead candidate that appears to be from out of the Forest area. The candidate movement in the Forest means its an open race for the third spot. Sue Heins is unlikely to have the same personal vote that Regan had. The new Lib won’t either. If JMP runs he will struggle with ground game at the election and be cannibalising the Lib and YNB vote alike with presumably high exhaust rate due to aforementioned ground game.

    The possible beneficiary of this in the Forest would be the Greens who are the only ones actively campaigning in the Forest, depending on exhausts and preference flows.


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