So, Hope For Councils

Big day for local Liberals across NSW yesterday. Some notable results in Waverley, Parramatta, Strathfield and elsewhere.

Marrickville may well have voted in its first Liberal councillor.

THE Greens suffered a voter backlash across the state yesterday, with swings of between 10 and 15 per cent against the party in most parts of NSW.

But no result is so much fun as the two L’s:  Liverpool and Leichhardt. A Liberal Mayor sitting in Mark Latham’s old Mayoral Chair in my childhood stomping ground? Delicious.

Leichhardt, where The Greens Party has lost its majority and 11% of its vote, where sitting Mayor Rochelle Porteous will no doubt publicly lose her temper yet again, and where the Liberal vote has grown and delivered an extra councillor. The ALP has bounced back – sort of.  Oh, and the Inner West avoided the return of the zombie Pabloist, Hall Greenland.

The ALP bounce in Leichhardt is disappointing but countered by continuing losses across the state. It does tend to indicate, however, that the Leftists of the  inner city are less amenable to learning from experience than the supposedly ignorant redneck bogans of the suburbs.

It certainly seems that tribalism trumps thinking the closer you get to the GPO.

In Leichhardt the most likely looking outcome is 4-4-4 to each of the parties. From Antony Green:

Leichhardt  – The Greens lost nearly 11% of their support, losing votes to both Labor and the Liberals. The Greens remain the highest polling party on council, but as was shown by last year’s state election result in Balmain, the Liberal Party vote is increasing in this area. The Greens are set to lose two seats and the council may finish 4 each for Labor, Liberal and the Greens.

There are three reasons that’s good news:

  • the Liberals have locked in their vote from the 2011 State election. Four Councillors is a platform for growth, not a peak. Those numbers are only going up.
  • the Council Chamber and recalcitrant Council Officers now have to deal with the eminence grise of Inner West Liberalism, former MLC, Mayor and multi-council administrator John Jobling [declaration: Jobbo has been a mentor of mine].
  • Labor can only distinguish itself from The Greens Party through pragmatic action. It will. Darcy Byrne is nobody’s fool.

Leichhardt Council just took a very big step from the ideological to the practical.

Oh, Memo #2 Mr Parker MP: Firth on the rise. Rethinking preference decisions now?

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