We’ve finally got results from all of the referendums and polls conducted alongside the NSW council elections. I’m planning to do a slightly deeper analysis for a few of those that I find interesting as time allows, but I will also include them in my wrap-up of the final results.
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Ben was joined by Osmond Chiu for the final episode of 2021 to discuss the results of the NSW council elections. We ran through a few of the more interesting big councils, as well as the interesting referendum and plebiscite results.
The pace of counting for many of the referendums and polls has been frustratingly slow, being stuck in the queue behind election counting.
Some councils made a decent amount of progress on election night, with most others only now getting some figures. I thought I would do a quick update running through what we know. For some of these I want to do proper dedicated posts with maps once the results are finalised.
After a week of vote-counting, I thought it would be a good time to look at how turnout looks compared to the last round of council elections in 2016-17.
Shortly before the election I posted about turnout levels at the 2012 and 2016-17 elections. Turnout rates went down slightly in 2016-17 from 82.7% to 79.7% in contested wards.
There’s been a lot of discussion about the high levels of informal voting in the NSW council elections, often with an air of alarm focused on just one council, without zooming out and seeing the broader trend.
With the addition of iVotes on Wednesday night, the number of races in play is starting to shrink and we are getting closer to the final primary vote figures for each council race.
In this post I’m going to run through each of the 24 councils I’m covering, and the seats for each council which aren’t decided. These 24 councils have 99 electoral contests for 320 seats. By my count 53 seats in 44 contests are still in play.
The withdrawal of the Liberal Party from a number of large Sydney councils has unsurprisingly led to a decline in the Sydney-wide Liberal vote, while Labor and the Greens have produced their highest primary vote in Greater Sydney since 2004. It may well be a record high for Labor, but it’s definitely a record high for the Greens.
Up until this point, most of my analysis of the NSW council elections has been contained to one council.
In one sense this makes sense – each local council is its own little polity and has its own stories. Part of what I find fascinating is the details of the stories, and you lose that detail when you try and detect broader trends that go beyond council borders. But it’s still worth looking at what stories tend to pop up again and again.
Before I zoom out, I thought I would also highlight some of the smaller councils that grabbed my interest. There are simply too many councils to cover them all, but these are a few that have been sent to me.
After some spotty live results earlier in the night, I turned last night’s liveblog into a run through of the end-of-night results in some of the biggest councils, covering Bayside to Lake Macquarie alphabetically before collapsing to bed at 1am. Here I go continuing the story.