Bigger swings than anyone imagined in local government elections

11 September 2017
Over the weekend, we had local government elections here in NSW, confusingly in some councils but not in others. I didn't get to vote - I was on the Central Coast when the City of Sydney had their poll and now I'm in Sydney, there was a Central Coast election I didn't get to have a go in (upgrade the ruddy roads up there, whoever you are that wins!). 
As expected, the Liberal party suffered big swings to Labor and to an extent, the Greens. 

As counting continued on Sunday across 46 council districts, including 22 Sydney councils, early results showed voters had punished the Liberal party across the board, but surprisingly including deep into its Sydney heartland.

 "In the councils between Newcastle and Shellharbour the average swing to Labor currently stands at about 5.5 per cent," said psephologist Ben Raue.

And speaking of Newcastle, not a single Liberal was elected to the city council (although there is quite a tradition there of Liberals pretending to be "indpendants", especially after the ICAC scandals a few years ago). Someone who was elected is Carol Duncan, who is now a Labor councillor, and whom I warmly congratulate even if I do wish she stood for the Greens instead.

But for me, the most surprising result of Saturday's election was my father admitting he had, for the first time, voted Labor himself. This John Howard-revering man says he's coming around more to the left, helped along I hope by chats with me, correcting the Daily Telegraph and 2GB. In this case there was also anger at extensions of motorway tolls and development laws, but it's a good start. I mean, this is huge. I'll keep at it - who knows how left we can go.


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