Saturday, 3 November 2012

Council elections (3)

Although the local elections were a week ago, perhaps I may be permitted some final musings?   I guess the council elections in Stonnington were always destined to be a bit different this year as, of the 9 sitting councillors, only 4 renominated (and even then, one of them didn't get re-elected).

Despite a letter from the electoral commission to each voter, plus the ability to vote before polling day and the availability of postal votes, the turn out figures were very low:   64.37%, 49.41% and 55.08% respectively in the three wards.  And the informal vote was high:  9.11%, 11.52% and 10.58% of the viotes cast (all figures from  What is it with Stonnington voters?

It took a while before the results of the Council elections were announced in Stonnington.  Apparently in Boroondara they were announced on the Sunday after voting closed.  However, in Stonnington  apparently there was a computer "malfunction" and hence a delay.

Then there was the family which had a member standing for election in each other the three wards.   The father was a sitting councillor standing for re-election in another ward.  His 19 year old daughter was a candidate in our ward and a son was standing in the remaining ward.   One theory I heard was that this was a strategy to assist the father, by diverting resources of his opponents across the other wards.    I am not sure if I quite follow the logic here, but in any event the outcome was that none of the family was elected.  In fact, the two children each polled better on first preferences than the father! 

In our ward, the two existing councillors standing for re-election were elected.   The third successful candidate was a Green.    I am not sure what to read into this.   I think it is relevant to note that this candidate achieved 1995 first preference votes out of a total enrolment of 25234, representing a little under 8% of all voters (that is, after taking into account the facts that the turn out was low and that informal voting was high).   In view of this, and the fact that, overall, only two out of the 9 new councillors are Greens,  I think it's a bit hard to say that Stonnington has "turned green" (to paraphrase one local paper).   However, I do note that, the other successful Greens candidate received the highest number of first preference votes in her ward.    Perhaps this may have been related to the fact that she strongly queried the further development of Chadstone (located in that ward).

It will be interesting to see how the new council, with so many new faces, performs.   There have been a few "visions" mentioned, so I wonder what will happen to the rates! 

Edit - I am not sure what has happened to the text size of this post.   Blogspot appears to have caused a glitch in the formatting which I have been usable to rectify. 

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