Saturday, 13 September 2008

Early Election results - Wingecarribee Shire

Early results are as follows:
(note - as the figures keep changing - these are only preliminary figures.

Readers my check the latest figures for themselves by visiting the following URL:

Group Votes 15% 326 Group votes ARKWRIGHT, Juliet. Liberals 2% 43 personal votes

Group Votes 10% 354 Group votes CLARK, Jim. Greens 2 % 68 personal votes

Group Votes 10% 376 Group votes McLAUGHLIN, Graham ALP 1 personal votes 47 (later votes indicate Labor is slipping below the magic quote figure - but they are still looking strong.

Group Votes 6% 205 Group votes WHIPPER, Larry IND 2% personal votes 85 (Larry is being preferenced by Theo, so he is OK). So much for running a "principled campaign", when he is prepared to cross to the "dark side" to spoil Malcolm Murray and Duncan Gair's positions.

Group Votes 6% 201 Group votes TURNER, Geraldine Save the Highlands 2% 57 personal votes (her position is weakening as votes trickle in).

Group Votes 5% 233 Group votes MAUGER, Jim IND 2% personal votes 72

Group Votes 5% 224 Group votes HALSTEAD, Ken 3% personal votes 145

Group Votes 4% 172 Group votes TUDDENHAM, Paul IND 2% personal votes 70

Group Votes 4% 171 Group votes GAIR, Duncan IND 3% personal votes 121

Group Votes 3% 151 Group votes MURRAY, Malcolm IND 1% personal votes 28

Ungrouped ONISFOROU, Theo IND 4% personal votes 162

  • With 9 candidates to be elected, my understanding is that a "quota" is 10% plus 1 vote (of formal votes cast on the day). So, roughly speaking 10% is the magic figure for candidates to aim for.
  • Liberals, Greens and Labor are looking assured of a first round seat (without distribution of preferences). Labor's position is weakening, but they got a strong early start, and are still looking pretty good.
  • There will be a scramble for trickle down preferences from smaller groups for the remaining 6 positions on Council.
  • 7596 Total Formal Votes counted (at about 10:30 pm)
  • Residential and Non-residential Electors enrolled on 4 August 2008: 31,094

These are early figures only, but on this basis, it is clearly a strong showing for the Liberal Party, led by Juliet Arkwright. Indeed I would be so bold as to suggest that she might well be positioned to assume the position of Mayor of Wingecarribee Shire, with such a strong vote for her group. But of course, such a position is determined by collectives of the Councillors, and who owes whom a favour, etc. So, my guess is that the next most likely candidate would be Larry Whipper.

As far as individual polling is concerned, to my eyes, the stand out is Ken Halstead, who has gathered 5% for his team, but a very strong 3% for himself individually.

Theo, who was really only running as a spoiler against Malcolm Murray and Duncan Gair, is probably content with their relatively poor showings, and his own reasonable 4% personal vote. His votes are expected to transfer to Larry Whipper, which is somewhat ironic.

Larry's Whipper's group will be preferenced by Theo, so he looks assured of getting elected.

The Save the Highlands group (led by Geraldine Turner) might pick up some preferences from any spare votes of the Greens, as, both groups were strongly against land sales and the uncontrolled push for development favoured by the last Council's pro-development groups.

I expect a tight exchange of preferences between previous Councillors Malcolm Murray and Paul Tuddenham, Duncan Gair, and on that basis, I would expect that one of those three will get elected (i.e., one will just scrape in). It is even possible that as they were all in Council previously, their names will attract lower-order preference votes, or flow-on preferences from groups, two could possibly get in on their name recognition. Of the three Malcolm Murray's position is weakest.

Jim Mauger is looking shaky, I would say, although he was the very last member elected last time, so a flow-through to him is still possible. He has a high profile, especially on anti-corruption issues (which is pretty popular right now.

I would say that Ken Halstead is looking a reasonable chance, but whether his aggressive style will mean that he has not secured enough 2nd, 3rd or 4th preference votes, or flow-on votes from other groups remains to be seen.

To my eyes, the big loser on the night looks to be Malcolm Murray, as he has been backed by a very strong advertising campaign, and seemingly is the preferred candidate of certain business groups. May King ran a relatively low key campaign and has seemingly disappeared out of sight.

As with all polling results, on needs to know where the count comes from, so it is possible that the early votes come from small rural booths, which would be expected to favour Greens and the Larry Whipper team. Whether they can hold that popularity in Mittagong and Bowral remains to be seen.

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