Brisbane has not yet finished punishing Labor delivering a handsome victory to the LNP in council elections. A month after being trounced in the State election, Labor is likely to lose three seats, in a swing of 5% since 2008. The city is Australia’s largest municipality and Mayor Graham Quirk is heading towards an easy victory with 60% of the vote and almost 65% counted. Labor’s Ray Smith is polling 24.69% while the Greens candidate the high profile former Democrat senator candidate Andrew Bartlett is also not doing as well as some expected with 10.36% of the vote.
The Greens are doing better in the councillor vote, in some seats overturning Labor as the main opposition. The LNP will comfortably retain their big majority in council and are likely to take three seats from Labor with another two Labor seats in the balance. In Central, Heather Beattie (wife of former premier Peter Beattie) trails Vicki Howard by 51-31 percent with over half the vote counted. This was the seat vacated by Labor powerbroker and former deputy mayor David Hinchliffe ending a 24 year run by Labor in the seat.
There are 26 one-member constituency wards and mayoralty in Brisbane and the result looks like being LNP 20, Labor 7. Two of those seven Labor seats are still in the balance: Wynnum-Manly (43-41) and Northgate (51-49). Two more are definitely lost. In Karawatha (Woodridge) ALP councillor Gail MacPherson stood down but her replacement Adrienne Cremin is losing easily to a candidate with a very un-LNP like name: Kim Marx.
John Campbell is the only sitting councillor likely to be unseated as he trails Ryan Murphy in Doboy (Tingalpa) by 54-46. In the Indooroopilly-based Walter Taylor ward, the Green’s candidate Tim Dangerfield (19.77 per cent) outpolled Labor’s Adam Atkins (14.33 per cent) to finish second to LNP’s Julian Simmonds (65.91 per cent), with nearly two-thirds counted.
Labor looks set to retain The Gabba which is in Anna Bligh’s old seat of South Brisbane. Bligh’s former election agent Jackie Trad has narrowly won the South Brisbane by-election which also took place yesterday though the LNP is not yet conceding just 800 votes behind with over half the votes counted.
Delighted with his own win and the win in Central, returned Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk said it was the first time the LNP had held inner-city Brisbane at all three levels of government. “Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is an opportunity – a very unique opportunity – for a high level of co-operation between the Premier of this state and the lord mayor of this city, to work in a cohesive and co-operative way,” Cr Quirk said. “I think it is a very good thing for Brisbane and for Queensland.”
correction: Tennyson was won by an independent not by the LNP making the result LNP 19, Lab 7, Ind 1