Monday, 10 September 2012

Palerang Council Election 2012

I'll start this by admitting that I voted for individual candidates within Groups D and C.

As well as commenting on the Local Government elections in his Shire, Denis was kind enough to send me a link to the Electoral Commission site for my Shire - Palerang.  Here is the current counting situation as at 6:45 am on 10 September 2012.

Group ATL/Candidate Group/Party/IND FP Votes Quota
A Group Votes CL 1,101 1.54
B Group Votes 1,501 2.09
C Group Votes 1,325 1.85
D Group Votes 1,653 2.31
MARJASON Ian IND 337 0.47
COCKRAM Paul IND 492 0.69
PETERS Ian IND 244 0.34
GRAHAM Richard IND 507 0.71
Total Formal Votes Counted 7,160
Total Informal Votes 987
Progressive Total Ordinary Votes 8,147

What does this mean?  Clearly Group A (Country Labour) has a seat as does Group C while Groups B and D have 2 seats each.  This leaves 3 seats up for grabs in the preferential process.  I am not sure how that will play out in the end, largely because I have not followed the preferences put out by the groups or the two small independents.  There is also an issue that not everyone who voted for a member of a group voted above the line so their preferences may muddle things.  However here is a shot at it.

As far as I can tell the preference allocation of the two smallest independents (who will be the first to be ejected) are unlikely to flood towards any of the groups or either of the two most popular independents.  However I would assume that by a process of attrition, both Graham and Cockram will squeak home.   This view is enhanced by Graham having done a lot of personal publicity and Cockram, coming from the Eastern end of the Shire, having a fair personal vote there amongst the preferences from other candidates.  This leaves one seat up for grabs.

I will assume that after the individual votes are exhausted the order of the 4 groups will stay the same so some surplus votes from Group D "Community Voice" will get allocated first.  My guess is that they will flow sufficiently heavily to Group C "Community First" to get a second seat for that group.

So we end up with 1 Country Labour, 2 Group B (think US 'Tea Party'), 2 Group C (think 'Greens'), 2 Group D (think 'Australian Democrats'), Cockram ( a platform of alternative energy - que?) and Graham (responsible optimism - que?).  How this Council will work together is a difficult question.  The key would be who will get elected Mayor, and in Palerang that is done through an election by the Councillors.  Further the Mayor gets a casting vote so if any Cuincillor is absent the Mayor can have a decisive 2 votes.

If all this plays out as I expect the combination of Groups C and D should make it difficult for egregiously bad development policies to get passed.  It should also provide a basis for getting progressive policies through, needing only the support of one of the two Independents or Country Labour.  I am (very cautiously) optimistic.

Got that right!

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