In addition to three state by-elections which will be held on Saturday in New South Wales, there will also be two council by-elections: for Ward 2 of Blacktown council, and for Lithgow council.
I profiled Blacktown council for last September’s election so I figured it would be good to produce a guide to this by-election. I’m going to try and keep on top of council elections for the larger councils in metro NSW going into the future. Sorry Lithgow, but I’m limiting my focus to the bigger councils.
The by-election was triggered by the death of longstanding Labor councillor Leo Kelly. Labor should easily win the by-election without Liberal opposition. Labor currently holds nine out of fifteen seats on the council, which will return to ten if they retain this seat, so there isn’t any risk of Labor losing control of the council.
There was actually a bigger and more consequential council by-election in my hometown of Campbelltown last month, but unfortunately I was busy moving house and didn’t get to cover it. Campbelltown has no wards, so the by-election took place across the entire council (an area roughly as populous as a federal electorate).
The result solidified Labor’s control over Campbelltown. Labor held seven seats on the council, along with one Green and two members of Fred Borg’s independent ticket, giving Labor-friendly councillors ten out of fifteen seats on the council. The by-election was triggered by Borg’s death, and the contest was primarily between a member of Borg’s independent party and Labor. Labor’s win gives them a majority in their own right, without relying on Greens or independents to command a majority.
Anyway, I’ve now got guides to all three state by-elections due this Saturday, along with Blacktown Ward 2. I’m having wisdom teeth surgery on Thursday so I don’t know yet whether I’ll be in a position to conduct a liveblog on Saturday – I’ll let you know.