Karen Williams has been reelected as Mayor but voters didn’t support her team in elections for divisional councillors. While Williams got 56% of the formal vote in the mayoral election, her team of councillor candidates only got 46% of the vote across the City’s ten divisions.
Declared results confirm that the ‘Williams Team’ will have only five of the 11 votes in the newly elected council (Williams, Mitchell, Edwards, Talty and Gleeson).
Six other councillors (Boglary, Golle, Hewlett, Elliott, Huges and Bishop) will have the ability to control Redland City’s governance, policies and strategic direction over the next four years.
At the post election Council meeting, expected to be held late next week, a key decision will be election of the Deputy Mayor. The choice made will be an early indication of how the new Council is going to operate.
Councillors will be sworn in at a public Declaration of Office Ceremony at the Redland Performing Arts Centre from 5.45 pm on Wednesday 13 April.
Mayor’s margin cut significantly
In the voting for Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams won the election but with a significantly reduced majority. Four years ago she swept into office with 69.5% of the formal vote. This time her winning margin reduced by more than two thirds from 19.5% to 6.0%.
In 2012 Williams comfortably won in each of the city’s ten electoral divisions. This time, she lost three divisions (2, 3 and 4) and only won Division 1 by 27 votes. Areas where Williams lost support include Victoria Point, Thornlands and Cleveland. These are all suburbs where the rate of residential development and associated traffic congestion and environmental impacts have caused community concerns.
Williams’ failure to win a majority in Division 2 which includes Cleveland and North Stradbroke Island indicates a lack of local support for the proposed Toondah Harbour residential project.
The chart below compares Williams’ percentage of the mayoral vote in 2012 with her recent performance for each division, as well as the total city vote.
Mixed results on the islands
Redlands is sometimes described as a “city of islands”. Issues like transport, tourism and sand mining present significant economic and political challenges. So how did our island folk cast their votes?
On the southern Moreton Bay islands (SMBI) Karen Williams achieved an increase in support. At polling booths on Lamb, Macleay and Russell Islands the Williams mayoral vote increased from 83% to 90%, her best result anywhere in the Redlands.
A misinformation campaign suggesting that Williams’ opponent Greg Underwood would introduce paid parking at Weinam Creek is likely to have influenced the SMBI vote.
North Stradbroke Island voters took a different tack, giving Williams only 48% of the vote in 2016 compared with 61% in 2012.
It was a similar story on Coochiemudlo where Williams’ percentage of the vote dropped 15%, from 60% in 2012 to 45% in 2016.
|Southern Moreton Bay islands||83.4%||89.8%||+6.5%|
|North Stradbroke Island||61.3%||48.4%||-12.9%|
Island results are votes cast at polling booths on the islands. Some enrolled voters living on the islands may have cast their votes in other ways such as absentee votes or voting at pre-poll voting booths on the mainland.
Results of the election for Mayor are available from the Electoral Commission of Queensland website
Elections for divisional councillors
By the time voting started the candidates for Council divided into two opposing ‘teams’, the ‘Williams Team’ endorsed on Karen Williams’ mayoral How to Vote Card and the ‘Others’ who to varying degrees supported Greg Underwood’s mayoral campaign.
With a well funded advertising campaign Williams won the mayoralty. But at the divisional councillor level where campaigning was less expensive and more personal, the Williams Team didn’t perform so well.
Final results for each division after the distribution of preferences are shown below.
|1||Paul Branagan||27.37%||Wendy Boglary||72.63%||Wendy Boglary|
|2||Peter Mitchell||55.28%||Craig Ogilvie||44.72%||Peter Mitchell*|
|3||Penny Donald||39.84%||Paul Golle||60.16%||Paul Golle*|
|4||James Harlin||33.76%||Lance Hewlett||66.24%||Lance Hewlett|
|5||Mark Edwards||68.13%||Junita Grosvenor||31.87%||Mark Edwards|
|6||Julie Talty||63.83||Melanie Lavelle-Maloney||36.17%||Julie Talty|
|7||Sharyn Doolan||37.22%||Murray Elliott||62.78%||Murray Elliott|
|8||Alan Beard||48.52%||Tracey Huges||51.48%||Tracey Huges*|
|9||Paul Gleeson||58.93%||Jesse McNamara||41.07%||Paul Gleeson|
|10||Joy Stewart||29.46%||Paul Bishop||70.54%||Paul Bishop|
*In divisions 2 and 8 the results were finalised with distribution of second preferences. In Division 3 the result was determined with distribution of second and third preferences. Detailed results are available from the Electoral Commission of Queensland website.
If only first preference votes are considered, the overall result for the ten divisions was: Williams Team 45.9% and Others 54.1%.
Redlanders who didn’t vote
There were 103,788 people enrolled to vote in the Redlands 2016 local government elections, an increase of 11% over the number enrolled for the election four years ago.
Even though voting is compulsory, 14,830 people (14.3%) didn’t vote in the 2016 mayoral election. Of the 88,953 who bothered to vote, 4.3% voted informally.
Redlands2030 – 6 April 2016