The Australian Labor Party will earn a majority of seats in the second term of Inner West Council after the results from the NSW Electoral Commission confirmed that the party would hold eight of the 15 seats after important wins in Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville.
All five of Labor’s inner west frontrunners comfortably secured seats in each of the council wards, yet additional seats won in three more wards has gained the party’s grasp on the council and has all but secured Councillor Darcy Byrne’s return to the mayoralty, after being voted out in September.
“At the first meeting of our new Labor caucus tomorrow I will seek the support of my colleagues to be Labor’s candidate for Mayor,” Cr Byrne told the Independent.
“With an outright Labor majority we will have a big responsibility to govern in the interests of the whole Inner West community. We will seek to include all councillors from all groups in decision making.
“Our team will be focused on the future and we want to work with all elected representatives to make sure the Inner West Council is as good as the people it serves.”
Labor will be represented by Cr Byrne in the Balmain-Baludarri Ward, Chloe Smith in Stanmore-Damun, Philippa Scott and Timothy Stephens in Leichhardt-Gulgadya, Mark Drury and Jessica D’Arienzo in Ashfield-Djarrawunang and Mat Howard and Zoi Tsardoulias in Marrickville-Midjuburi.
Labor will earn three more seats than in the previous term, while the Greens will remain at five after maintaining their seats from the inaugural council term. The Labor victories in Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville come after disendorsed Liberal candidates Vittoria Raciti (Leichhardt) and Julie Passas (Ashfield) both failed to be reelected as Independents, while former Inner West Deputy Mayor and Marrickville Mayor Victor Macri was pipped at the polls by Cr Tsardoulias.
The election results have put greater faith in Labor councillors, whose majority all but confirms Darcy Byrne’s reelection in the mayoralty. Macri’s failed reelection has also diminished the Independent contingent on the council, with Cr Pauline Lockie (Stanmore-Damun) and Cr John Stamolis (Balmain-Baludarri) the only councillors not endorsed by Labor or the Greens.
Labor’s success at the polls will also prime a strong deputy mayoralty bid from the party, allowing for considerable control in the council chamber. The Greens have announced newly-elected councillor Kobi Shetty as their candidate in the mayoralty vote, which will be decided by councillors at the mayoral election on December 29.