Lord mayoral candidate … Angela Vithoulkas.A THIRD straight term as lord mayor of Sydney for Clover Moore would be a bittersweet victory that could open the door to the Greens taking her seat in State Parliament.
Cr Moore was confident of being returned to Town Hall as 4627 candidates vied for positions on the state’s 150 local councils holding elections yesterday.
The race for City of Sydney, which was also being fought by Christine Forster, the sister of the federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, among others, will spark a critical state byelection with a Moore victory.
Under laws introduced by the O’Farrell government, state MPs will no longer be allowed to wear a second hat as a councillor after yesterday’s election. That has forced a number of MPs to step down from councils while Cr Moore chose to instead forgo her seat in Parliament.
The Liberal Party will now go all out to win her state seat of Sydney in a byelection but The Sun-Herald understands the move may backfire, with Liberal polling suggesting Cr Moore’s vote will largely migrate to the Greens.
Liberal sources said polling suggested the 53 per cent to 47 per cent two-party preferred margin that Cr Moore claimed victory with over the Liberal candidate, Adrian Bartels, in last year’s election would be replicated by the Greens.
The state battle will be between two former City of Sydney councillors – Shayne Mallard, the openly gay Liberal who has been endorsed to run, and the Greens candidate, Chris Harris.
Antony Green, the ABC’s election analyst, said the result would be tighter than the Liberal Party polling suggests but he agreed Labor would run a distant third.
Cr Moore is expected to endorse Alex Greenwich, who leads the group Australian Marriage Equality, which supports same-sex marriage.
Cr Moore said re-election would be ”bittersweet”. ”Eighteen months ago, the people of Sydney voted me in for a four-year term and I should be able to see out that term,” she said.
Federal Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull joined the sister of his former rival for the party leadership on the hustings in Potts Point yesterday. Ms Forster is the No.2 candidate on the Liberal ticket, alongside lord mayoral candidate Edward Mandla.
Mr Turnbull denied speculation about fresh leadership tensions with Mr Abbott last week.
”Some people have said so but Tony and I don’t think there’s any tension,” he said.
Mr Turnbull said he thought the Liberals would increase the number of seats they held on council from one to at least two.
”I think Clover’s obviously the favourite, Ed Mandla’s the underdog, but we’ll see … I think this will be a very good Liberal vote in this election,” he said.
Ms Forster was more confident: ”I think Edward’s going to give Clover a great shake.”
Other candidates in the race for lord mayor were Living Sydney candidate Angela Vithoulkas, Irene Doutney of the Greens, Labor’s Linda Scott and the Sex Party’s Zahra Stardust.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.