Winners are grinners. Cr Jonathan Sri could secure 65 to 75 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in The Gabba ward, one of the best results for the Greens in Australian political history. Picture: Glenn Hunt/The Australian
Winners are grinners. Cr Jonathan Sri could secure 65 to 75 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in The Gabba ward, one of the best results for the Greens in Australian political history. Picture: Glenn Hunt/The Australian

Historic Greens vote sees party surge in Brisbane

The Gabba Councillor Jonathan Sri has declared victory after winning every booth in his inner-south ward and securing a majority of the primary vote in West End, Highgate Hill and South Brisbane.

His 49 per cent primary vote is only one or two per cent shy of the party's federal leader Adam Bandt who won Melbourne in the biggest victory for a Greens politician, at any level of government, anywhere in the country.

"As preliminary results from the local government election flow in, it's looking likely that the Greens will pick up multiple seats in Brisbane City Council, and may even end up holding the balance of power,'' Cr Sri said.

"Citywide, both the major parties appear to have suffered a decline in their primary vote, while the Greens primary vote increased dramatically, because we actually listened to what residents told us was important to them.

"There's still a lot of counting to go, but it now looks likely that we've won Paddington Ward, while Central, Walter Taylor and Coorparoo all remain strong possibilities.''

But the result heavily depends on how many people just voted "one'' and how postal votes and preferences swing.

Paddington looks likely to go to former nurse and change consultant Donna Burns, who would become what is believed to be only the second indigenous Brisbane councillor, if she unseats the LNP's Peter Matic.

She had 40 per cent of the primary vote late last night, with results to be updated about 3.30pm today, against 43 per cent for Cr Matic.

In 2016, he secured just under 50 per cent of the primary and the Greens just under 30 per cent.

Michaela Sargent clinched 35 per cent in Walter Taylor ward, dramatically trimming the margin for new LNP Councillor James Mackay, who was facing his first election.

At the 2016 election Julian Simmonds, now the federal LNP MP for the westside seat of Ryan, won a thumping 65 per cent of the primary vote, but this time Cr Mackay had, as of this morning, just 44 per cent.

And that was despite a well-funded, highly energetic campaign from Cr Mackay, who is adept at social media and a strong campaigner.

The Greens' Charles Druckmann was on 24 per cent of the primary in Pullenvale, comfortably ahead of Labor and Independent Kate Richards (17 per cent).

But the LNP's Greg Adermann, who faced a bitter and controversial challenge from Ms Richards, is likely to take the ward.

Ms Richards withdrew her preselection nomination for the LNP last year after her own party referred her to the Crime and Corruption Commission over alleged breaches of donations rules.

The CCC announced just before Saturday's election that there was insufficient evidence of criminal conduct by Ms Richards and lambasted the LNP for making its claims against her public.

The Supreme Court also ruled against a LNP bid to block Ms Richards from using campaign ads and corflutes in traditional Liberal blue colours, with headshots of, and what could be read as endorsements from, LNP Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.

Coorparoo hangs in the balance, with the Greens' Sally Green on 29 per cent but likely to be edged out by the LNP.

"It looks like we have probably beaten Labor in Coorparoo but it will come down to preference flows,'' Cr Sri said.

"We are hearing a lot of people just voted one, which helps the LNP.''

In The Gap ward, Labor's Daniel Bevis appears to be in a strong position against sitting LNP Councillor Steve Toomey, however it is too early to predict the result.

Mr Bevis' brother Shane achieved a 15 per cent swing in the 2016 election in the ward.


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The surge in Greens support right across Brisbane has tipped the balance in half a dozen marginal seats, and we're also a chance to pick up seats in councils like the Sunshine Coast and Scenic Rim, cementing the Greens as a major political force across South-East Queensland.

This is a ringing endorsement of the bold, transformative vision we've advocated of reducing the corrupting influence that property developers and big business exert over local councils, and putting power back in the hands of the people.

Despite four years of vicious attacks by the corporate media and the major parties, our strong citywide result and our massive swing in the Gabba Ward shows that residents support the somewhat-unconventional approach I've taken as Queensland's first Greens councillor. A lot of people are hungry for political and social change, and are inspired by our positive vision for a more equitable, more sustainable, more democratic city.

Newly elected Greens councillors will strive to avoid adversarial us-vs-them partisan politicking, and will focus on bringing people together during this time of crisis, working collaboratively across party lines to achieve practical positive outcomes for the community, while taking up the fight against the big end of town.




Originally published as Historic Greens vote sees party surge in Brisbane