Melbourne City Council is set for another four years of lackluster leadership with Robert Doyle expected to win a repeat term as Lord Mayor. Doyle's term of office has been uninspiring and seen little change. His team is more interested in using the City Council to enhance their personal business interests than good governance. Most notable is Cr. Carl Jetter. Cr. Jetter has been milking the City Council for the last eight years. A quick look at his claimed Councillor expenses says it all. The good news is that Team Doyle have relegated Jetter to fourth place so unless Doyle can secure 40% of the vote - Jetter is history.
Also vying for the Lord Mayor position, in opposition to Robert Doyle, is ex Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer. Singer has recruited John So as his deputy. Not John So,former Lord Mayor, but his son. Singer hopes to attract support by trading on John So Senior's good name.
The Greens, who are the only political party to endorse candidates in the City election, are also seeking the top job, but the odds are against them and they are expected to poll around 15% to 16%. The Greens have no policies on governance, a Greater Melbourne or electoral reform. Their main focus is to use the Council as a stepping stone and platform in seeking State and Federal epresentation, the City is secondary. Whilst they are not considered a serious contender for the Lord Mayor's position the Greens,in the absence of an endorsed ALP candidate, hope to pickup a second Councillor spot. Failed Melbourne State Candidate Catherine Oke heads their Counillor ticket. The Greens are expected to tank out as the forth candidate left standing for Lord Mayor.
The best hope and main contender challenging Robert Doyle's re-election is Cr Brian Shanahan. Shanahan, who is also a member of the ALP. Shanahan is heading up former Lord Mayor and community activist Kevin Chamberlin's Lord Mayor Ticket. Shanahan and Chamberlian hope to appeal to the resident ALP base and pickup sufficient preferences to remain in the count. Shanahan is second on the ballot paper ahead of Robert Doyle which should give him a slight advantage in the distribution of preferences. In 2008 this advantage was enough to elect Robert Doyle ahead of his main rival Peter McMullin.
Candidates who will influence the outcome of the election but not expected to win are pollster Gary Morgan who has teamed up with controversial identity former Liberal Party president John Elliott. Morgan is expected to feed into either Doyle or top up Brain Shanahan's ticket. The full details of preference deals will be known later next week. 65% of voters having chosen their prime candidate follow their HTV card. The remaining voters tend to spray and then donkey vote down the ticket filling in all preferences.
Melbourne State by-election contender Carlton identity and former Councillor David Notle has also nominated for the Lord Mayor's robes. Nolte played a decisive roll in determining the outcome of the Melbourne and could do so again in the council election. To support his bid he has run a team of no less than seven candidates in the Council election which is headed up by ALP member Richard Foster. Nolte is expected to poll around 7-8%
Serial candidate, former Manningham.Templestow Councillor and regular media commentator, Stephen Mayne has also nominated for the one of the Council's nine Councillor position. Mayne is hoping to secure enough votes to remain a contender. the reality is he is more likely to be a feeder candidate and top up the Greens in what is a payback sweetheart deal for his support in the Melbourne by-election Mayne polled 4% of which 55%-60% flowed on to the Greens Cathy Oke.
Other candidates running but will have little influence in the outcome of the Election is Joseph Toscano, Benhad Ahmed and Keith Rankin. Rankin has the slight advantage of being top of the ballot paper. He is running primarily to support Doyle.
Whilst Robert Doyle is expected to win the Lord Mayor election, on the back of incumbency as the main and only known candidate, his team will not do as well in the Council election where the last two positions will be up for grabs with three main groups hoping to win. The outcome of the Council election will be known on Monday when above-the-line preferences deals are finalized.
More information VEC web site