Labor picks up three seats for outright majority on Inner West Council

Darcy Byrne, who says he will seek the support of his colleagues to be Labor's candidate for Mayor.
Darcy Byrne, who says he will seek the support of his colleagues to be Labor's candidate for Mayor.

The Labor Party has won an outright majority on the Inner West Council, making it all but certain that Darcy Byrne will be re-elected as mayor when the new council meets for the first time on December 29.

The NSW Electoral Commission has released the final inner west results in the 2021 election, with Labor winning eight seats - three more than on the previous council - the Greens five seats, and independents two seats.

Following the distribution of preferences, Labor won two seats each in the Ashfield-Djarrawunang, Marrickville-Midjuburi and Leichhardt-Gulgadya wards, and one in both Balmain-Baludarri and Stanmore-Damun wards.

The Greens won a seat in each of the five wards, while incumbent independents Pauline Lockie and John Stamolis were successful in taking the third and final seats in Stanmore and Balmain respectively.

"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," Mr Byrne told Inner West Review.

"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 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."

The result means that the 15-member council will have 10 new faces, after seven councillors decided not to recontest their seats and three others - former Liberal councillors Julie Passas and Vittoria Raciti, and Independent Victor Macri - did not win re-election.

The majority of councillors - nine - will also be women.

While it has been clear since the early days after the December 4 election that Labor and the Greens had won five seats each and Ms Lockie and Mr Stamolis looked certain to retain their spots, the final three seats remained too close to call until preferences were distributed after Friday's postal vote deadline.

Greens councillor-elect and mayoral candidate Kobi Shetty.

Greens councillor-elect and mayoral candidate Kobi Shetty.

Ashfield, though, had looked very good for Labor, after it became apparent early on that Ms Passas had not been successful. Ms Passas ran as an independent after the Liberal Party did not endorse candidates in the inner west.

Vittoria Raciti is a casualty of that decision in Leichhardt, where she too ran as an independent and has lost to Labor.

In Marrickville, longstanding Independent and former Marrickville mayor Victor Macri has lost his seat, and Zoi Tsardoulias will join Mat Howard as Labor representatives for the ward, while the Greens' Justine Langford has the third seat.

Mr Byrne was elected mayor of the newly amalgamated Inner West Council in 2017 in a deal with the two Liberal councillors. He was ousted from the post three months before the 2021 election, and replaced by the Greens' Rochelle Porteous who did not stand for re-election on December 4.

The Greens' mayoral candidate, Balmain councillor-elect Kobi Shetty, said the Greens wanted to congratulate all the successful candidates, and Labor for securing the majority.

"It's not really a surprise, we knew the last couple of spots were going to be really, really close," she said.

"It's great for us that there has been a swing towards all the progressive candidates ... the Greens got the highest swing towards us."

Ms Shetty, who will be a first-term councillor, said the Greens were seeking to meet with Labor before December 29, and were looking forward to working together in a positive, respectful and collaborative way with all the councillors.

The Greens had a 7.2 per cent swing towards them, compared with a 4.7 per cent swing towards Labor.

Ward by ward results

ASHFIELD-DAMUN:

ELECTED: Labor Mark Drury and Jessica D'Arenzio. Greens Dylan Griffiths

LOST THEIR SEAT: Julie Passas

BALMAIN-BALUDARRI:

ELECTED:Labor Darcy Byrne. Greens Kobi Shetty. Independent John Stamolis

LEICHHARDT-GULGADYA:

ELECTED: Labor Philippa Scott and Timothy Stephens. Greens Marghanita Da Cruz

LOST THEIR SEAT: Vittoria Raciti

MARRICKVILLE-MIDJUBURI:

ELECTED:Labor Mat Howard and Zoi Tsardoulias. Greens Justine Langford.

LOST THEIR SEAT: Victor Macri

STANMORE-DAMUN:

ELECTED:Labor Chloe Smith. Greens Liz Atkins. Independent Pauline Lockie.

For the full rundown of results, you can visit the NSW Electoral Commission website.