Clover Moore leads race for keys to City of Sydney, as council election vote counts continue
Clover Moore is set to extend her 17-year reign as Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, despite signs of an swing against her in early vote counts.
- Liverpool's outgoing Mayor said COVID-19 lockdowns had highlighted the work councils do for the community
- More than 652,000 votes were cast online this year
- Online voting system iVote crashed on Saturday morning
After a day of local council elections across the state, Sydney's longest-serving lord mayor addressed her supporters in Darlinghurst just after 9:00pm on Saturday to claim victory.
Alex Greenwich, the independent state MP for Sydney, told the crowd vote tallies showed Cr Moore would "be comfortably re-elected as the Lord Mayor of Sydney".
In her speech, Cr Moore said her retaining of the role meant her "strong, independent, progressive leadership of the city" would continue.Follow Antony Green's live council election results here.
At 9.30pm, Cr Moore had attracted 42.9 per cent of the more than 27,000 formal votes — about 15 per cent of all eligible voters — so far counted.
At the 2016 election, Cr Moore garnered 58 per cent of the vote.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said it was still too early to say how the swing would hold up as more votes, including a large number of pre-poll ballots, are counted.
Labor candidate Linda Scott and the city's first Indigenous mayoral candidate, Yvonne Weldon, were neck-and-neck having each received 16.4 per cent of the vote at 9:30pm.
Local government elections were held in 124 council areas on Saturday, with residents in 35 localities also tasked with choosing a new mayor.
Polls closed at 6pm with results now beginning to show a clearer picture of who the new local leaders will be.
More people opted to vote online than in any previous election, with the NSW Electoral Commission's iVote site crashing on Saturday morning.Get to know the councils and candidates on Antony Green's NSW local government elections home page
In Hornsby, former federal MP Phillip Ruddock was also on track to be re-elected as Mayor.
The state president of the NSW Liberal Party enjoyed more than 56 per cent of the vote with 41 per cent of all votes counted.
In Sydney's south-west a tight race for mayor was unfolding between Liberal Ned Mannoun (42.6 per cent) and Labor's Hagarty (37.8 per cent).
Labor candidates had received more than 53 per cent of the votes in the Blacktown local government area, while in Parramatta the Labor Party had gained more than 40 per cent of votes.
There was a high number of informal votes across western and south-west Sydney, peaking at more than 20 per cent in some wards of Parramatta, Blacktown, and Liverpool.
Earlier on Saturday, the NSW Electoral Commission's online voting system iVote crashed.
Eligibility to vote online was expanded this year with more than twice as many voters choosing to register instead of braving the queues on election day.
The number of online votes rose to 652,983 since the system opened on November 22, up from 234,401 in 2019.
In apologising for the outage, iVote said in a statement: "Almost triple the number of voters have used iVote at these elections than any previous election."
Anyone who requested for iVote but were unable to cast their ballots due to Saturday's crash will be excused from penalties.
People who failed to vote face a fine of at least $55.
Counters will not begin tallying online votes until 6pm on Monday.