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Geelong Council 2020: The Current State of Play
By Matt Hrkac, 22 October 2020

I've been running polls on each ward page in my coverage of the Geelong Council Elections, with the question asking: "who do you think will (as opposed to who you want to) win?"

Although none of this is scientific, a similar question I asked during the 2018 Victorian State Election yielded results that were pretty accurate and which captured community sentiment. Below is a breakdown of the polls asked in relation to the 2020 Council Elections, broken down ward by ward.

Green bars represent candidates who are almost certain to be elected. Yellow bars represent candidates where a contest for the seat is likely. Orange bars represent an outside chance on current numbers and red bars represent candidates who are unlikely to be elected on current numbers.

The two incumbents, Jim Mason and Stephanie Asher, are the clear front runners in Bellarine Ward. Although Cory Wolverton (Greens) commands a significant lead for the third seat, I refuse to believe that his position is as secure as these results make him out to be. However, what it does show is that Trent Sullivan is at risk of losing his position and that the third seat is up for grabs. Tom O'Connor, Tom Harrison, Stephen Simmonds and Elise Wilkinson I've rated as an outside chance, especially if voters preference flow between ideologically like-minded candidates higher than those who are ideologically different.

Update 22 October 2020 - Cory Wolverton moves ahead of Stephanie Asher while the middle of the field firms up. If these numbers repeat in the actual vote count, Wolverton would almost certainly be elected while Asher would win re-election off the back of  Trent Sullivan's voters preferencing her ahead of the other candidates. However, I still refuse to believe that Wolverton is as certain as this to be elected, hence his status remains the same.

Brownbill Ward also has two clear front runners with Sarah Mansfield and Peter Murrihy, who are two of the three incumbent Councillors. I have no reason to bring this into question. Eddy Kontelj has a slender lead for the third seat, though this is by no means secure and on current numbers, it will come down between him, Melissa Cadwell and Stretch Kontelj. I predict that preference flows between the two Kontelj's will be tight, which means that Eddy will likely take the third spot. Jose Rodrigeuz is an outside chance but on current numbers will require strong preference flows from voters of other candidates to jump ahead.

In Kardinia Ward, Bruce Harwood and Pat Murnane - who are incumbents - are the two clear front runners. I've rated the third seat as a clear contest between Ron Nelson, Jack Williams and Atamjit Singh on current numbers. Once again, like in 2017, it looks as though that candidates will receive a remarkably even share of the vote - hence all of Belinda Moloney, Michael Strangel, Mark Brunger, Andrew Alexander, Andy Richards and Anthony Hamilton-Smith are all rated as an outside chance for election on current numbers.

There are only five candidates running in Windermere Ward, however there is no love lost between the two incumbents and the three candidates running against them. This means that Monique Connell, on current numbers, is extremely well placed to defeat one of the incumbents if preference flows to her from people voting for Emanul Haque and Sarah Hathway are strong. One of the incumbents is certain to be elected, however, without a clear front-runner, it's difficult to ascertain who is most likely to be successful.

Update 22 October 2020 - Anthony Aitken moves ahead. On these numbers, he is unlikely to lose his seat.

Who do you think will win seats in your ward? Comment below.




Geelong Council 2020: Windermere Ward
By Matt Hrkac, 21 October 2020

This is part of a series of posts for the 2020 City of Greater Geelong Council Elections.


Windermere Ward covers Geelong's northern suburbs, as well as Lara and the rural townships in the northern outskirts of Geelong. The area constituting this ward is firmly working class. The two incumbent Councillors, elected in 2017, are Anthony Aitken and Kylie Grzybek.

The candidates standing for election in this ward are as follows (in ballot paper order):

  • Enamul Haque (Independent)
  • Kylie Grzybek (Independent)
  • Monique Connell (Independent/Put Climate First)
  • Anthony Aitken (Independent)
  • Sarah Hathway (Socialist Alliance)

Audience participation:




Geelong Council 2020: Kardinia Ward
By Matt Hrkac, 14 October 2020

This is part of a series of posts for the 2020 City of Greater Geelong Council Elections.


Kardinia Ward covers Geelong's southern suburbs, situated south of the Barwon River. Demographically, the ward can be divided into three distinct parts: Grovedale and Belmont, which are predominately working class; Highton and Wandana Heights; which are middle to upper middle class, and Armstrong Creek, Waurn Ponds and the semi-rural southern outskirts - which is predominately a growth area. The three incumbent Councillors are Bruce Harwood, Ron Nelson and Pat Murnane.

The candidates standing for election in this ward are as follows (in ballot paper order):

  • Jack Williams (Independent Labor)
  • Ron Nelson (Independent Liberal)
  • Andy Richards (Independent Labor)
  • Pat Murnane (Independent)
  • Atamjit Singh (Independent Labor)
  • Belinda Moloney (Independent/Put Climate First, former Animal Justice Party)
  • Anthony Hamilton-Smith (Greens)
  • Bruce Harwood (Independent)
  • Andrew Alexander (Independent Labor)
  • Mark Brunger (Independent)
  • Jen Gamble (Animal Justice Party)
  • Michael Strangel (Independent)

Audience participation:

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Geelong Council 2020: Brownbill Ward
By Matt Hrkac, 09 October 2020

This is part of a series of posts for the 2020 City of Greater Geelong Council Elections.


Brownbill Ward takes in Geelong's central suburbs. Demographically, the ward can be divided into three parts: the low-income working class eastern suburbs of Newcomb, Whittington and St Albans Park, the more upmarket and gentrified/gentrifying central/western suburbs of East Geelong, South Geelong, Newtown, Geelong West, and Manifold Heights; and the working class/multicultural outer west and inner north, consisting of North Geelong, Herne Hill, Hamlyn Heights, Bell Park and Bell Post Hill. The three incumbent Councillors are Eddy Kontelj, Sarah Mansfield and Peter Murrihy.

The candidates standing for election in this ward are as follows (in ballot paper order):

  • Sandi Dwyer (Independent/Put Climate First Alliance)
  • Bernie Franke (Independent)
  • Alex Csar (Independent Labor)
  • Peter Murrihy (Independent)
  • Stretch Kontelj (Independent Liberal)
  • Sarah Mansfield (Greens)
  • Eddy Kontelj (Independent)
  • Gabriel Wenyika (Independent)
  • Dean Frederick Hope (Independent)
  • Louis Hehir (Independent Labor)
  • Jose Rodrigeus (Independent)
  • Melissa Cadwell (Independent Labor)

Audience participation:

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Geelong Council 2020: Bellarine Ward
By Matt Hrkac, 07 October 2020

This is part of a series of posts for the 2020 City of Greater Geelong Council Elections.


Bellarine Ward takes in most of the Bellarine Peninsula - including the towns of Leopold, Drysdale, Portarlington, St Leonards, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. This ward elects three Councillors via the proportional representation method of election. The incumbent Councillors are Stephanie Asher, Jim Mason and Trent Sullivan.

The candidates standing for election in this ward are as follows (in ballot paper order):

  • Tom O'Connor (Independent)
  • Elise Wilkinson (Independent/Put Climate First Alliance)
  • Stephanie Asher (Independent Liberal)
  • Trent Sullivan (Independent Liberal)
  • Naomi Adams (Animal Justice Party)
  • Jim Mason (Independent Labor)
  • Michael Fairweather (Independent)
  • Cory Wolverton (Greens)
  • Tom Harrison (Independent, former Labor)
  • Stephen John Simmonds (Independent)

Audience participation:

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2020 Geelong Council Election Guide - now live
By Matt Hrkac, 05 September 2020

My guide to the October 2020 Geelong Council Election is now live, with a number of people already announcing their intentions to run as candidates.

I add content to the guide based on information that is publicly available - this includes political party memberships (party endorsed candidates are denoted specifically as such), candidate backgrounds, biographies, etc. I also rely on candidates sending through information about themselves for inclusion in the guide, for which this form can be used. Media releases can be sent using this form.

With time permitting, I also intend to do guides for the Surf Coast Shire, Borough of Queenscliffe, and Melbourne City councils.

Finally, if you find my work useful, consider supporting with a small donation.





Safe Schools founder Roz Ward.


Greens Senator Janet Rice.


Victorian MLC Fiona Patten, Reason Party.

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