Voters bite back in elections 'over greyhound ban'
PREMIER Mike Baird's greyhound racing ban has been blamed for swings away from the Coalition in the New South Wales local elections.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told the ABC's Insiders program the protest vote had been most keenly felt in suburbs of Western Sydney, where there were big swings towards Labor.
"I think there has been a reaction, amongst other things, to the greyhound decision. I think that's certainly played hard in the Western Suburbs,” he said.
"Be careful of your core constituency, they bite.
"I just think that the greyhound decision has not been accepted in many areas, and it's probably good that the local government election is out of the way.
"It's a cathartic mechanism to deal with it in some form.”
Labor and the Greens have also performed strongly on the North Coast, with incumbent Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson holding his post for the Greens and Labor candidate Isaac Smith looking like winning Lismore City Council's top spot after mayor Jenny Dowell's retirement.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley said the results were a bad omen for the Premier.
"They've had enough of his high-handed arrogant behaviour,” he said.
"If the swings we saw yesterday were replicated at the state election, the Coalition would be wiped out.”
The Greens issued a statement saying they were performing well in mayoralty showdowns in Kiama, Shoalhaven, Bellingen and Byron, had "broken through” on councils from Albury to Kyogle and had strong results in Campbelltown, Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.