It’s always interesting – but, who would have thought the mayoral voting count would be on a knife edge two days after the elections with still no result – and a reported check through today occurring on the vote count – it’s that close.
In the Australian preferential voting system – every vote counts, and when a candidate reaches 51 per cent of the vote, a winner is declared. And in the councillor race, where eight positions are available for councillors to be elected [in Byron Shire], the lowest-polling candidate’s votes are redistributed according to who was voted number two on the voter sheet for that candidate – and on and on – until ultimately eight councillors are elected.
In the mayoral vote, only one candidate will be elected mayor and, in the case of Saturday’s election, no-one has gained a clear majority of the vote, meaning now that every vote must be counted carefully – especially informal votes – and possibly re-counted.
If preferences are true – which they never are exactly – according to each candidate’s how-to-vote directions, then both Jack Sugarman and Sol Ibrahim, who preferenced Diane Woods at No 2, will see votes going to her.
This adds up as of Monday evening to 49.3 per cent of the vote.
Unbelievable to many – but true.
It is now to be seen whether mayoral candidate Basil Cameron’s No 2 preferences will flow through truly to Simon Richardson – giving him 48.76 per cent of the vote – and with Morgan’s 1.92 per cent being the decider Simon Richardson will be declared mayor at just over 50 per cent of the vote.
The problem here is that not everyone votes as per the suggested No 2 on the candidate’s ticket – and we may see a number of Basil Cameron’s votes go to the Woods camp just as we are likely to see a number of Jack Sugarman’s votes go to the Simon Richardson one.
I cannot recall a more closely contested election in Byron Shire for the mayor in the more than 20 years I have lived in and around the shire. The result is truly on a knife edge.
For those of us who like watching the numbers and predicting the result – I truly would say this is a very close one – too close to call at the moment.
Both candidates gave it their all – both deserve to win in my opinion – but there can only be one winner.
Good luck to both of you at this very critical time – I hope you are getting some sleep – it must be hard for both of you right now.
For our shire’s sake I hope we get a result by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. This is unprecedented.