5 December 2021 11am: With most of the votes cast, and counting set to recommence on Monday 6 December, the New South Wales Electoral Commission stats would suggest that there are three clear winners of the mayoral contests in Ballina, Byron and Lismore Shires.
The Echo has also looked at the numbers for the councillor seats in each electorate but until the final tallies are done, these seats are less certain.
The votes tallied for Ballina to date show that Sharon Cadwallader will most likely be mayor for that area. Cadwallader has so far attracted 33 per cent of the vote with 4,036 votes, her closest rival is Jeff Johnson with the 28.9 per cent tally of 3,534 votes, followed by Keith Williams with 15.96 per cent and 1,952 votes, marginally ahead of Eoin Johnston with 14.97 per cent and 1,831 votes.
The ward system in Ballina means that those who get the most votes overall, may not necessarily be in the chambers, but the councillors who appear to have the quota ratio for a seat are Cadwallader and Johnson for Ward B and Johnston for Ward C.
Depending on where the preferences go, two seats will possibly be going to the Greens, with Simon Chate in Ward C only a few votes off a quota ratio with 0.95 and Kiri Dicker for Ward B next, with a quota ratio of 0.77.
If this trend continues, current councillor and mayoral aspirant Keith Willams will be without a place at the table.
The other likely winner of a C Ward seat is Labor’s Therese Crollick, who has only a quota of 0.56 at this stage, but as there are three elected to each ward, she is set to become a councillor, depending on preference flows.
In Ward A, once again the seats will be decided on the total votes and preferences with no candidate currently reaching the quota required for a seat. On the current count, the front runners for Ward A are current councillor Steve McCarthy on 0.71, and just three votes between Jason Shrieves with 388 votes (0.58 of quota), and the ALP’s Col Riches with 385 votes (0.57 of quota).
As the count finished last night, Michael Lyon was the clear leader in the vote count for that LGA.
Independent Lyon so far has drawn 23.65 per cent of the vote with 2,696 first preferences, but the dark horse in this event is Mark Swivel who has 2,087 votes. Greens hopeful Duncan Dey is next with 1,663 votes and Labor’s Asren Pugh not far behind that on 1,377.
Without knowing the preferences, guessing the seat allocation is very tricky. Going by the current trends, the Greens’ Group A would have two seats, which would see Duncan Dey and the return of Sarah Ndiaye, then Michael Lyon’s Group E with himself and possibly Sama Balson for that group. Mark Swivel will most likely get a seat for Group D at 0.97 of a quota and at 0.94 Group F’s Asren Pugh will likely be a new face on Council. Group B’s Cate Coorey is set to return to her seat.
The rest is anyone’s guess.
With a few Councillors leaving their Lismore seats, it is no surprise that there will be new faces in that LGA. How many remains to be seen once the votes are all tallied.
The clear winner for the position of mayor is not unexpectedly, Steve Krieg. Independent Krieg has already received a staggering 51.86 per cent of the vote with 9,099 ticks in his box.
There is no chance that his results can be surpassed, but the next-in-line are current Mayor Vanessa Ekins for the Greens with 2,876 votes (16.39 per cent) and current Councillor Elly Bird for Our Sustainable Future with 2,384 votes (13.59 per cent).
Steve Kreig also has four quota places, which would include Peter Colby, Jeri Hall and Andrew Gordon (who between them drew 12 below the line votes), and if preferences flow through, possibly Electra Jensen.
With 2.04 on the quota ratios, Group D Greens candidates Vanessa Ekins and Adam Guise will return, as will Group A (Labor’s Darlene Cook) and Group E’s Elly Bird for Our Sustainable Future.
The rest is too hard to call but it looks possible that the majority of Lismore Council will be councillors who have not been on council before.
Tweed councillors elect a mayor once they get to the chambers for two years periods. The front runners for a seat at the table are Liberals for Group E James Owen and most likely Rhiannon Brinsmead. However, it will depend on the final blend of councillors and their political leanings that will determine the outcome.
Chris Cherry will again be on the Tweed Council with currently just over the quota for the Independent Group D and Nola Firth will forge ahead for the Greens approaching the quota at 0.87.
Independent Meredith Dennis is approaching three-quarters of a quota at 0.72.
While we have a good indication of the front runners, many of the Far North Coast councillors may have to wait days or even weeks for the final collection of postal votes before we know for sure who will be representing us in our Local Government Areas.
*All figures were from the NSW Electoral Commission at 9am, Sunday, December 5, 2021.