Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Final votes still two days away

Cairns Regional Council Election Returning Officer Ken Gorton says that the final preference votes are being sorted and allocated today, nine days after the election.
"The process is a slow one, you have to be careful," he told CairnsBlog. "It will be at least two or three days before I make an official declaration of the votes."
The mayoral preference votes will be done at the same time.
Gorton, a perennial electoral administrator, says that this process is the most important of all. "There's a lot to do over the next couple of days. It's hard to say when I will have the final result."
Division 2 still hangs in the balance, which includes Bentley Park, Edmonton, Lamb Range, Mount Sheridan and White Rock.
There are now only five votes between Cairns 1st's Jeff Martinuzzi on 2,389 votes (36.53%) and Nancy Lanskey on 2,394 (36.61%), prior to preferences being allocated. Kaye Kinghamn, from the former Mayor's Unity party, collected 1,757 votes (26.87%).
The other area that is very close is Division 4, that includes Bayview Heights, Brinsmead, Bungalow, Earlville, Kanimbla, Manoora, Mooroobool, along with parts of Portsmith, Redlynch, Westcourt, Whitfield and Woree.
Incumbent Councillor and Unity team member, Paul Freebody, holds onto his seat following an election night lead of only 219, at 3,039 votes (41.86%). Preferences from independent Norman Miller may help narrow the gap between him and Cairns 1st's Kirsten Lesina, who has 2,820 (38.84%).
The mayoral votes are Val Schier of Cairns 1st on 31,528 votes (46.73%), and Kevin Byrne on 30,224 (44.80%). With a lead of only 1,304, it would have only taken an additional 653 votes for Byne to retain office. This would suggest that although there was a significant change in Councillors, there was still strong support for Byrne and his politics.
Two independent mayoral candidates also ran. Peter Sandercock received 2,096 votes, just over 3% and Selwyn Johnston 3,619 votes (5.36%).
The most significant leads in the election were in Division 10 that includes Clifton Beach and the former Douglas Shire where Julia Leu, was convincingly ahead her Unity party rival Bill Phillips-Turner by at 2,342 votes.
The Division 3 contest between Robert Pyne, son of former mayor Tom Pyne, gained nearly 63% of the vote against former Deputy Mayor Terry James, was also a significant swing to a independent. Pyne won every booth in his Division.
Sitting Councillors Annette Sheppard, Terry James, Kevin Byrne, Kath Plath, and Deirdre Ford, all lost their seat in this election.
Cairns City Councillors Margaret Cochrane, Alan Blake, Paul Gregory, Paul Freebody, Sno Bonneau, retained their seat around the Council table. Councillors Jeff Pezzutti, Margaret Gill and Fran Linsday all retired at this election.
Douglas Shire Councillors Rod Davis, Melinda Cox, and George Pitt all ran unsuccessfully for Division 10.
It is expected that Mayor-elect Val Schier will call the first Council meeting, possibly on Thursday 3rd April, and propose either Paul Gregory or Margaret Cochrane as her deputy.
The Electoral Commission Queensland was criticised for their performance in running the election, amidst numerous problems, not the least that a large number of residents did not know where to vote or what division they were in. In the past, local Councils have undertaken the administration of local body elections.


Anonymous said...

Freebody is out. I can see a re-count coming.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Lanskey is in.

Be careful with this woman. She has two faces. One is very very dark and bitter. You'll see it, mark my words.

Anonymous said...

From what I know, there are some calculating, crafty, self-serving characters in the current lineup. Expect dissent and fireworks further on.

mohamed in a hot tub said...

wow only 653 votes!, that's just one biased news story's worth!

Anonymous said...

oh great we're stuck with "granny tree hugger" for the next 4 years... Omg shes definitely going to turn Cairns into a ghost town full of old retirees :(
Byrne is way better than Schier

Anonymous said...

thank God its almost over,the boys club of Byrnes has been shreded and there are some bad loosers. I am glad that Freebody was man enough to congratulate the lady, one must remember that us young people must learn. I am sure the new mayor and the team will do a beter job than the unity team boys club.GO CAIRNS THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN.
Bayview Heights