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Vote counting reaches final stages

Returning officer Leendert Sparreboom, pictured at the ballot draw, has almost finalised the count of first preference votes.
Returning officer Leendert Sparreboom, pictured at the ballot draw, has almost finalised the count of first preference votes. Albert Elzinga

COUNTING of votes for Tweed councillors has reached the final stages and returning officer Leendert Sparreboom has virtually finalised the count of first preference votes.

Mr Sparreboom said data processing of multi preference votes was ongoing and he expected the data entry to be completed on Thursday.

Once all data was entered, the computer would be able to formulate the final count and the results would, in all likelihood, be announced on Friday.

"Thursday, following the final okay from Sydney, I'll hopefully be able to push the button and some 10 to 15 minutes later the computer will show the results.

"I'll then be able to announce the final results on Friday," Mr Sparreboom said.

Current data shows candidate and caretaker councillor Warren Polglase clearly in the lead with 16.15% of the first preference vote with Greens' candidate and caretaker councillor Katie Milne a close second with 14.58%.

First time Labor candidate Michael Armstrong looks certain to have been elected with 12.10% with candidate and caretaker mayor Barry Longland re-elected with 9.03%.

Conservative candidate and caretaker councillor Phil Youngblutt received 7.02% of the vote and seems to have been re-elected while newcomer candidates Carolyn Byrne and Gary Bagnall will have to wait until Thursday or Friday until the results become official.

Mrs Byrne and Mr Bagnall are sixth and seventh on the vote count list at the moment and, if vote and preference distribution remain as indicated at the moment, will become Tweed Shire councillors.



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