Milne, Polglase lead count

Cr Warren Polglase
Cr Warren Polglase John Gass

Sitting councillors Katie Milne and Warren Polglase lead early counting in the Tweed Shire Council election.

With first preference votes from all local booths in, former mayor Polglase has easily secured another four-year term with 6377 votes.

Greens councillor Milne is in clear second place and has also secured re-election with 5788 votes.

Labor candidate Michael Armstrong appears to have also garnered enough support to be elected, polling the next highest tally of 4629 votes.

Under the proportional representation system, the exact quota of votes required for each candidate to be elected will not be known until votes cast at Sydney Town Hall and via postal and pre-poll votes are counted.

The complicated preference flows, which in 2008 saw voters wait three weeks for a final result of the polls, mean it is not yet clear who will fill the other four places on the council.

Sitting mayor Barry Longland appears well-positioned for re-election with his ticket picking up 3696 votes, which is more than 80% of the provisional quota for electing a councillor of 4489.

The ticket of candidates led by veteran deputy mayor Phil Youngblutt is the next highest polling candidate with 55% of a quota, followed closely by Murwillumbah business owner Gary Bagnall with 52% of a quota.

Kingscliff-based sitting councillor Dot Holdom's ticket has 40% of a quota, while independent Kaye Sharples's group has 37% of a quota.

Of the more than 42,000 ballots counted so far, more than 14% of them have been declared informal by the NSW Electoral commission.

This is considerably higher than the figure seen at State and Federal elections and could lead to debate over the electoral system being used in the election.

More than 50,000 voters are registered in the Tweed Shire, which means there could still be enough pre-poll and postal votes to be counted to sway the results of the election.

Click here for the full tally of Tweed Shire Council election results.

Topics:  council election green tweed tweed shire council

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