WITH only postal, provisional and silent votes remaining to be counted, the contest to determine who is the Tweed's most liked politician seems to have been settled.
Barry Longland looks to have taken out the popularity stakes in Saturday's Tweed council poll.
Sitting on 581 below-the-line personal votes, Longland may well have pipped another former mayor Warren Polglase (509 votes) in a real head-bobber to the line.
The Greens' Katie Milne together with ungrouped candidate Chris Cherry are on 456 and 428 respectively in a photo for third.
In finishing order, Polglase, Milne, plus Labor's Michael Armstrong are assured election based on the Group vote, having bettered the 12.5% plus-one-vote quota required.
Longland too, is all but assured a trip to the winners' circle, sitting just shy of a group quota.
In the 2008 event, Dot Holdom trumped the field, taking out the highest number of personal votes by a two to one margin to her nearest rival.
But she was unable to match motors with her competitors on Saturday, finishing on 203 below-the-line votes.
She is currently sitting in sixth place ahead of Garry Bagnall (186), Carolyn Byrne (180), Phil Youngblutt (168), Michael Armstrong (130) and Bruce Campbell (114).
While Byrne and Youngblutt have every chance of being elected based on group totals and expected preference flows, Bagnall, Holdom, and Bruce Campbell are in a three way do-or-die tussle for the seventh and final council berth.
Bagnall's Group L leads the sparring trio, with preferences likely to cement his position when they are distributed later in the week.
Holdom told My Daily News she had received "phenomenal support" since debuting in the 2004 poll, and again in 2008.
It would seem she has a tense wait on her hands on this occasion while the judge pours over the developed print.
"When you put yourself out there, these are the risks you take," she said.
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