Final results of the MidCoast Council election won’t be known until the end of the week, possibly later, but there are some clear front runners in the progressive tally.
On early Tuesday afternoon, September 12, the NSW Electoral Commission’s virtual tally room showed David Keegan’s Group J in the lead with 8583 first preference votes, 16.76 per cent of the formal votes.
With a quota ratio of 2.01, David Keegan has secured a seat and it looks as though the second candidate on the Group J Country Labor ticket, Claire Pontin, will gain one too.
The counting system being used is called Proportional Representation. The progressive quota for MidCoast Council at lunchtime Tuesday was 4269 (this number changes as more formal votes are counted), which is the number of votes required to be elected.
The group with the second highest number of first preference votes is Group K, led by Jan McWilliams.
It had gained 6739 so far, equating to 13.16 per cent of the formal votes and a quota ratio of 1.58.
Not far behind is Brad Christensen’s Group B with 6642 votes (quota ratio 1.56) and 12.97 per cent of the formal vote.
Group A, led by Len Roberts, had 5967 votes so far, a quota ratio of 1.4 and 11.65 per cent of the first preference formal votes.
Peter Epov’s Group D was showing 4913 votes, a quota ratio of 1.15 and 9.59 per cent of the formal first preference votes.
The last group meeting the progressive quota on early Tuesday afternoon is Group E (Liberal), led by Troy Fowler with 4370 first preference votes, a quota ratio of 1.02 and 8.53 per cent of the formal first preferences.
Groups led by Kathryn Bell and David West have not yet met the quota ratio but are not too far behind.
Kathryn’s Group G has received 3716 of the first preference votes with a quota ratio of 0.87. Group H, led by David West, has received 3677 of the first preferences with a quota ratio of 0.86.
On Tuesday, the tally showed Brad Christensen leading the individual first preference votes (from votes made below the line) with 756.
John Rosenbaum from Group C was second with 719. Group C did not qualify to be a group that could be voted for above the line.
David Keegan followed with 703.
It appears unlikely any candidates from the Gloucester area will gain a seat. Katheryn Smith’s Group I had so far received 1837 first preference votes (3.59 per cent of the formal votes), which is 0.43 of the quota.
Almost 73,000 people were enrolled to vote in the MidCoast Council election and by just after Tuesday lunchtime only 57,820 votes had been counted, with 6601 (or 11.42 per cent) of them informal.
Counting for pre-poll, postal and other declaration votes, estimated by MidCoast returning officer Greg Cousin at about 20 per cent of the total, were gradually counted starting Saturday night and were predicted to finish on Tuesday. All the above counts are only first preference counts.
Papers will later be “data entered” at the Newcastle Count Centre.
Once entered, a computer program will distribute preferences and establish the successful candidates.
The website’s counting schedule states the data entry for MidCoast Council votes will take place on the morning of September 14.