Final results of the MidCoast Council elections will not be known until at least Thursday, possibly later, but early indications from the counting of first preference votes are showing some of the people who might sit on the first council.
The counting system being used is called Proportional Representation. The progressive quota for MidCoast Council on Monday morning was 3386 (this will change as more formal votes are counted), which is the number of votes required to be elected.
On Monday morning, September 11, the NSW Electoral Commission’s virtual tally room shows David Keegan’s Group J in the lead, gaining 6740 first preference votes so far, 16.59 per cent of the formal vote.
With a quota ratio of 1.99 and the most votes for the candidate groups overall, David Keegan will have secured a seat and there is a chance the second candidate on the Group J ticket, Claire Pontin could gain one too.
Next in line is Group K, led by Jan McWilliams, which has gained 6172 first preferences so far, or 15.19 per cent of the formal vote. The group has a quota ratio of 1.82.
Brad Christensen’s Group B has received the third highest in first preference votes so far with 4801 (quota ratio 1.42) and 11.82 per cent of the first preference vote.
Group A, led by Len Roberts is very close behind with 4799 first preference votes so far, a quota ratio of 1.42 and 11.82 per cent of the formal vote.
Peter Epov’s Group D has so far received 3745 first preference votes, giving the group a quota of 1.11 and 9.22 per cent of the formal first preference votes.
The last group that was meeting the progressive quota on Monday morning is Group E, led by Troy Fowler with 3519 first preference votes, a quota ratio of 1.04 and 8.66 per cent of the vote.
John Rosenbaum from Group C has so far received the highest number of individual votes (from votes made below the line) with 529. Group C did not meet the criteria for a group and could not be voted for above the line.
Following him in the tally for individual votes were ungrouped candidate Paul Sandilands with 509, Brad Christensen with 499, and David Keegan with 456.
Almost 73,000 people are enrolled to vote in the MidCoast Council election and at Monday morning only 46,404 had been counted, with 5777 (or 12.45 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 finishing probably 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.