UPDATE Tuesday 7pm - Gladstone region's mayoral race is still not officially decided. About 230 postal votes arrived yesterday and they were split 114-116 in favour of Craig Butler. That two-vote difference will not dent the lead currently held by incumbent mayor Gail Sellers, who now holds a lead of 260 votes. There are about 470 postal votes that could arrive in the next 6 days.
Here are the numbers at the end of today; 13,864 votes (50.47%); Craig Butler 13,604 votes (49.53%)
UPDATE 11.50am - The Observer has just spoken to the Returning officer to clarify the numbers as they stand now. He said all pre-polling votes have been added to the total. In addition, all postal votes recieved so far have been counted and added to the totals.
That means all votes have now been counted not once, but twice. (Check counting happened yesterday.)
However, the only votes that can still be added are postal votes that might come in over the next eight says. The Returning Officer said postal votes can be counted that arrive withing ten days of the election (two of those days having already passed).
So, with a gap between the mayoral candidates of 262 votes, the only thing that can help Craig Butler overtake Gail Sellers' lead is a trickle of postal votes that might, or might not, arrive.
The Returning Officer would not make any comment other than to state the numbers.
But our own analysis of those numbers makes it hard to see any way Cr Butler could win from here.
As for the eight council positions, they are now a certainty, since eighth placed Karen porter has a lead of about 800 votes over PJ Sobanhian - clearly more than could be pulled back from here.
UPDATE MONDAY 9.36am - Vote counting has resumed in the Gladstone regional council elections. There have been just a few votes added to the overnight tally.
At the moment, the numbers for the mayoral race are; Gail Sellers 13,750 votes, 50.48%; Craig Butler 13,488 votes, 49.52%
Overnight, neither of the two candidates have acknowledged a definite outcome. They have both said it is possible a definite result won't be known today.
Cr Butler phoned in to touch base with The Observer this morning. He seemed relaxed (which is impressive given the stakes) and reiterated that he won't be making any comment until the results are certain.
In the race for the eight councillor positions, the top seven seemed safe last night. Karen Porter in eighth position looked to be home, but there was still an outside chance PJ Sobhanian could overtake her.
We should know more about that race by midday.
UPDATE 7.45 The Returning Officer's headquarters has closed for the night. The latest figures we have are unchanged from this afternoon, so we will wait until the morning for confirmation. These figures do not include about 700 postal votes. Gail Sellers was not ready to declare victory and has said we might not know anything certain until later this week. Craig Butler, on the other hand, left a message on Facebook today saying he was "out of the race."
The overnight figures are still: Gail Sellers 13,746 votes, 50.48 percent; Craig Butler 13,487 votes, 49.52 percent.
UPDATE 4.55 The gap between the two mayoral candidates is now 239 votes in favour of Gail Sellers. Here are the vote counts as they stand now - Gail Sellers 13,746 votes, 50.48 percent; Craig Butler 13,487 votes, 49.52 percent.
The election for councillors appears to be settled, although there is still a little more counting to be done, so we don't know anything for certain yet. However, at the moment it looks at though the eight councillors will be Maxine Brushe, Matt Burnett, Col Chapman, Reynold Lanzon, Rick Hansen, Karen Porter, Graham McDonald and leo Neill-Ballantine. PJ Sobhanian is currently in ninth position, but with not much counting left, it will be tough for him to break in to the top eight.
UPDATE 3.27pm The Observer has just spoken to the Returning Officer's headquarters. Here is the state of play: All votes have been counted except for about 700 postal votes. However, all votes need to be recounted, a process called "check voting." A team of 50 people are check counting the votes at the headquarters. so far they have check counted 16 out of 23 polling booths.
So, with just 7 polling booths left to be check counted and just 700 postal votes to come in, one would think Gail Sellers' lead of some 213 votes will be enough, howver, the past 20 hours have taught us not to make any assumptions about the mayoral race.
The latest numbers available are: Gail Sellers 13,652 votes, 50.39%; Craig Butler 13,439 votes, 49.64%.
UPDATE 1.11pm Here are the vote counts as they stand now - Gail Sellers 13,495 votes, 50.36 %, Craig Butler 13,301 votes, 49.64 %
UPDATE 11.59 Gail Sellers has just said there is "no way" she is ready to declare victory in the mayoral election. Cr Sellers said that despite holding a led of a few hundred votes near the end of the game, anything could happen and we might not know for sure who has won until latter in the week.
The latest numbers from the Returning Officer show Gail Sellers with 13,521 votes and Craig Butler on 13,275. All primary votes have been counted and there are a few postal votes still to come. check counting (sometimes called "recounting") is underway and the figures just shown include 2 out of 23 booths having been ceck counted. So, there are still 21 booths to be recounted, which is underway now and will come in throughout the day.
Based on the numbers as they stand, Gail Sellers appears to be in a strong position, but with the count being so close, no one is declaring any results yet.
UPDATE 11:45 It now seems almost certain that incumbent Mayor Gail Sellers has won the 2012 Gladstone Regional Council election.
With all but about 1000 votes counted, Cr Sellers has surged ahead in the mayoral race, making it almost impossible for contender Craig Butler to catch up.
David Sparkes expects to make contact with both Sellers and Butler within the hour.
More to come.
UPDATE 11:27 Mayoral hopeful Craig Butler has just posted an update on Facebook all but conceding defeat.
Mr Butler's post read: "Gap is now 400 so we ate (sic) out of the race".
More to come
Council elections: count resumes
AFTER a dramatic night in Gladtone region's mayoral election, voting will resumed this morning.
when counting closed at about 9pm last night, the numbers were almost dead even, with Gail Sellers holding 50.48 percent and Craig Butler holding 49.52 percent.
With 14,000 votes still to be counted, the current gap of 202 votes seperating the candidates means nothing.
The final result is likely to be known later today, but if a recount is called, it is possible the region will have to wait until tomorrow.
In the councillors election, voting so far shows current Councillors Maxine Brushe, Matt Burnett and Col Chapman looking strong.
the final results of that count, which will produce 8 councillors from a field of 22, should be known this morning.
For the latest results, click here