LATEST | Margin narrows to 51 votes for final council spot

THE Electoral Commission of Queensland is expected to finish its count today. Yesterday, around 10,000 votes were counted.  

A key contest has emerged for eighth place between Alex Staines and Kahn Goodluck, with Mr Goodluck leading Mr Staines by less 60-70 votes. 

We will have live coverage of results and breaking news throughout Thursday.

Click here to go straight to the live coverage

What we know so far: 

- Pre-poll is being counted today

- The key contest is between Kahn Goodluck and Alex Staines for the final spot on council

- Chris Trevor is leading with a 2436 vote margin over his closest rival Cindi Bush

- The top eight candidates as of 9am Thursday are:

  Chris Trevor (15,559) Cindi Bush (13,123) Rick Hansen (12,865) PJ Sobhanian (11,979) Glenn Churchill (11,944) Peter Masters (10,297) Desley O'Grady(10,270) Kahn Goodluck (9775)  

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LIVE COVERAGE

THURSDAY

3.40pm: 

THE margin between eighth placed Kahn Goodluck and ninth placed Alex Staines continues to narrow, with the pair just 51 votes apart now.

Mr Goodluck led Mr Staines by 60-70 votes this morning.

>> The eight faces likely to form council

The ECQ counted postal votes today and the Mr Staines gathered slightly more than Mr Goodluck.

All of the booths have been counted, with the ECQ posting results from the final booth, Seaview, this afternoon.

The Recounting Officer said they have received more postal votes to count that they are yet to count, and more are expected to arrive. 

8.45am:

THE race for the final spot on council is continuing to tighten.

There is around 60 votes difference between eighth placed Kahn Goodluck and ninth placed rival Alex Staines, as of this morning.

That figure includes Seaview, which will be uploaded to the ECQ website this morning.

But the ECQ is still receiving postal votes.

The ECQ said there could be as many as 400 postal votes, but they stressed that this is just an estimate.

6.15am

THE count for Gladstone Regional councillors saw Kahn Goodluck's margin over Alex Staines narrow yet again late yesterday.

The ECQ returns officer for Gladstone said Mr Goodluck was between 60 and 70 votes ahead of Mr Staines late yesterday.

The electoral commission expects to finalise counting this morning.

The pair was neck-and-neck for the final spot on council throughout most of yesterday.

Karen Porter had dropped further behind the pair since the previous day's counting, and was several hundred adrift.

It is expected Mr Trevor will poll the highest number of votes by the end of counting.

WEDNESDAY

5.00pm:

MATT Burnett was sworn in as the new Mayor of Gladstone Region Council at 4pm.

Mr Burnett said there would be an official ceremony with all of the new councillors in April.

But he said it appears the poll could take a while to finalise, "because it looks like eighth position is very, very close".

Mr Burnett read and signed an oath during the ceremony.

"I Matthew James Burnett having been elected as a councillor on the Gladstone Regional Council declare that I will faithfully and impartially fulfill the duties of the office," Mr Burnett said.

More to come …

2.00pm:

KAHN Goodluck has extended his margin over Alex Staines, but just by 19 votes.

He's now 82 votes ahead of Mr Staines, whereas he was 63 votes ahead of him in the last results.

But these results will provide no relief for Mr Goodluck, with plenty of votes still yet to be counted.

The pair have been neck-and-neck for the final spot on council throughout most of today.

Karen Porter has dropped marginally further behind Mr Staines since the last count where she was 514 votes behind Mr Staines.

She is now 516 votes behind Mr Staines.

12.50pm: 

THE latest results show Alex Staines is catching Kahn Goodluck, with just 63 votes between the pair.

The pair are in a cliffhanger for the eighth spot on council.

Desley O'Grady has dropped significantly and is currently at seventh place after key Gladstone booths results.

But a strong performance in the outer regions has kept her in the top eight and she is now 509 votes ahead of Mr Goodluck.

Karen Porter has dropped to ninth after the pre-poll count.

Ms Porter led Mr Staines yesterday, but now trails him by 514. 

11.30am:

ALEX Staines has overtaken Karen Porter to trail eighth placed Kahn Goodluck by a thin margin.

The ECQ return s officer, based in Gladstone, said they had counted about "we are a long way through" counting the pre-poll votes and it had narrowed between Mr Goodluck and Mr Staines.

Mr Staines was expected to perform in key Gladstone seats, as he has. 

10.30am: 

DESPITE a cliffhanger where Karen Porter trails rival Kahn Goodluck by just 181 votes, Ms Porter said she is not looking at the results from minute to minute.

She said she is carrying out her regular council duties as usual, at least until the results are released tomorrow or Friday.

But she stressed that she still cares about the results and would like the opportunity to continue serving on council.

Yesterday, Ms Porter said it wasn't likely she would call for a recount of the vote if it came down to a close margin.

"Probably not. I trust the system that they've got to count the votes, and Kahn is a very worthy adversary," she said.

"I respect him tremendously and wish him all the best if he is the one that the community has voted in then totally support that decision."

LISTEN: Karen Porter says Kahn Goodluck is a "worthy adversary" 


TUESDAY

4.50pm:

KAHN Goodluck still leads Karen Porter by 181 votes after the results of Ubobo were released late this afternoon. 

She's put some more distance between her and Alex Staines as the chase for position eight continues.

However Mr Goodluck is expected to extend his lead on the two candidates nipping at his heels when the results for Tannum Sands are released.  

Also, there are still 10,000 pre-poll votes to be counted and the results from major booth Kin Kora are yet to be released.  

 

3.10pm:

KAREN Porter is out of the race based on new results from three more booths; Miriam Vale, Mount Larcom and Rosedale.

Ms Porter polled well against her rivals in the outer lying areas but because of the size of the booths, it wasn't enough to close the gap between her and Kahn Goodluck.

Mr Goodluck is sitting on 6507 votes compared to Karen Porter's 6269.

Alex Staines has now dropped to 10th position, 41 votes behind Karen Porter. 

However there are still more than 10,000 pre-poll votes to be counted as well as Kin Kora, Tannum Sands, Seaview and Ubobo.

Desley O'Grady was the highest polling candidate in Mount Larcom beating Chris Trevor by 14 votes.   

However Mr Trevor has once again taken a huge lead on his rivals passing the 10,000 mark, 1844 votes ahead of Cindi Bush who is sitting in position number two with 8202 votes.

Today results were also released from Gladstone West and Gladstone Central.

Results from Kin Kora and the pre-poll votes could see Karen Porter move back into the top eight given the slim margin between her and Kahn Goodluck.  

FULL RESULTS: Green pins have been counted 

2.45pm: 

GLADSTONE West voters have once again cemented the top eight.

Alex Staines is back to chasing Kahn Goodluck, who is sitting in number eight, but is lagging behind by 293 votes.

The next set of results will come from outer lying regions Miriam Vale and Mount Larcom which could see a shift in the lower positions and a new candidate vying for Kahn Goodluck's spot.

Positions nine to 13 are;

Alex Staines (5788) Karen Porter (5712) Ted Couch (5508) Lynette Dahl (5480) Natalia Muszkat (5321)

1.50pm:

RESULTS from Gladstone Central are in and Alex Staines has been bumped from the ninth position.

Karen Porter is now chasing Kahn Goodluck with a gap of just 320 votes between them.

But Alex Staines has still made crucial gains on Mr Goodluck, closing the gap from 435 votes this morning to just 377 now. 

He is just 57 votes behind Karen Porter.

We will release results from Gladstone West, Miriam Vale, Mount Larcom and Rosdale soon.

12.30pm:

THE number of informal votes at polling booths in the region has again risen today, with counters throwing away 1418 ballot papers that weren't filled out properly.

It accounts for a massive 12.53% of the votes counted so far, and has risen from about 9.5% recorded yesterday morning.

>> Five ways Gladstone residents threw away their vote

>> Number of votes that didn't count rises to 9.5%

The extra 1418 votes could prove crucial for candidates such as Alex Staines and Karen Porter who are on the cusp of the top eight.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland website says there are 11,344 informal votes and 90,568 counted votes.

But an ECQ spokesman said yesterday that could be confusing, as each vote counts as eight votes. 

11.30am: 

ANTICIPATION is building for candidates in the top eight ahead while the long wait for results from key Gladstone booths continues.

For Peter Masters, who is sitting in position six, the next three booths will either cement his position or push him down from the list.

Mr Masters says so far he's "ecstatic" with his results from Gladstone after winning 1021 votes at Clinton, significantly more than his Calliope based rival Desley O'Grady who took 855 from that booth.

"So far I'm very pleased with how I am polling in Gladstone,' Mr Masters said.

"The top five or six people are classy people so to be up in the mix there is a huge honour."

LISTEN: Peter Masters says "the top five or six are classy people" in the race for a council spot 

9.00am: 

WE should know who our next councillors will be by tonight.

Ballots from the final three booths are being scanned now, and ECQ is expecting to release all of the results by 5pm.

But more than 10,000 votes from Gladstone will be counted tomorrow, meaning if there are close contests this afternoon - such as between Alex Staines and Kahn Goodluck for eighth spot - these votes could be crucial.

A key contest emerged between Kahn Goodluck and Alex Staines yesterday afternoon, with Staines trailing eighth placed Goodluck by 435 votes when the latest results were released last night.

With 4053 votes Ted Couch is sitting just behind Karen Porter on 4071, ahead of both Natalia Muszkat (3810) and Jody McMullen (3694). 

Positions nine to 14 are; 

Alex Staines (4108) Karen Porter (4071) Ted Couch (4053) Lynette Dahl (3871) Natalia Muszkat (3810) Jody McMullen (3694)

Mr Staines will be betting on his support in the Gladstone polls today where he has had his strongest performances so far --- notably Clinton, where he beat Goodluck.

Gladstone Central, Gladstone West and Kin Kora are among those important booths for Mr Staines. 

MONDAY

8:00pm:

ALEX Staines is on the cusp of finding a seat on the Gladstone Regional Council, with less than 500 votes between him and eighth placed Kahn Goodluck.

But Karen Porter, Lynette Dahl, Natalia Muszkat and Jody McMullen all still sit less than 1000 votes behind Boyne man Mr Goodluck.

The boilermaker surged at Boyne to topple Ms Porter from eighth. 

But Mr Staines further upset Ms Porter when he surged in Clinton (1014 votes) to overtake Ms Porter (874 votes).  

What candidate do you want elected?

This poll ended on 22 March 2016.

Current Results

Alex Staines

34%

Karen Porter

15%

Lynette Dahl

9%

Natalia Muszkat

23%

Jody McMullen

17%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

The Hogs Breath Café owner even made small gains on Mr Goodluck, who gathered just under a thousand votes.

Mr Staines, a Gladstone man, appears to have a stronger following in Gladstone than in the outer regions, or in Boyne and Tannum Sands, as Mr Goodluck does.

Counting will resume tomorrow, but key area such as Central Gladstone and Tannum Sands are yet to be counted.

Solid performances in key Gladstone booths could see Mr Staines to a spot on the next council. 

This is what the candidate to watch have said in the past. 

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6:00pm:

RESULTS from the Clinton booth have really shaken up the list.

The top four candidates have taken a lead, including Chris Trevor, Rick Hansen, Cindi Bush and PJ Sobhanian - who has a lead of 171 votes on his closest rival Glenn Churchill.

Karen Porter and Lynette Dahl have dropped again and we've extended the names we're watching.

Alf Walker has dropped out of our 'watch list' and Natalia Muszkat has taken his place after a surge of support.

She won 1027 votes from the Clinton booth - it wasn't the highest, but it was enough to bring her into the race.

Jody McMullen also polled well at Clinton and is now sitting on 3694 votes, only 115 behind Natalia.

She has now been added to our 'watch list'.

However there is a clear gap opening up between the top eight and those closest behind them.

Kahn Goodluck has a lead of 441 on Alex Staines sitting in position nine.

There are still key areas left to be counted including Gladstone Central, and Tannum Sands where Lynette Dahl is expected to poll well.

Those results could bring her back into the race.

(Positions 9 to 13)

Alex Staines (4108) Karen Porter (4071) Lynette Dahl (3871) Natalia Muszkat (3810) Jody McMullen (3694)

LISTEN: We spoke to Kahn Goodluck before the latest result and he said it's a "pretty nerve racking experience" at ninth 


4.15pm:

RESULTS from Boyne are in and Karen Porter has been bumped from the top eight by Kahn Goodluck who has added 1081 votes to his tally, taking only 63 less than Chris Trevor.

PJ Sobhanian also scored well in Boyne winning 1008 securing his spot in the top eight at least until the next round of results come in.

We are still waiting for numbers from major booth Clinton, which could see Karen Porter surge back into the leading pack, and Gladstone Central.

We spoke to Karen Porter just before the latest results came in.

LISTEN: Karen Porter says results are "rapidly changing, so it's very exciting" 

3.30pm:

KAREN Porter hasn't spent the day furiously watching results roll in.

She's sitting in the eighth spot at the moment, but that could all change quickly once results from three large booths are released.

Those are; Boyne, Clinton and Gladstone Central.

Ms Porter, who is hoping to be returned to the council after one term of service, lives in Clinton and is says she'd like to see support from her local community reflected in the results. 

2.00pm: 

BOILER maker Kahn Goodluck is back in the race after the latest results from Gladstone South and Calliope were tallied.

Alex Staines is hot on his heels and there are 100 votes between him and Karen Porter who is sitting in position eight.

Results from Boyne, Clinton and Gladstone Central booths are expected to be available before 5pm which could change the order for the top eight.

Mr Goodluck spent some time in the counting office on Hanson Rd today scrutineering and said it hasn't made him feel any more or less stressed about the results. 

11.50am: 

BY 5pm today results from 12 booths are expected to be published.

The next to be published are Boyne Island, Clinton and Gladstone Central and it will be interesting to see how ballots from those booths impact positions within the top 12.

While there are a clear top four, it's still anyone's race for the last four positions and if Lynette Dahl can hold on until the Tannum booth is counted we might see her surge ahead or closer rivals.

Counting is moving quicker today and more people have been called in to help.

Some of the candidates have spent some time in the office on Hanson Rd, eager to hear the results as they come in.

The results from Calliope saw Desley O'Grady surge ahead taking back one of the top spots.

10.40am:

DESLEY O'Grady and Peter Masters have surged ahead after the results from Calliope and South Gladstone were released.

Desley has moved up to number four and Peter Masters has moved up from eighth position to seventh.

The top 12 are holding their places and Lynette Dahl has been pushed down to number 11 following a surge to Kahn Goodluck from the South Gladstone booth.

Chris Trevor has taken a significant lead heading the pack by 763 votes, most likely cementing his place as the highest polling councillor candidate.

10.10am:

DID your vote count?

The number of informal votes is currently at 493, meaning those votes didn't count.

It accounts for a staggering 9.5% of the 5,181 votes counted so far.

But most of the results haven't been released yet.

At first look, the ECQ website shows 41,448 votes have been counted, with 3994 informal votes.

But an ECQ spokesman said that could be confusing, as each vote counts for "eight votes" because there are eight councillor spots up for grabs.

A vote is considered invalid when the voter hasn't filled out the ballot paper correctly.

We reported the results for Chanel late last night, and we are expecting the results for Calliope and Boyne today.

6.50AM MONDAY:

Welcome back to our live coverage of the 2016 Gladstone Regional Council election.

Yesterday some front-runners emerged in the councillor race with Chris Trevor, Cr Rick Hansen and Cindi Bush leading the way.

Today we'll see if they can hold on to their lead, and how the counting at more booths plays out.

We will have the latest results as they come in, with counting getting underway again this morning.



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