WATCH: New names top the ballot paper for council elections
THE ballot for next month's elections has been drawn and all the new faces have landed the prime real estate at the top of the ballot paper.
The order has been highly anticipated by the candidates who know the top six names on last election's ballot paper now belong to current councillors.
But today's "winner", Alex Staines, isn't expecting that luck alone will land him a new job.
And he doesn't consider the position on the ballot paper "particularly important".
Incumbent Mayor Gail Sellers will be facing her 7th election, having been in local government since 1988, and said she was more interested in the order of councillor candidates than those in the running for mayor.
"The order will have a big impact (for the councillor candidates)," Mayor Sellers said.
"I'm not saying this time there will be a bigger donkey vote (this election), but we're looking at 21 candidates and people are having to make a choice. For some it's easier to put one, two, three right down. I think it will have a big influence on about 1000 votes."
There were 2478 informal votes last election and 22 nominations for councillor.
Desley O'Grady, who sent her daughter Regan Fletcher to witness the draw, was "lucky" last.
Ironically when Regan walked into the office on Hanson Rd before the draw, returning officer Mark Larney jokingly said "just go and tell your mother that she drew 21."
"I don't think she will send me to anything again," Regan said laughingly once the ballot order was finished.
"No, I don't think it will matter where we are sitting…"
Alex Staines agrees. Despite the fact most would consider being drawn first an advantage, Mr Staines says he's hoping to be elected for different reasons.
"I would like to believe that people will be voting on the principles and values each person brings to the table," Mr Staines said.
"Not on a random position on the ballot card."
But with a field of 21 candidates, it will be hard to stand out.
None of the current councillors landed a spot in the top eight, which if the last election is anything to go by could hinder their chances of being re-elected.
In 2012 Maxine Brushe, Leo Neill-Ballantine, Ren Lanzon, Colin Chapman, Matt Burnett and Graham McDonald were the top six names on the ballot paper and all were elected.
Mayoral ballot order
- Gail Sellers
- Matt Burnett
- Michelle Wagner
Councillor ballot order
- Alex Staines
- Cindi Bush
- Peter Masters
- Natalia Muszkat
- Jody McMullen
- Lynette Dahl
- Glenn Churchill
- Chris Trevor
- Ren Lanzon
- Amanda McRae
- Christopher Cameron
- Rick Hansen
- Kahn Goodluck
- Edward (Ted) Couch
- Peter Powell
- PJ Sobhanian
- Alf Walker
- Karen Porter
- Charles Thompson
- Helena Sant
- Desley O'Grady