Warren Polley and Bob Leitch are now split by only five votes.
Warren Polley and Bob Leitch are now split by only five votes.

Leitch gains ground in fight for Southside

ONLY five votes separate Warren Polley and deputy mayor Bob Leitch as the neck-and-neck race for the Southside council seat became even tighter yesterday.

As of 5pm Mr Polley had claimed 1294 first preference votes, keeping him narrowly ahead of Mr Leitch’s 1289.

Donna Reardon’s 998 votes rounded out the count.

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Over on the coast incumbent Division 1 councillor Mark McDonald has widened the lead in his struggle with newcomer Jess Milne.

Gympie Regional Council candidate hopefuls Jess Milne and Mark McDonald
Gympie Regional Council candidate hopefuls Jess Milne and Mark McDonald

Mr McDonald’s 1156 votes put him 26 ahead of Ms Milne, with 66 per cent of the division’s votes counted.

The pair were well clear of Phil Feldman (502) and Ash Little (376),

In the mayoral race Glen Hartwig’s lead over incumbent Mick Curran has remained 17 per cent with almost three quarters of the region’s votes counted.

So far Mr Hartwig has secured 4600 more first preference votes than Mr Curran.

In Divisons 3 and 4 Shane Waldock and Bruce Devereaux widened their leads against the rest of the field.

Shane Waldock is looking like the expected winner of the Division 3 fight.
Shane Waldock is looking like the expected winner of the Division 3 fight.

In division 5 Dan Stewart lost a handful of votes to Chelle Dobson but still maintained a lead of more than 10 percentage points.

Incumbents Hilary Smerdon and Bob Fredman also continued to secure more votes, firmly establishing their hold on the seats for Divisons 6 and 8.

The election is still a long way from being declared with postal votes not cut off until 5pm next Tuesday.

Preference votes will then be distributed among the candidates.

The new council will not be able to sit until at least 14 days after the election is declared.,