CLOSE: Tin Can Bay, part of Gympie region’s closely contested Division 1, where preferences are likely to determine the outcome, as may also be the case at southside’s Division 7.
CLOSE: Tin Can Bay, part of Gympie region’s closely contested Division 1, where preferences are likely to determine the outcome, as may also be the case at southside’s Division 7.

Why election losers will decide council's fate

VOTES lodged for losing candidates could carry the key to final Gympie Regional Council election results in two hard-fought divisions.

In the Cooloola Coast's Division 1 and Southside's Division 7, close voting means the result could depend on the second choices of voters whose first preference candidate came last.

In Division 1, it appears the result may be determined by the second preferences of people who voted for Ash Little, currently running last with 419 votes and with no prospect of victory.

Those preferences will be added to votes being counted for the two main rivals, Mark McDonald (1236 votes) and Jess Milne (1177).

If that is not enough to give one of the leading candidates the 50 per cent vote needed to secure victory, the second preference votes received by the third place candidate Philip Feldman may also be distributed.

In Division 7, where the battle seems to be taking place between rivals and mates, incumbent Bob Leitch (1293 votes) and challenger Warren Polley (1295 votes), the substantial number of preferences carried by third candidate Donna Reardon (sitting on 1002 votes) could be the deciders.

The counting continues today under coronavirus lockdown at the Electoral Commission Queensland tally room, set up at the Gympie Senior Citizens' Centre.