SUNDAY UPDATE: RRC election results and highlights
SUNDAY UPDATE 1.50PM: ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council’s incumbent mayor Margaret Strelow has claimed victory after crushing her solitary challenger Chris Hooper in local government election.
After first being elected Mayor in 2000, this will be Cr Strelow’s fifth term at the helm of council to provide a steady hand steering the community through the COVID-19 crisis.
Defeated challenger Chris Hooper said there was much to take from the election result where he gained just over 30 per cent of the vote.
Read the full story here : RRC mayor Strelow returned after claiming election victory
SUNDAY UPDATE 1PM: DIVISION 1 candidate Vince Robertson said he and his supporter did the best they could, under the difficult and strange circumstances in which this election was conducted.
“I would like to thank the voters of Division One who supported me, as it seems from the Preliminary Count, that I will not be their representative on Council,” Mr Robertson said.
“I would also like to thank the members of my Campaign Team, especially James (Jim) Mills and Tom Bartlem, who worked tirelessly beside me, throughout the election.
“Congratulations to Shane Latcham on his election win, and I wish him well in his role as Councilor for Division One.
“I wish Sherrie Ashton well, as we return to our normal occupations. I would also like to take the opportunity to wish all the Rockhampton Regional Council well for the future.”
SUNDAY UPDATE 11AM: Following last night’s technical difficulties marring the publishing of local government election results for the preliminary count, results are pouring in for the official count.
With more than 64 per cent of the vote counted, incumbent mayor Margaret Strelow appears to have built an unassailable lead in the mayoral race with 68.48 per cent of the vote over challenger Chris Hooper.
In Division 1, Shane Latcham is maintaining his overnight lead with 50.03 per cent of the vote over Sherrie Ashton (28.12 per cent) and Vince Robertson (21.84 per cent) after 63.73 per cent of the votes were counted.
The latest results in Division 2 sees incumbent Councillor Neil Fisher’s overnight lead continue to shrink to 57.7 per cent over challenger Gavin Shuker after 65.88 per cent of votes have been counted.
In Division 5, incumbent Deputy Mayor Cherie Rutherford has increased her overnight lead to 61.33 per cent over Peter Anderson after 57.5 per cent of the votes were counted.
In Division 7, Donna Kirkland’s overnight lead has shrunken slightly to 65.61 per cent over Noeleen horan after 65.55 per cent of the votes have been counted.
UPDATE 10PM: THERE doesn’t appear to be anymore election updates coming through tonight.
The ECQ has admitted on social media to suffering from technical difficulties.
Stay tuned for more updates on the election count tomorrow morning.
UPDATE 8.50PM: RESULTS are starting to become more certain as counting continues.
With 14.4 per cent of the vote counted, Shane Latcham continues to lead with 52 per cent of the vote.
Incumbent councillor Neil Fisher’s lead has shrunken slightly but is a comfortable 63.8 per cent after eight per cent of the vote has been counted.
Cherie Rutherford is stretching her lead to 58.5 per cent after 16.2 per cent of the votes counted.
Donna Kirkland’s lead is stretching to 66.5 per cent with 19.4 per cent of votes counted.
After 13.9 per cent of votes counted, Margaret Strelow continues to lead with 65.7 per cent.
UPDATE 8.10PM: Councillor candidates contesting divisions in the Rockhampton Region finally have some early results to consider.
Only a small percentage of votes have been counted in Division 1 but Shane Latcham has an early lead.
With eight per cent of the vote counted in Division 2, incumbent Neil Fisher is in the lead with almost two thirds of the total.
Just over 10 per cent of the vote has been counted for Division 5 with incumbent Deputy Mayor Cherie Rutherford leading with 56 per cent of the vote against Peter Anderson.
With 10 per cent of the votes were counted for Division 7, Donna Kirkland has hit the lead with 61 per cent of the vote against Noeleen Horan.
Margaret Strelow’s lead is growing in the mayor race, receiving 66.19 per cent of votes.
UPDATE 7.40PM: RESULTS are just starting to trickle in for the race to decide Rockhampton Region’s mayor and it is going according to expectations with incumbent leader Margaret Strelow taking in twice as many votes as challenger Chris Hooper.
Results are still yet to arrive for the councillors.
Candidate for Division 7 Noeleen Horan said she had a “fantastic day”.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support I have received to get me to Election Day,” Ms Horan said.
“Today was filled with waves, smiles, honking and votes. How lucky am I... very!”
Incumbent Councillor Neil Fisher has been busy fending off a strong challenge from Gavin Shuker in Division 2, and was glad to take a seat and catch his breath his pooches.
“Well we have made it to the end of what was in my mind the weirdest election I have ever been involved in,” Cr Fisher said.
“After an early morning start setting up my election signage. I then spent the day with my family and spent some time at Duthie Park this afternoon with our two dogs.”
UPDATE 6PM: THE polls are about to close for the Local Government Election and the results are expected to trickle in, an hour from now.
Division 1 candidate Sherrie Ashton has updated The Morning Bulletin on how she fared on a very different election day.
“(I) spent the day at home with my family due to not being able to attend election and speak to people,” Ms Ashton said.
“I would like to thank my friends and family for your support and encouragement over the past few weeks. I have been genuinely humbled and inspired.
“Please stay safe everyone and lookout for each other as well as you elderly neighbours.”
UPDATE 4.40PM: ELECTORAL Commissioner Mr Pat Vidgen has thanked Queenslanders for their participation so far in the 2020 local government elections.
“More than 600,000 voters have had their say today already” he said, “and polling booths will be open until 6pm,” Mr Vidgen said.
“Early voting levels were also extraordinarily high, with 55 per cent of eligible voters choosing to pre-poll, or apply for a postal vote.
“The vast majority of our community understands that local government is important, now more than ever.
“We have seen great cooperation from voters in helping today’s election run smoothly.”
Polling will be open until 6pm at more than 1300 polling booths across the state, with a range of social distancing measures in place.
Preliminary counting will take place following the close of polls, with results appearing in this story after 7pm.
The Morning Bulletin has spoken to a number of voters today. Read their stories here:
- Deserted polling stations “a bit surreal” says Uni student
- Student has no designs on leaving home any time soon
- Hardys vote for local employment at election
- Nursing student breaks isolation to come out and vote
- Home care worker calls for quicker response to pandemic
- Tara votes at the end of a “horrible” week
EARLIER: ANGER has boiled out from Queensland residents at the news of having to vote today, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
In Rockhampton, the polling booths have been reportedly quiet.
Here is what Rockhampton Regional Council candidates have been up to.
Donna Kirkland, councillor candidate for Division 7.
Ms Kirkland provided two updates on her election day.
“Been at this since 7:30am. People have been great. Lots of waves, thumbs up and number 1’s,” Ms Kirkland said.
“We had very strict regulations around our presence near booths and we restricted to the fringes. Streets starting to quieten off now.
She said there were Scrutineers at booths this evening and formal counting would take place at the Rockhampton Showgrounds tomorrow.
Late in the afternoon Ms Kirkland was still going and “even went through the rain” where she had to opportunity to notice a “bit of a drainage issue”.
“I voted about 10 minutes ago. Not another voter in the room,” she said.
Massive surge in voting before election day
Due to the large number of Queenslanders who voted during the early voting period, the expected numbers of people voting on election day has been significantly reduced.
At the end of the early voting period for the 2020 elections, over 1.2 million electors had cast their vote.
In addition to the 570,000 people who applied for a postal vote and the 40,000 people who have registered for telephone voting, over 1.8 million people, or 55 per cent of eligible voters, have already voted or made arrangements to vote.
Approximately 120,000 of the 570,000 postal vote ballots have been returned to the ECQ to date.
Postal votes must be returned to the ECQ before 7 April to be included in the count, however, postal voters are urged to return their postal ballots as soon as possible.
Registrations are open until 12pm tomorrow, and voters have until 6pm, the close of polling on election day, to cast their vote.
The Commissioner continues to urge healthy voters to stay off the phones and vote in person.
The ECQ expects the counting and declaration process to take a little longer than usual. This is due to the unprecedented number of postal votes, as well as the social distancing measures that will be in place for the count.
The ECQ will commence a preliminary count on election night, and results will be available in this story later on this evening.
The official count will begin on Sunday morning and contests will be declared when it is clear and certain who the successful candidate is (i.e it becomes mathematically impossible for anyone else to by successful).