Confirmation still days off in 2017 Queanbeyan-Palerang election

Saturday's poll: Former Palerang councillor Paul Cockram hands out 'How to Vote' cards. Photo: Elspeth Kernebone
Saturday's poll: Former Palerang councillor Paul Cockram hands out 'How to Vote' cards. Photo: Elspeth Kernebone

It looks likely that nine of the 11 Queanbeyan-Palerang councillors have been decided, but it may be several days before the full council is confirmed.

As of Tuesday, 29,864 votes had been counted.

Of the 936 votes counted at Braidwood Central School, 396 were cast for ungrouped candidates.

In Braidwood, Tim Overall’s ticket earned just 145 of the first preference votes. The highest number of votes went to Ticket B, led by former Palerang Councillor Trevor Hicks, with 166.

Karuna Bajracharya took the lead, earning 235 of these, while Paul Cockram earned 84 and Walter Raynolds 77. Mr Bajracharya received 438 votes in total, Mr Raynolds 210, Mr Cockram 238.

In Braidwood’s prepoll voting Mr Overall’s group took a significant lead, recieving 286 first preference votes, while of the 227 votes below the line, Mr Bajracharya received 101, Mr Cockram 75 and Mr Raynolds 51.

Tim Overall walking in to cast his vote at Bicentennial Hall. He was no doubt also smiling when the results came through. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Tim Overall walking in to cast his vote at Bicentennial Hall. He was no doubt also smiling when the results came through. Photo: Jamila Toderas

It was a similar story in Majors Creek, with Mr Bajracharya receiving 17 votes, Mr Cockram 9 and Mr Raynolds 4. There Group A received 19 votes, Group B 16.

Mr Overall's independent team collecting 34.69 per cent of the first preference vote throughout QPRC, and likely winning four seats on the new council. That means Mr Overall, Trudy Taylor, Peter Bray and Michele Biscotti are all on track for a place at the table.

Country Labor placed second, recording (as of Tuesday) 13.54 per cent. Former Palerang councillor Trevor Hicks’ ticket was next earning 9.63 per cent, then the Liberal Party on 9.15 per cent. Independent and former councillor Kenrick Winchester’s ticket picked up 9 per cent of first preference votes.

Karuna Bajracharya chats with potential voters. Photo: Elspeth Kernebone.

Karuna Bajracharya chats with potential voters. Photo: Elspeth Kernebone.

The Greens' ticket is just shy of a quota, with 6.45 percent of first preference votes. There is a chance the party will win a seat with the highest proportion of a full quota, meaning Peter Marshall takes a place at the council.

Former Palerang councillor Trevor Hicks looks almost certain to earn a spot on the new merged council. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Former Palerang councillor Trevor Hicks looks almost certain to earn a spot on the new merged council. Photo: Jamila Toderas

A spokesman for the NSW Electoral Commission said that with results as they are, voters could be fairly confident with those nine council seats.

The remaining two seats will take several days to finalise as preferences are allocated.​

On Monday the informal vote count stood at 9.85 per cent and voter turn out at 73 per cent of enrolled persons.

If those numbers held steady it would be a similar result to the 2012 council elections.

Queanbeyan and Palerang both returned an informal count of 9.57 percent in 2012.

However, the electoral commission spokesman said that the informal vote could change substantially as votes are data entered in the coming days as some votes will in fact be found to be formal.

He said people voting both above and below the line was common and the worst kind of informal voting.

Queanbeyan recorded a 76 per cent voter turn out in 2012, while Palerang had an 82 per cent turn out.