HEAD TO HEAD: Noosa mayoral candidates Clare Stewart and Tony Wellington. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa
HEAD TO HEAD: Noosa mayoral candidates Clare Stewart and Tony Wellington. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa

CLIFFHANGER: Noosa Mayor’s camp says Clare’s lead has shrunk

THOSE Clare for Mayor supporters may have to put the celebratory champagne bottles back on ice for now as the intriguing and torturous election count to control Noosa Council may yet be decided by the final postal votes.

The two opposing camps are clutching to conflicting count figures for incumbent Tony Wellington and his challenger Clare Stewart.

According to a supporter in the Wellington camp, the final and official adjusted count yesterday has Clare Stewart still ahead of incumbent Tony Wellington by 58 votes, having lost ground from 192 vote lead on Friday.

But Ms Stewart’s Facebook post, had her increasing her lead to 284 votes ahead of Mayor Wellington based on her team scrutinising the votes yesterday.

“There are still some postal votes to come in and a recount of Cooroy early voting, but I think the difference between us is now large enough to presume that I will win the mayoralty of Noosa,” Ms Stewart said.

The unofficial preliminary Electoral Commission of Queensland vote tally this morning was showing that after more than 74 per cent of the votes were counted, Cr Wellington had 14640 votes to Ms Stewart’s 14705, a lead of 65.

A Wellington campaign supporter said there are 1500 postal votes outstanding that have to be returned by 5pm today to count, and that not all will.

A more optimistic guesstimate might be anything up to 500 votes to help decide the fate of who calls the shots in the shire for the next four years.

The Wellington supporter said the trend to date for postals had been going the mayor’s way, so his camp is holding some sliver of hope, as well as their breaths, for a miraculous political resurrection on the eve of Easter.