The You Decide election forum in Maroochydore suggests first-term councillor John Connolly is in trouble in Division 4. Fellow candidate Todd Forrest (right).
The You Decide election forum in Maroochydore suggests first-term councillor John Connolly is in trouble in Division 4. Fellow candidate Todd Forrest (right).

Exit polling shows shock mayoral, Div 4 result

SUNSHINE Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson may be under pressure if the results of an exit poll from the first Sunshine Coast Daily You Decide mayoral forum are a guide to the March 28 election.

The two-term mayor received only 10 votes at the Maroochydore forum compared to 52 for his challengers with Chris Thompson dominant, gathering 36 of those.

Don Innes with 15 was also ahead of the mayor while Michael Burgess collected none.

Mr Thompson was also a clear leader from a small pool of votes at Maleny on Tuesday night followed by Mr Innes and Mr Burgess while the mayor failed to record a vote.

Cr John Connolly was equally unloved at Maroochydore among Division 4 candidates with just seven votes, well behind Joe Natoli (31) who had brought a team of supporters to the event.

Julian Porter secured 17 exit poll votes with Todd Forrest on four.

Division 4 candidate Mark Wadeson (centre) flanked by fellow candidates Julian Porter (left) and Joe Natoli (right) brought social issues to the debate at the You Decide Maroochydore election forum.
Division 4 candidate Mark Wadeson (centre) flanked by fellow candidates Julian Porter (left) and Joe Natoli (right) brought social issues to the debate at the You Decide Maroochydore election forum.

Former homeless candidate Mark Wadeson's shift of the discussion to social issues in a dignified plea for concern to be shown to all members of the community and not just business won the audience's attention but failed to attract an exit poll vote.

Fellow candidate Faith Hambrecht did not attend.

Cr Connolly said the purpose of local governments had shifted from roads, rates and rubbish to delivering a strategic plan for the next 40 years to accommodate population growth.

He outlined the massive financial commitment to Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba with five cranes about to go up in SunCentral, describing the election as very important to the region's future.

Mr Natoli said the current council appeared intent on creating another Gold Coast with lifestyle being traded for development at any cost.

He pressed the hot button issue of paid parking which he said lacked any support.

Mr Porter rejected Cr Connolly's claims saying it was time for the council to pivot back to the basics and to spend on what we have now instead of that which drove more growth.

Mr Forrest said the repeated message he heard was that it was time for change, reminding the room that Division 4 had eight suburbs but that only three were getting any attention.