11:50pm – So at the end of the night it seems most likely that the council will consist of an independent Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery, alongside four Labor councillors, four Liberal councillors, two Greens councillors, and two independents, Vicki Curran and Greg Petty. There is also a possibility that Petty could lose out to a Labor candidate, Liberal candidate or independent Labor candidate.
11:48pm – While we have 26-27,000 votes counted in each of the two northernmost wards, we only had 17,000 votes counted for Ward 3 at this time. We’re expecting this vote to go up and so these figures are not final. Labor leads with 2.09 quota, followed by Liberal on 1.31, and then independent Vicki Curran on 0.78. They are a long way ahead of other groups, with the next closest being Trevor Mott on 0.29. So despite the vote-count being slower it seems likely that the councillors will be Chris Connor (ALP), Ann Martin (ALP), Bede Crasnich (LIB) and Vicki Curran (IND).
11:44pm – A final update just came through for Ward 1, excepting special votes, Wollongong Town Hall and Tarrawanna. The Liberal Party leads with 1.46 quota, followed by ALP on 1.27, the Greens on 0.71, and independent Greg Petty on 0.51. Petty is under threat for his seat from a number of possible challengers – the second Liberal candidate is only trailing by 0.05 quota. Also, if you combine the second Labor candidate’s vote with the vote for Labor independent Sara Howson (who was permitted to run by the party and swapped preferences with the ALP), it adds up to 0.59 quota. So it seems clear that Leigh Colacino (LIB), Janice Kershaw (ALP) and Jill Merrin (GRN) will win, with the final seat a race between Greg Petty (IND), David McKenna (LIB), Ian Hunt (ALP) and Sara Hawson (ALP-IND).
11:4opm – Nearly all primary votes have been counted in Ward 2, except for Wollongong Town Hall and the special votes. The Liberal Party leads with 1.83 quota, followed by Labor on 1.16, the Greens on 0.74 and former councillor Andrew Anthony on 0.53. That’s a substantial gap between the final seat and the last candidate to be excluded, so barring anything dramatic the seats should go to John Dorahy (LIB), Michelle Blicavs (LIB), David Brown (ALP) and George Takacs (GRN).
11:39pm – I’m going to go to bed now, so here are my final summaries for each ward of Wollongong Council.
11:29pm – The final figures for the night are in for Shellharbour. After the first five seats go to Labor, Liberal and David Boyle, Moran is leading with 0.53 quota for the sixth spot followed by Cook on 0.48 for the final seat. Following them is Stewart on 0.41, Quinlin on 0.35 and four other groups with between 0.25 and 0.34 quota. So while Moran and Cook are the favourites to take the final seats it will depend on how preferences flow.
10:50pm – Let’s take a look at Shellharbour. About half of the booths have reported. At the moment the ALP leads with 2.15 quotas, followed by the Liberal Party on 1.97 and David Boyle’s ticket on 0.91. The final two seats are very unclear at the moment, with Shane Cook on 0.52 and Peter Moran on 0.48, followed by a number of other candidates with a chance of gaining a seat on preferences.
10:44pm – The council race in Ward 3 is well under way, with 17,000 votes counted. Labor leads with 2.09 quotas, followed by the Liberal Party on 1.31 quotas, and then former Wollongong Council staff member Vicki Curran on 0.78 quota.
10:41pm – We have all of the votes for the night now in for the Mayoral race, and nothing much has changed. Bradbery is on 33.9%, Dorahy is on 23.4%, and Connor is on 19.7%. It is expected that Bradbery will extend his 10.5% lead over Dorahy on preferences and will win the race.
10:20pm – We’re beginning to get more council booths coming in for Wollongong. At the moment we have 8600 votes counted in Ward 1, 2800 in Ward 2 and 5300 in Ward 3. By comparison over 30,000 votes have been counted in Wards 1 and 2 for the Mayoral race. At the moment the Liberal Party is leading in Wards 1 and 2, while the ALP leads in Ward 3. If the current figures were final and preferences don’t change the order, Labor and Liberal would each win four seats, the Greens would win two, and the remaining seats would go to independents Greg Petty and Alice Curran.
8:25pm – We also have the council vote in from a single booth: Coalcliff in the far north of Wollongong. The Liberals polled 43 votes, the Greens 40, Petty 18 votes, and Labor 10 votes. I hope it doesn’t need to be said that this is far too early to make any predictions.
8:17pm – We now have over 27% of the vote counted in the Mayoral race and Bradbery is solidly in the lead, with 31.3% against 22.9% for Dorahy and 20.2% for Connor. It’s far too early to call it for him but it’s worth noting that, in a head-to-head race against Dorahy, he is getting preferences from Merrin, Organ, and Connor, and I believe he is getting preferences from most of the others. Those three polled over 30% between them. It will be very hard for the Liberals to recover an 8% deficit on preferences with Bradbery receiving such friendly preferencing.
7:44pm – The results diverge widely when broken down by ward. In Ward 1 (North), Dorahy is leading, while Labor’s Connor is being outpolled by independent Greg Petty, who is on 16%. Petty is almost outpolling Bradbery. The Greens’ Merrin is also on 12% in the ward. It’s a good sign for Petty and Merrin’s bids for seats on the council. In contrast, Petty is polling less than 1% in both the other wards. Bradbery’s vote varies from 36.5% to 17.2% between Ward 1 and Ward 2. Connor is leading in Ward 3.
7:41pm – We’ve got the first figures from the Wollongong lord mayoral race. With 11.9% counted, independent Gordon Bradbery is leading with 27.5% over Liberal candidate John Dorahy on 24.1% and Labor candidate Chris Connor on 20.3%. Overall the results are coming from all three wards, with slightly less votes coming from Ward 3 (South).
7:20pm – Polls closed in the Wollongong and Shellharbour council elections at 6pm tonight. So far no results are in but I look to be covering them tonight. We are looking at the election of the Lord Mayor of Wollongong, 12 Wollongong councillors across three wards, and 7 Shellharbour councillors elected across the entire council area.