Ireland tells ALP to keep nose out of Div 9
THE "ALP party machine" has steamrolled Division 9 according to incumbent councillor Sheila Ireland, whose future in council still hangs in the balance.
But Blair MP Shayne Neumann has hit back at Cr Ireland, accusing her of "hypocrisy"after engaging LNP figures to assist her on election day, including former LNP MP Ian Berry.
With 70% of the roll counted Cr Ireland was on 42.72%, Darren Baldwin on 36.43% and Jade Connor 20.88%.
Mr Baldwin and Mr Connor are ALP members and have done a preference deal which could see Mr Baldwin prevail.
Cr Ireland said she feared she would be beaten by party politics. She said she won more than 40% of the vote at the four main polling locations at Redbank Plains Primary, Redbank Plains High, Springfield Central High and Springfield Lakes Primary against Labor-backed opponents Jade Connor and Darren Baldwin.
"I didn't lose the election," she said.
"The four polling booths are in and I won outright.
"I did a vote one only whereas Jade (Connor) and Darren (Baldwin) swapped preferences which I thought Labor would.
"There's no place for party politics in local council."
The incumbent, who has led Division 9 for more than 12 years, said it would be "a sad day for Ipswich" if she were to be beaten on preference swapping and not primary votes.
"I'm a resilient woman but it's always disappointing when party politics come into play," Cr Ireland said.
"It's a shame Shayne Neumann had to bring in the ALP party machine."
Preference deals and party politics have long been a part of the democratic process and Mr Neumann said Cr Ireland didn't understand how elections worked.
He also said she was wrong about winning the four booths she claimed.
"She didn't win them because she doesn't understand how preferences flow," Mr Neumann said.
"Ireland won Redbank Plains Primary comfortably. Baldwin won Redbank Plains High, Springfield Central High and Springfield Lakes Primary narrowly.
"You can see that when you look at the figures. She is winning postals easily but Baldwin won big in Springfield prepoll, which is why it is so deadly close."
Mr Neumann said it was a bit rich for Cr Ireland to criticise him about the ALP party machine.
"She had LNP people like Ian Berry handing out how to vote cards so that is just hypocrisy on her behalf," he said.
"Darren Baldwin is a personal friend of mine and the senior vice president of the Blair Federal Electoral Council, so of course I will hand out how to vote cards for him.
"LNP people gave support to her and Labor Party people gave support to Darren. Her poor vote, compared to the other councillors, is reflective of the people making a judgement call on her poor performance.
"Darren has proved to be a formidable campaigner. It's close, but I expect he'll win."