Division 9 candidate Darren Baldwin on election day.
Division 9 candidate Darren Baldwin on election day. Inga Williams

Division 9 won't be decided until late next week

A WEEK has passed since the residents of Division 9 had their say, yet they are still no closer to finding out who'll represent them at Council for the next four years.

Long-serving incumbent Sheila Ireland is engaged in the fight of her local political career with main challenger Darren Baldwin, who has a preference deal with Jade Connor in the division and could yet steal the result.

With the Electoral Commission delaying the counting of preferences until late next week, both candidates - as well as their potential constituents - face another few days of waiting.

"It's a bit nerve-wracking," Cr Ireland said, "but I realise there is a process in place for counting votes."

"I'm definitely not saying that I've won at this stage.

"I've worked hard but I think Darren Baldwin has done very well."

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann wasn't as forgiving of the counting process, questioning why it should take so long to look at the preferences.

"There is no reason whatsoever for the delay," Mr Neumann said.

"As it is, they are putting the candidates in an electoral hiatus."

As of Thursday afternoon, Cr Ireland had secured 3783 votes, ahead of Mr Baldwin on 3128.

Mr Connor trails the leaders on 1910, but his preferences could have an influence on the final result.

Mr Neumann said it was still far too close to call.

"For whoever gets up, it will only be by the skin of their teeth," he said.

"The postal and absentee vote count has heavily favoured Sheila Ireland, but the pre-poll favoured Baldwin.

"It is going to be very close and I wouldn't be surprised if there were less than 200 votes in it."

Mr Baldwin and the ECQ were approached for comment on this story, but were unable to respond in time.

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