Mayoral challenger Chris Loft has widened his margin against incumbent Gerard O'Connell by a small number of votes as counting continues on Tuesday in the race for mayor.
Mayoral challenger Chris Loft has widened his margin against incumbent Gerard O'Connell by a small number of votes as counting continues on Tuesday in the race for mayor. Contributed

UPDATE: Loft almost 2000 votes ahead of O'Connell

UPDATE 3.45PM: THE lead of mayor challenger Chris Loft is continuing to grow as the fourth day of counting comes to a close.

Cr Loft, with 12,615 votes, is now 1759 votes ahead of incumbent mayor Gerard O'Connell who has 10,856.

Businessman Steve Coleman is lagging even further behind with 6315 votes.

The remaining three candidates have conceded.

Almost 39000 votes have been counted.

Postal votes are due to the Electoral Commission of Queensland by Tuesday, March 29.

Counting is expected to continue until at least that date.

UPDATE 1PM: MAYORAL challenger Chris Loft has widened his margin against incumbent Gerard O'Connell by a small number of votes as counting continues on Tuesday in the race for mayor.

Cr Loft now leads by more than a thousand votes with 11,631 counted so far in his favour.

When counting concluded on Monday afternoon Cr Loft was leading Cr O'Connell's 10,478 by less than 900 votes.

Businessman Steven Coleman remains in third place on 6015 votes.

Jannean Dean, Greg Schmidt and Lee Carter have all conceded defeat.

Almost 37,000 votes have been counted with 74 of 138 polling booths reporting.

EARLIER: THE race to the mayor's office is still a three-way battle with businessman Steve Coleman refusing to concede defeat despite holding just 17% of the primary vote.

As the Chronicle went to print last night, Chris Loft was still the leading candidate, attracting 33% of the vote ahead of Gerard O'Connell on 30%.

But voters have been warned, a result may not come until after the Easter break unless the tallies change significantly or one of the candidates concedes by Thursday afternoon.

UPDATEAnxious wait to find out who our new mayor is

Who do you think will become the new mayor?

This poll ended on 24 March 2016.

Current Results

Lee Carter

0%

Gerard O'Connell

16%

Jannean Dean

1%

Steve Coleman

1%

Chris Loft

78%

Greg Schmidt

1%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mayoral aspirants Jannean Dean, Greg Schmidt and Lee Carter have admitted the race is over for them.

Sitting in third position about 5000 votes behind Cr Loft at the halfway mark, Mr Coleman has not bowed out.

"50% (counted) is still fairly early because it's depending on which polling booths have and haven't been counted," Mr Coleman said.

"There is a certain trend coming to Loft and O'Connell and one has to be mindful of that.

"I'd have to be a real optimist (to win) but at this stage I'm still in the race."

Until a result is declared it is business as usual for Cr O'Connell.

He spent yesterday continuing in the mayoral role doing tasks "that need to be done".

He said with about 17,000 pre-poll votes on offer there was still no definitive winner.

"I'm anticipating the better sum of 70,000 people have voted and we're halfway there with only 1000 votes in it (between him and Cr Loft)," he said.

"I thought the majority of pre-poll was positive, I just stay neutral, calm and wait for the result."

Cr Loft was keeping a low profile yesterday but did tell the Chronicle via text message that he was feeling "all good".

He gave some insight to how he saw the new council shaping out when speaking on Sunday.

"It's going to be a great mix of councillors," he said.

"I know division six is an amazing contest with only 15 odd votes between the lot of them and they are three great potential councillors."

Cr Loft also threw his support behind division eight candidate Denis Chapman who had a commanding lead.

"He is going to be a councillor of exceptional experience," he said.

At least three new councillors will come from divisions three, six and eight.

Cr O'Connell offered guidance to those new councillors; to grasp the role and projects the council was responsible for.

"If you're new to council it would be really important to take as much advice as you can," he said.

"Get a good handle on the projects and the initiatives that are in play at the moment and that briefing will be provided.

As the second last person to announce his candidacy for mayor, Mr Coleman was "happy" with the attempt.

"Because I was a late runner I didn't have a lot in place and I have a very small campaign team," he said.

"I'm happy with my efforts and with our campaign team's efforts."

VOTE COUNT

Chris Loft: 11,045 votes, 32.85%

Gerard O'Connell: 10,191 votes, 30.31%

Steven Coleman: 5779 votes, 17.19%

Jannean Dean: 3600 votes, 10.71%

Greg Schmidt: 2085 votes, 6.20%

Lee Carter: 927 votes, 2.76%

Total Votes: 35,398

 

* Figures courtesy of the Electoral Commission Queensland



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