Phyllis Miller holds more than 36pc of vote as Forbes Shire Council election count continues

More than 80 per cent of the votes in the 2021 local government elections have now been counted, with the results remaining consistent.

Phyllis Miller OAM remains top of the polls, holding 2067 or 36.67 per cent of first preference votes of the 5782 counted so far.

The progressive quota is 564 and at this stage Steve Karaitiana (579) and Jenny Webb (569) are the other two candidates to have achieved that.

Both first took their seat at the Forbes Shire Council table at the last elections in 2016. They hold just over 10 per cent of the votes so far each.

Two new candidates but well known local identities in our Forbes Business Chamber president Marg Duggan and Acting Director of Forbes Learning Ladder Aidan Clarke are performing well in the polling.

Mrs Duggan had 456 or 8.09 per cent of the first preference votes to Tuesday afternoon; Mr Clarke had 450 or 7.98 per cent of the count.

Another new candidate, Maria Willis, has 275 first preference votes; closely followed by long-term councillor and our most recent deputy mayor Chris Roylance with 262.

Our remaining candidates Emma Henderson (189), Brian Mattiske (179), Graeme Miller (165), Thomas Dwyer (155), Jeff Nicholson (148), and Michele Herbert (142) don't have too much between them.

The new Forbes Shire Council will be declared on December 21.

The new Forbes Shire Council will be declared on December 21.

For those wondering how the process works, Charles Sturt University's Dominic O'Sullivan, who is a professor in political science in the School of Social Work and Arts, explained the following based on the NSW Electoral Commission website:

A candidate must receive a "quota" of the total votes to be elected.

Where an elected candidate has a surplus of ballot papers over the quota, this surplus is transferred to the continuing candidates (i.e. those not yet elected or excluded).

If multiple candidates are elected, each candidate's surplus is transferred (one at a time) to the continuing candidates, from the highest surplus to the lowest.

This process continues with candidates being:

  • Elected when their votes equal or exceed quota, with their surplus distributed as above or
  • Excluded, with their ballot papers distributed as above

until either:

  • No vacancies remain to be filled or
  • The number of remaining candidates equals the number of remaining vacancies or
  • All remaining vacancies can be filled by candidates whose total votes cannot be overtaken by the remaining candidates in the count.

In these circumstances, the elected candidates are elected despite not reaching the quota.

It can several days, even weeks, to conclude the count.

(Information for this article has been sourced from the NSW Electoral Commission.)