by Bill Hoffman
BRIAN Stockwell has increased his lead over Elaine Williams to 10 votes in the battle for the final position on the new Noosa Council.
He is now anxiously awaiting declaration of the ballot.
At the end of counting, Mr Stockwell is on 14,841 votes ahead of Ms Williams on 14,831.
The final result may still be challenged by Ms Williams, who has sought advice from Electoral Commission Queensland about the options available to her.
Ms Williams said she was a reasonable person and would act with reason and an eye to cost and potential disruption when making a decision on what to do next.
"I wish all the best to the successful candidates who have been hanging on wanting to get stuck into it," she said. "I wish I was the one getting stuck in and that's the disappointing thing."
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Ms Williams said given the large number of non-conforming ballots, which ran to more than 11%, there may be room for the result to change if sufficient were ruled valid on appeal.
"I didn't look ahead (to this tight finish)," she said. "I thought we would separate and one would drop away. It's quite surprising, really."
Returning officer Colin Brown is awaiting sign-off from Electoral Commission Queensland before he can announce the outcome.
Mr Stockwell previously served on Noosa Council between 1988 and 1991 and ran again unsuccessfully at the half-term election in 2014.
With 25 years in state and local government planning, he will look to help drive the planning scheme review due this term.
"I would like to see us build on it and improve it and make it relevant to the emerging economy," Mr Stockwell said.
"I also want to consolidate partnerships with the community. It's important for council to work in partnership with people who volunteer their time to serve."
Who do you think will take the final Noosa Council seat?
This poll ended on 07 April 2016.
It's too close to call.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The outcome is particularly cruel for the loser, with both securing more votes than achieved by any mayoral candidates.
In the Noosa election, voters were required to choose six candidates from a field of 13 to fill councillor positions in what was a first-past-the- post ballot.
The mayoral vote, however, was under the optional preferential system which allowed voters to number one or more boxes on the ballot paper of three candidates.
Few chose to do so.
Mr Wellington has secured 12,925 primary votes (42.24%), 835 ahead of Sandy Bolton on 12,090 (39.57%) and with Ray Kelly third on 5583 (18.25%).
No votes were counted yesterday in Division Four of the Sunshine Coast Council election which still appears likely to fall to John Connolly who is only on 4280 votes (28.07%), but well ahead of nearest rival Geoff Peters on 3158 votes (20.71%).
The only other count in any doubt is Division Three which almost certainly will be retained by incumbent Cr Peter Cox.
He has 41.27% of the vote, well clear of his nearest rival.