Exit polling from the Sunshine Coast Daily You Decide Noosa forum had Mayor Tony Wellington slightly ahead of challenger Clare Stewart with three weeks to go in the campaign. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa
Exit polling from the Sunshine Coast Daily You Decide Noosa forum had Mayor Tony Wellington slightly ahead of challenger Clare Stewart with three weeks to go in the campaign. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa

Mayoral battle tightens as shock polling results revealed

NOOSA Mayor Tony Wellington was locked in a close battle with contender Clare Stewart ahead of local government elections at the end of March, if exit polling from Tuesday night's You Decide forum was any guide.

Not everyone in the packed Noosaville auditorium participated in the Sunshine Coast Daily polling as they left the forum that had reflected both the campaign's tension and the split support for mayoral and councillor candidates.

Cr Wellington was polished and assured in both his pitch and rebuttal of attacks on the council he has led for the past four years.

Mayoral challenger Clare Stewart has run a close race with Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington in exit polling conducted after the Sunshine Coast Daily You Decide forum on Tuesday night. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa
Mayoral challenger Clare Stewart has run a close race with Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington in exit polling conducted after the Sunshine Coast Daily You Decide forum on Tuesday night. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa

The exit polling put him slightly ahead of Ms Stewart at the end of the night by a margin of 69-67.

Exit polling for councillors, which required those taking part to nominate their preference to fill the six available spaces, indicated the high-profile Future Noosa campaign may be visible and vocal but has yet to swing necessary support to bring major change to the council ranks.

However, the result on March 28 is likely to be determined by the preference distribution from the large field of 20 candidates.

Of the four sitting councillors the top three secured a combined 173 votes in the exit poll to 111 for the Future Noosa group.

Noosa Council Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie has headed the field in exit polling for councillor candidates after the Sunshine Coast Daily’s You Decide forum on Tuesday night. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa
Noosa Council Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie has headed the field in exit polling for councillor candidates after the Sunshine Coast Daily’s You Decide forum on Tuesday night. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa

Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie with 75 votes had the most support in the room, Cr Joe Jurisevic fifth with 50 votes and Cr Brian Stockwell on 48.

Amelia Lorentson found favour in exit polling following the Sunshine Coast Daily’s You Decide forum for Noosa Council candidates on Tuesday night. Behind her from left Phil Moran, Tom Wegener and Brian Stockwell (right) also polled in the crucial top six for councillor positions. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa
Amelia Lorentson found favour in exit polling following the Sunshine Coast Daily’s You Decide forum for Noosa Council candidates on Tuesday night. Behind her from left Phil Moran, Tom Wegener and Brian Stockwell (right) also polled in the crucial top six for councillor positions. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa

Amelia Lorentson on 70 in second place, Phil Moran with 67 in third and Tom Wegener with 55 in fourth fill the critical top six places.

David Fletcher with 45 votes performed best of the Future Noosa group in exit polling followed by Andrew Squires on 36 and Karen Finzel on 30 votes.

Councillor Jess Glasgow is on the way out of local government if the four votes he secured in Sunshine Coast Daily exit polling following the You Decide Noosa forum were any guide. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa
Councillor Jess Glasgow is on the way out of local government if the four votes he secured in Sunshine Coast Daily exit polling following the You Decide Noosa forum were any guide. Photo: Caitlin Zerafa

Cr Jess Glagow's time in local government appeared to be drawing to a close following the debacle of his Bachelorette reality show appearance, securing just four votes after a disjointed presentation.

Based on the Sunshine Coast Daily You Decide exit polling the final three weeks of the campaign are going to be crucial to the outcome with the mayoralty in the balance and only Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie entitled to feel relatively safe he would be returned to office and Amelia Lorentson and Phil Moran enjoying front running for the remaining councillor positions.

YOU DECIDE EXIT POLL

Mayor: Tony Wellington (69); Clare Stewart (67).

Councillor: Frank Wilkie (75), Amelia Lorentson (70), Phil Moran (67), Tom Wegener (55), Joe Jurisevic (50), Brian Stockwell (48), David Fletcher (45), Yani Van Zijl (40), Andrew Squires (36), Patrick Lloyd (32), Greg Smith (31), Karen Finzel (30), Meghan Halverson (29), Julian Cahn (27), Karen Cook-Langdon (25), Alan Lander (23), Nathanael Ford (21), Janet Kake (20), Jess Glasgow (4), Sneznaa Redford (1)*

*Ms Redford did not attend the forum.


Death row dog fight goes to Supreme Court

premium_icon Death row dog fight goes to Supreme Court

Sunshine Coast mum in bid to save her 'dangerous' dog

Local COVID-19 case leads to call for exemption changes

premium_icon Local COVID-19 case leads to call for exemption changes

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called for changes to exemptions

Unlikely destination emerges for next Coast flights

premium_icon Unlikely destination emerges for next Coast flights

Another domestic route could be set to open up from the Coast