UPDATED: West "overwhelmed" by council election result

Lyn Stroud and Shirley Sibson out the front of the polling booth at Cowra Public School on Saturday.
Lyn Stroud and Shirley Sibson out the front of the polling booth at Cowra Public School on Saturday.

UPDATE - Tuesday 10am

Bill West says he is "delighted and a little bit overwhelmed" by the local government election result, which has seen the incumbent councillor returned by a large margin.

Mr West has secured 27.87 per cent of the 6,921 total formal votes counted following Saturday's election, with ivotes and preferences still to be allocated.

Mr West said while he has regained his spot on council, he feels for candidates who now must wait to learn their fate, with the NSW Electoral Commission not officially declaring any results until December 20.

"It was a field of good candidates, I'm in a fortunate situation of knowing where I am and I feel for those who are candidates to now have to sit and wait for the final result, which I think is a little bit difficult.. to go through a period of uncertainty and not knowing," he said.

"It takes a toll, it takes emotional energy and the community also of course would like to know, I would hope in future elections it could be done a little bit more quickly.

"[It's] not a pleasant position for people to be in given the fact they have put their hand up for their community and prepared to have a go and they need to be congratulated for that."

Mr West also congratulated Erin Watt for being elected to council with 982, or 14.19 per cent of the vote.

"She's done well," he said.

At this stage, joining Mr West and Ms Watt on council will be Sharon D'Elboux, Nikki Kiss, Cheryl Downing, Peter Wright (incumbent), Paul Smith, Donna Peters and Ruth Fagan (incumbent).

Mr West said "it's tremendous" to see the amount of women doing well in the voting.

UPDATE - Monday, 1.15pm

Pre-polling results have started to come in, with Bill West increasing his lead to 1929, or 27.88 per cent of the 6,817 formal votes counted.

Mr West has nearly 1000 votes more than the next candidate, which remains Erin Watt on 980 - 14.17 per cent of the vote.

With the progressive quota now sitting at 682 votes, Sharon D'Elboux has slipped below the quota but remains in third place with 666 or 9.63 per cent of votes counted.

Nikki Kiss, Cheryl Downing, Peter Wright (incumbent), Paul Smith, Donna Peters and Ruth Fagan (incumbent) currently fill the remaining positions on council however ivotes and preferences are still to be allocated.


While the tally is yet to be finalised,election to Cowra Council looks certain for both Bill West and Erin Watt.

Counting resumed on Monday, with pre-polling, ivote and declaration votes still to be formally announced.

As of Monday morning, incumbent Bill West had topped the voting with 740, or 25.72 per cent of the 2,877 total formal votes counted so far following Saturday's local government election.

New candidate Erin Watt is in second place and has received 489 votes, or 17 per cent.

Ms Watt said while she was not yet "counting her chickens" until the pre-poll and other results were made public, it was a positive sign that she had reached the progressive quota of 288.

"I am feeling really overwhelmed by the support from the town and really honoured," she said.

"Most of the town booths were 500 votes less than the last election, which is a really big shift to early voting. I think with pre-poll and ivote, people really took that opportunity to vote early."

Ms Watt said she noticed younger residents had shown real investment in this election.

"I was particularly excited by how many young people were getting engaged in the election and being really conscience of the election being on and making the effort to go and vote," she said.

"I think that's a big change from what we've seen in previous elections."

Another new candidate, Sharon D'Elboux, had also reached the progressive quota and was sitting in third place with 298 or 10.36 per cent of the vote counted so far.

With nine councillors to be elected, Nikki Kiss, Peter Wright (incumbent), Cheryl Downing, Paul Smith, Ruth Fagan (incumbent) and Ian Docker make up the remainder of the spots on council at this stage.

Following the finalisation of the count, preferences will be allocated.

No elected candidates will be declared by the NSW Electoral Commission until December 20.

The informal vote rate was 4.51 per cent.


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