By-election volunteers Gordon Dale, Cindy Hart, Mel Harris and Gail Nancarrow outside Tiaro State School on polling day.
By-election volunteers Gordon Dale, Cindy Hart, Mel Harris and Gail Nancarrow outside Tiaro State School on polling day. Blake Antrobus

BY-ELECTION: Multiple candidates confident of a win

TODAY the Fraser Coast will decide who will lead the council and region for the next two years.

Polling booths have closed and scrutineers have started counting the votes.

2018 BY-ELECTION: Who do you think will become the Fraser Coast's next mayor?

This poll ended on 04 May 2018.

Current Results

David Dalgleish

7%

Jannean Dean

13%

Darren Everard

21%

Paul Forst

0%

Tony Pantlin

11%

Greg Schmidt

4%

George Seymour

41%

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

George Seymour and Darren Everard stopped by the polling booth at the PCYC to speak to the Chronicle ahead of the results.

Cr Seymour said he was "really bad" at predicting elections and said he wasn't going to make any predictions now.

George Seymour's final words as polls close: Mayoral candidate George Seymour spoke to the Chronicle as polls closed on the Fraser Coast.

Cr Everard said he was unsure of how the results would come.

Darren Everard's final words as polls close: Mayoral candidate Darren Everard spoke to the Chronicle as polling booths across the Fraser Coast closed.

"It's up to the people of the Fraser Coast, it's been a long few weeks and until the votes are counted you just don't know," Darren said.

IN HOWARD: IF YOU'RE in town, now is the perfect time to cast your vote.

The queues at the Burrum District Community Centre, which flowed out the doors earlier this morning, have slowed to a trickle.

Sandra Burry, who is volunteering for David Dalgleish, said hundreds of people showed up to vote earlier this morning while shopping at the Howard Community Markets.

Sandra Burry and Helen Teitzel, volunteers for David Dalgleish, outside the Burrum District Community Centre on polling day after the crowds thinned out.
Sandra Burry and Helen Teitzel, volunteers for David Dalgleish, outside the Burrum District Community Centre on polling day after the crowds thinned out. Blake Antrobus

"It's been really busy, now is the first time today I managed to properly sit down after all the walking around," Ms Burry said.

It follows a trend across polling booths in the Fraser Coast, which experienced high turnovers in the morning, before numbers thinned out after noon.

But Howard's polling booth was so popular Ms Burry said she couldn't see a park anywhere down the road.

 

Volunteers at the Howard Polling Booth: Di Paes outside the Burrum District Community Centre polling booth in Howard, discussing the crowd numbers coming through.

IN MARYBOROUGH: THE Chronicle has checked in with our candidates to see how they think they will go when the final count starts after 6pm.

Many of the mayoral hopefuls have remained tight-lipped on their chances.

 

Mayoral candidates George Seymour, Darren Everard, Tony Pantlin and Greg Schmidt campaigning outside the polling booth at Maryborough West State School.
Mayoral candidates George Seymour, Darren Everard, Tony Pantlin and Greg Schmidt campaigning outside the polling booth at Maryborough West State School. Blake Antrobus

Sitting councillor George Seymour believes he has a good shot at becoming the next Fraser Coast mayor and said he would most likely be somewhere around the top.

Tony Pantlin echoed similar sentiments, he said whatever the outcome he was sconfident "people will know we've been in the game."

Darren Everard said it could be anyone's guess on who wins and told the Chronicle he would get his share of the vote.

"I think the Fraser Coast is the real winner today," the sitting councillor said.

David Dalgleish, who said the ballots had been "extremely quiet" through the day, said the results were "in the hands of the people."

Paul Forst expressed surprise at how many people told him they voted for him, saying he may do better than he thought.

But Greg Schmidt said he wasn't so sure of how he would go when the polls close.

Maryborough's polls have remained steady through the day, with short voting queues outside the St Paul's Anglican Church.

It's impressed visiting volunteers Emily Duncan and Steph Watson.

Brisbane resident Emily Duncan made the drive up to the Fraser Coast to volunteer for mayoral candidate George Seymour this long weekend.
Brisbane resident Emily Duncan made the drive up to the Fraser Coast to volunteer for mayoral candidate George Seymour this long weekend. Blake Antrobus

The pair chose to make the drive from Brisbane over the long weekend to volunteer for Cr Seymour.

Ms Duncan said the crowds had come and gone in waves.

"It's been pretty busy over the morning, but after midday it thinned out a bit," she said.

"You think everyone would be angrier at you and more aggressive outside the polling booth, but everyone has been really nice."

 

AT THE BOOTHS: AMONG the volunteers hanging out fliers on behalf of candidates at polling booth was a face that has helped shape Hervey Bay into what it is today.

Bill Nunn, who was a local state member from 1989-1998, was backing George Seymour for the top job.

When asked if the election day made him felt nostalgic, Mr Nunn said no because he was "too old" to do the job now but said he enjoyed being a politician when it was his time.

Mr Nunn spent the day at Urangan Point State School, chatting to other volunteers and of course attempting to persuade voters.

On the topic of Chris Loft's historic sacking, Mr Nunn said he believed the move had been "inevitable" citing Mr Loft's lack of appropriate experience as the reason why.

However, Mr Nunn thinks Cr Seymour has what it takes.

"George doesn't have a brazen bone in his body," Mr Nunn said.

"This is a role that not just anyone can walk into, you need experience."

On the other side of the scale, those complete new to the world of politics put their hand up to help out on the day.

Tahmikha Bryen, a university student, was advocating for Darren Everard at the polling booth set-up at Sandy Strait State School.

The 21-year-old is studying environmental science, and wants to see the next mayor tackle environmental issues.

She said it was Mr Everard's passion for the local community which made him her pick. 

 

AT THE BOOTHS: AMONG the volunteers hanging out fliers on behalf of candidates at polling booth was a face that has helped shape Hervey Bay into what it is today.

Bill Nunn, who was a local state member from 1989-1998, was backing George Seymour for the top job.

When asked if the election day made him felt nostalgic, Mr Nunn said no because he was "too old" to do the job now but said he enjoyed being a politician when it was his time.

Mr Nunn spent the day at Urangan Point State School, chatting to other volunteers and of course attempting to persuade incoming voters.

On the topic of Chris Loft's historic sacking, Mr Nunn said he believed the move had been "inevitable" citing Mr Loft's lack of appropriate experience as the reason why.

However, Mr Nunn thinks Cr Seymour has what it takes.

"George doesn't have a brazen bone in his body," Mr Nunn said.

"This is a role that not just anyone can walk into, you need experience."

On the other side of the scale, those completely new to the world of politics put their hand up to help out on the day.

Tahmikha Bryen, a university student, was advocating for Darren Everard at the polling booth set-up at Sandy Strait State School.

The 21-year-old is studying environmental science and wants to see the next mayor tackle environmental issues.

She said it was Mr Everard's passion for the local community which made him her pick. 

 

IN HERVEY BAY: SHORT voting queues at polling booths across Hervey Bay are a clear indication a large portion of locals have already cast their vote in pre-polling to take advantage of the Labour Day long weekend.

Throughout this week the Electoral Commission Queensland reported more than 28,000 Fraser Coast residents had cast their vote at pre-polling stations by Friday afternoon.

Despite the early influx, David Dalgleish supporter and volunteer at the Urangan Point State School voting booth, Debra Elvery-Knight, said there still had been a constant stream of voters. 

The Fraser Coast Mayoral vote -
The Fraser Coast Mayoral vote - Valerie Horton

She said one of the main questions being asked by voters before casting their vote today was whether certain mayoral candidates had been backed my major political parties. 

"They're interested in knowing if (the candidates) are backed by Liberal and Labor," Ms Elvery-Knight said.

"It's my second time volunteering at an election; the last time was at a state election."

Mayoral candidate and sitting councillor George Seymour answered the Chronicle's questions earlier this week as to whether his previous support for Labor state candidates would play a part in his decision making. 

Some voters, like Karee Dahl from Urangan, know what they want out of a new mayor.

"Hervey Bay is a great place to live, it's got to be pushed for the better for all the people who live here," Ms Dahl said.

"I want someone to enhance the qualities it already has."

But some others who were approached by the Chronicle for their opinion said they only found out this morning that they had to vote, and said they did know why there was an election. 

The mayoral by-election was triggered when Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe sacked former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft for repeated misconduct and inappropriate conduct. 

 

IN TIARO: IN THE southern town of Tiaro, volunteers for the seven mayoral hopefuls have been up since the crack of dawn getting flyers and signs ready for their last-ditch pitches to voters. 

By-election volunteers Gordon Dale, Cindy Hart, Mel Harris and Gail Nancarrow outside Tiaro State School on polling day.
By-election volunteers Gordon Dale, Cindy Hart, Mel Harris and Gail Nancarrow outside Tiaro State School on polling day. Blake Antrobus

Gordon Dale, who is volunteering for George Seymour, said they were all getting along so well they were shouting coffees on the job.

"We don't fight like they do in the cities," Mr Dale jokes.

"It's a pleasant crowd out here, the country towns always give us that."

Mel Harris, a neighbor of and volunteer for Tony Pantlin, said he was waiting for "that cold beer" when 6pm comes around.

For David Dalgleish volunteer and supporter, Gail Nancarrow, this is her first time helping out on an election campaign.

"It's really wonderful, seeing all the people come through the booths," she said.

Counting is expected to start after the booths close about 5pm.

Stay tuned for more updates on the campaign trail as they come.