Seranna shuts the gate
FORMER Sex Party candidate Seranna Shutt is confident of winning the Palmerston council by-election.
Ms Shutt won 40.7 per cent of the primary vote at the close of counting last night.
But her position as an alderman is not yet guaranteed — the result will come down to preferences.
Former CLP president Sue Fraser-Adams — who won 26.7 per cent of the primary vote— is still a slim chance.
‘‘It will depend on how preferences go,’’ she said.
The final result will not be known until later next week.
But Ms Shutt said she was ‘‘not too worried’’.
‘‘We’re quietly confident, it (the primary vote) is very encouraging,’’ she said.
The by-election was prompted by the resignations of alderman Rebecca Forrest, who quit under the pressure of holding the balance of power in the factionally divided council.
Ms Shutt — who is a Labor Party member and union worker— said she ran a grassroots campaign and had the support of voters because she spoke to the community.
But Ms Fraser-Adams said the outcome was still ‘‘very unknown’’ and hard to call.
‘‘I’ve been told not many people followed the how-tovote cards,’’ she said.
‘‘Preferences have been going everywhere.’’
This sentiment was echoed by NT Electoral Commission manager Greg Davis.
‘‘ There was not enough votes outstanding to get anyone over the line,’’ Mr Davis said. ‘‘Preferences are going to determine the winner.’’
Ex-Defence Force member Ashley Jones had the third highest primary votes with 14 per cent while psychol- ogist Mary Crabbe picked up 12 per cent.
Former local government worker Chris McManis polled the lowest votes with 6.7 per cent.
A recheck of the polling night count, postal ballot papers and declaration votes will take place during the week. A final result will be known Friday evening.
Ms Fraser-Adams said she was concerned by reports that at least 10 per cent of the votes were informal and many empty ballots had been put in boxes.
Former Sex Party candidate Seranna Shutt is in the box seat to win the Palmerston council by-election