Ser­anna shuts the gate

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - By CLAY­TON BEN­NETT

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

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