The Gosford West ward, covering the Peninsula, will be represented by Labor’s Mr Richard Mehrtens, Liberal’s Mr Troy Marquart and independent Mr Chris Holstein on the new mega Central Coast Council.
The returning officer had declared the final outcome of the Gosford West ward election as Peninsula News went to press on Friday, September 15. Mr Mehrtens was the only Gosford West ward candidate to win a fi rst preference quota with 25.5 per cent of fi rst preference votes. Liberal candidate Mr Troy Marquart was next most likely across the line as counting of prepolls took place during the week after the September 9election. Former Gosford Mayor and former Member for Gosford Mr Chris Holstein succesfully filled the third Gosford West position on the new Central Coast Council. He received around 20 per cent per cent of first preference votes. Ms Kate da Costa for The Greens secured the next highest number of fi rst preference votes followed by Central Coast New Independents’ candidate, Mr Gary Chestnut. A preference swap between Mr Holstein and Mr Chestnut saw Mr Holstein over the line. The other group of independents led by Ms Gabby Greyem won 7.9 per cent of the vote, followed by Save Tuggerah Lakes on 3.8 per cent and Ms Christine Keene, an ungrouped independent, and Ms Skyla Wagstaff for the Animal Justice Party winning the smallest percentage of votes in the ward. An analysis of how Peninsula residents voted at booths across the Peninsula saw Labor signifi cantly ahead of all other tickets in seven out of the Woy Woy Peninsula’s 11 booths. Liberal Mr Troy Marquart won the fi rst preference vote at one booth, Booker Bay preschool. Mr Holstein was popular across the Peninsula and stood shoulderto-shoulder with Mr Marquart in at least fi ve booths. Woy Woy, Umina and Ettalong voters remained Labor supporters. In the Gosford East Ward, Ms Rebecca Gale Collins, representing the Liberal Party, was the only candidate to gain a quota on fi rst preference votes. The Liberal Party ticket in Gosford East won 37.1 per cent of the vote. Labor candidate, Mr Jeff Sundstrom, was expected to be the second across the line in Gosford East ward, with 21.8 per cent of fi rst preference votes. Hundreds of votes may end up separating the third Gosford East Ward candidates but New Independent, Ms Jane Smith, looked most likely to be elected. In the north of the new Central Coast local government area, The Entrance Ward was the only one to see all three Councillors elected on the fi rst preference count. They are Liberal Ms Jilly Pilon, Labor Ms Lisa Matthews and ungrouped independent, Mr Bruce McLachlan. Two Labor candidates were elected in Budgewoi, Mr Doug Vincent and Ms Jillian Hogan. The race for third spot in Budgewoi remained close, between former Wyong Councillor and Mayor, Mr Greg Best, and Liberal candidate, Mr Garry Whittaker. Wyong Ward will be represented by New Independent, Ms Louise Greenaway, Mr Kyle MacGregor for Labor and it looked most likely that former Liberal Gosford Councillor, Mr Chris Burke, would take third place. Across the whole Central Coast, independent candidates gained 31.6 per cent of the vote, Labor 29.8 per cent and a swing of 6.7 per cent across the board towards Labor. The Liberal Party won 39,525 votes but the overall swing away from the Liberal Party was 6.9 per cent.
SOURCE: Website, 15 Sep 2017 Election results, State Electoral Commission