TWO former councillors and two newcomers are expected to join the new-look Knox Council after the weekend’s local government elections.
And there will be an extra female representing Knox after Nicole Seymour won 59 per cent of the vote in Tirhatuan ward. With former mayor Karin Orpen returning to council, Ms Seymour’s win gives the council two female members, compared to the previous council’s one, Sue McMillan, who retired from Dobson Ward.
But a gamble on leaving his seat of Baird ward to take on Cr David Cooper in Scott ward failed dismally for former councillor Peter Cole.
Cr Cooper won Scott with a majority primary vote of 50.95 per cent, while Mr Cole won just 29.55 per cent of the votes.
But Mr Cole has previously said he would not give up if he lost because he expected Cr Cooper to be disqualified due to defamatory electoral material.
The closest race was in Baird ward with former MP and councillor Peter Lockwood securing his seat on council by just 28 votes after preferences.
Mr Lockwood won the first preference count by more than 300 votes. But in a dramatic count the gap narrowed after preferences so that Mr Lockwood edged out Mr James by 3794 votes to 3766.
Mr James said he would challenge the result by appealing to the Victorian Electoral Commission because he believes Mr Lockwood may have used voters’ personal information inappropriately.
Another tough fight was in Friberg ward with sitting councillor Andrew Walter unseated by Tony Holland who won on his fourth attempt. He has also been a candedate for state parliament.
He won the seat after preferences were distributed with 57.33 per cent of the votest.
The result was the reverse of the 2008 election when Mr Holland lost to Mr Walter after preferences were distributed.
Ms Orpen won Dobson ward with 58.26 per cent of the votes after preferences were distributed.
She fought off new-comer Gabrielle Verstraete, who collected 41.74 per cent of the votes after preferences were distributed because the only other candidate David Mutch preferenced Ms Verstraete.
Chandler ward was also a tight race with incumbent Cr John Mortimore only just retaining his seat..
Incumbent councillor for Taylor ward, Darren Pearce, was returned to Knox Council comfortably after fending off his only challenger by winning almost two thirds of the votes.
Dinsdale and Collier wards were uncontested with former mayor Adam Gill and Cr Joe Cossari to again represent their respective wards for the next four year.
The declaration of the polls will be announced at 5pm this evening at the Knox Council offices in Wantirna South.
For the latest election results, visit vec.vic.gov.au.