By Shane Scanlan
The lord mayoral election was closely fought, with the biggest surprise being formerly unknown candidate Jennifer Yang getting to within 5000 votes of victory.
Ms Yang “came from nowhere” to, firstly poll the second highest number of primary votes and, secondly, to poll 35,913 after preferences were distributed.
Lord mayor elect Sally Capp finished with 40,579 after preferences and can possibly thank her good luck of being listed higher on the ballot than her rivals for her result.
Ms Capp easily polled the most primary votes, with 19,412. Ms Yang was a long way behind with 11,774, followed by Rohan Leppert 11,296, Sally Warhaft with 6837, Ken Ong with 6769 and Gary Morgan with 6412.
But, with only 25.38 per cent of the primary vote, Ms Capp was always going to struggle for deliberate preferences from other candidates.
Ms Capp picked up the biggest percentage of preferences from “mystery” candidate Qun Xie, who won the coveted first place on the ballot. Some 1528 of Ms Xie’s preferences flowed to Ms Capp, with 1200 going to Ms Yang and a further 547 going to the other “Chinese” candidate Ken Ong. It’s probably not being unfair to either Ms Xie (3449 primary votes) or Ms Capp to suggest that they both benefitted from a strong “donkey vote”.
Ms Capp also did well from Sally Warhaft voters, with 2883 preferences coming her way – a little fewer than the 2950 which went to Rohan Leppert and a lot more than the 1999 which flowed to Ms Yang.
Gary Morgan voters contributed 5608 preferences to Ms Capp, the most she received from any other candidate. Morgan voters also contributed 3899 preferences to Ms Yang and 2215 to Cr Leppert.
With just two candidates remaining, Cr Leppert’s Greens voters could have handed victory to Ms Yang. At that stage, Cr Leppert had accumulated 18,872 votes and Ms Yang trailed Ms Capp by just 7764 votes.
But in the final preference distribution, 7887 of the Green vote went to Ms Capp and 10,985 went to Ms Yang – leaving Ms Capp victorious by 4666 votes.
Ms Yang was most heavily boosted by preferences from Ken Ong. Ong voters contributed 4610 votes to her, while rewarding Ms Capp with just 1514 (slightly more than the 1420 which went to Gary Morgan).
Overall, Ms Yang harvested 24,169 votes from preferences – 3002 more than Ms Capp, who managed to add 21,167 to her final tally.
After preferences were distributed, Ms Capp won 53 per cent of votes, from Ms Yang with 47 per cent.
Voter turn out was again poor, with only 56.61 per cent of enrolled voters casting a vote. Some 6.52 per cent of those who voted, cast informal votes.