By ERWIN CHLANDA
Matt Paterson held on to his winning margin by two votes and will be formally declared as the town’s new mayor tomorrow.
This followed a re-count requested by Jimmy Cocking who was 17 votes behind Paterson this morning.
An electoral Commission official says in the re-count there were no “major areas” found, just minor mistakes which are “normal and understandable”.
It is not unusual that fresh staff will detect minor reasons that can make a vote informal.
There are no further recounts scheduled although candidates and voters have 21 days to request another recount.
“They would have to have very good reasons,” says the official.
EARLIER RPORT Sept 11: Primary vote winner Cocking demands re-count as margin is just 17 votes.
By KIERAN FINNANE
Jimmy Cocking, the candidate for Mayor with by far the highest first preference vote, says he will be demanding a re-count after Matt Paterson was declared winner tonight.
Paterson is just 17 votes in front after the distribution of preferences from the third-place getter in the primary vote count, Eli Melky.
About two-thirds of the preferences from people voting for Mr Melky went to Mr Paterson.
Overall turn out for the 2021 elections was 61.4%. From a total of 130,461 electors who were eligible, 80,112 turned out.
Electoral Commissioner Iain Loganathan said the final figure shows that too many electors remain disengaged with democracy: “People only get one chance every four years to have their say in local government elections and it’s a pity that more electors don’t take the opportunity.
“The more people vote, the more our councils and governing bodies become representative of our society.”
UPDATE Sept 11, 9.45am
The recount has been confirmed.