NO SUPPORT: Both Mayor Peter Blundell and Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley are against preferential voting at the upcoming council election.
NO SUPPORT: Both Mayor Peter Blundell and Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley are against preferential voting at the upcoming council election. Kerri MOORE

Next mayor could be elected without a majority vote

Should there be preferential voting during mayoral elections next year?

This poll ended on 31 August 2015.

Current Results

Yes

23%

No

76%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

THE next mayor of the Southern Downs could be voted in without a clear primary majority at the upcoming council elections.

When residents head to the polls on March 19, mayoral elections will be preferential - a first in the region's local government history.

A preferential poll means mayoral candidates can opt to give their votes to fellow candidates.

Under the system, voters can choose to put a 1 in the box of their preferred candidate or mark some or all candidates in order of preference.

The decision has prompted criticism from a number of councillors, with some fearing the polls could see less popular candidates rally together to get a candidate of their choice across the line.

Preferential voting is common in larger councils, where candidates align themselves with political parties.

Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley, a possible contender for the Mayoral vote, has warned against a preferential system on the Southern Downs.

"If we start involving party politics here, then we're in for a world of hurt," he told a meeting of the council last week.

Cr Vic Pennisi and Cr Jamie Mackenzie also told the meeting they didn't believe preferential voting was the right way to go.

Mayor Peter Blundell is also not a supporter of the preferential voting system.

In October last year Cr Blundell told the APN Newsdesk the first past the post system best represented the community's vote.

"You've only got to look at the last federal election to see what preferential voting can do, particularly in the Senate result, and we don't believe that would be a good outcome for councils," he said.

An objection to preferential voting is among 11 motions submitted by the council to the Local Government Association of Queensland for the upcoming annual conference, held in Toowoomba in October.



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