WELCOME to coverage of the 2016 Southern Regional Council election. We'll have all the latest results and breaking news as the counting continues.

LIVE TUESDAY 4.20pm: With a total of 16,400 votes now counted in the Southern Downs councillor race, candidate Yve Stocks has slipped back to fifth position with 5751 behind incumbents Jo McNally (5989), Cameron Gow (5848) and Neil Meiklejohn (5801).

Sheryl Windle, Vic Pennisi and Marika McNichol have also maintained their positions in the top eight councillors.

LIVE TUESDAY 3.20: Officials in the Southern Downs have now counted just more than 15,000 ballot papers, reflective of nearly 60% of the total voters enrolled.

Full figures from Day 4 are expected by 6pm.

LIVE TUESDAY 12.25: Business woman Yve Stocks has been more successful in her second run for council, now sitting at third in the polls with 5362 votes ahead of incumbent Cameron Gow who trails by just 19 votes. 

As at 10am, Rod Kelly and Jo McNally are still in the lead however, with 5,656 and 5,479 respectively.

Holding their positions within the top eight are Neil Meiklejohn (5,324), Sheryl Windle (5,150), Vic Pennisi (4,879) and Marika McNichol (4,846).

Mrs McNichol looks to be safely within the top eight with ninth place Craig Magnussen on 4,643.

LIVE MONDAY 1.15pm: Councillor candidate Rod Kelly remains in the lead in the Southern Downs council race.

As of 12.15 the former bank state manager has received 4296 votes, from a total of 11400 ballots now counted.

Jo McNally has over taken colleague Cameron Gow and has jumped to second place with 4180 votes, while Mr Gow has 4138.

Yve Stocks maintains her position in fourth place with 4078, with Neil Meiklejohn trailing by just 20 votes.

Sheryl Windle is still sitting in sixth place with 3857 votes and Vic Pennisi in seventh on 3754. 

Craig Magnussen has not managed to regain his lead on Marika McNichol with the pair currently sitting at 3608 and 3706 votes respectively.

LIVE MONDAY 9.15am: Of the 9000 ballots counted at the close of yesterday's polls, Rod Kelly was still leading the pack with 3422 votes, trailed by incumbent councillors Cameron Gow on 3330, Jo McNally on 3295, and Neil Meiklejohn on 3223.

Yve Stocks was still in fifth place with 3202, but Sheryl Windle jumped to sixth place with 3038 votes ahead of councillor Vic Pennisi with 2986.

Marika McNichol in eighth place has also gained a better lead on Craig Magnussen, with the pair sitting at 2928 and 2867 votes respectively.

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs mayoral contest

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs councillor contest

The count continues today.
The count continues today. Luka Kauzlaric GLAFRON

SUNDAY 5pm: Voting in the Southern Downs tally room is now expected to continue for another hour today, with many of the same candidates remaining in the lead.

As at 4.50pm, Rod Kelly remains the most popular candidate with a 2811 votes, trailed by incumbent Cameron Gow and Jo McNally.

Current councillor Neil Meiklejohn has also crept into fourth place with 2633 votes, with Yve Stocks trailing by only 32 votes.

Sheryl Windle is ahead of Vic Pennisi by just four votes at 2476, and Marika McNichol has pushed into the top eight ahead of Craig Magnussen by nine votes at a total of 2412.

Remaining at the bottom of the list are Adam Colrain on 282 votes, John Rye on 436 and Chris Hudson on 533.

LIVE 3.30PM: WITH just another hour to go until the tallyroom finishes for the day, a handful of councillor candidates have surged ahead in the count.

As at 1pm current councillors Cameron Gow was in second place with 1580, trailed by Jo McNally in third place with 1519 votes, Neil Meiklejohn in fifth with 1452 and Vic Pennisi in seventh with 1381.

Rod Kelly topped the tally at 1580 votes, while Yve Stocks came in fourth with 1463 votes and just two votes separated Allora councillor Glyn Rees from Glenn Turner at 1202 and 1200 respectively.

Craig Magnussen was the last to make the top eight, followed closely by Marika McNichol. 

Steve Hilton, Leila Torrens, Julia Keogh and Peter Kemp also scraped into the top 15.

Counting is expected to continue in the coming days.

SATURDAY 10.15PM: The counting has closed for the night and the interim results are in.

With just 5% of the votes received so far now counted, current councillors Neil Meiklejohn, Jo McNally, Cameron Gow and Vic Pennisi are leading in the polls along with candidates Craig Magnussen, Rod Kelly, Sheryl Windle and Yve Stocks.

Due to the number of councillor candidates, it may take until March 29, the deadline for votes to be accepted, to cement the team of eight councillors.

Counting will continue in the ensuing 10 days, with results to be posted by 4.30 each afternoon and Warwick Daily News will be updating the results with interim results.

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs mayoral contest

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs councillor contest


Mark McGowan, Tracy and Colin Dobie, Trudy, Bryana and Tamara McGowan celebrate Tracy Dobie's appointment as Southern Downs mayor at Warwick Town Hall.
Mark McGowan, Tracy and Colin Dobie, Trudy, Bryana and Tamara McGowan celebrate Tracy Dobie's appointment as Southern Downs mayor at Warwick Town Hall.

LIVE 8.30PM: Woman of the hour Tracy Dobie has joined family and supporters at Warwick Town Hall to celebrate her election as Southern Downs mayor.

Speaking about her win, Ms Dobie said was calm but excited for what was to come.

"When I was driving to the hall I saw my family looking all happy and thought I may have won," Ms Dobie said.

"The next best thing will be waiting for the councillor count and seeing who the eight new councillors will be, because it seems the electorate wants a new council."

Ms Dobie said she looked forward to meeting with the new councillors and getting stuck into business.

"The first thing will be putting the budget back together, that's the number one priority," she said.

"There was a fire last night at Stanthorpe Civic Centre so I'll be seeing how things are down there.

"Also getting on with many of the deferred decisions of council."

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs mayoral contest

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs councillor contest


Ms Dobie is the first woman to serve as mayor of the Southern Downs but she said her gender had never held her back.

The former military woman said she would celebrate tonight with her family and friends.

"I've had a lot of first females in my life but I don't think that's a big issue," she said.

"I think this is just an important change the region has asked for and I don't see that as my being female, but rather the skills and qualifications I can bring to the table.

"I might have a glass of champagne to celebrate."

LIVE 7.30PM: Tracy Dobie has been elected mayor of the Southern Downs.

The former Destination Southern Downs manager is the first woman to serve in the role.

An unofficial Daily News exit poll had shown Ms Dobie was a front runner in the election race, along with current Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley.

Ms Dobie is expected to be sworn in as the region's third mayor in the coming weeks.

Fellow candidates Peter Blundell and Jay Nauss were absent from Warwick Town Hall during the ballot counting tonight.

  • Nauss 661
  • Bartley 4614
  • Dobie 8807
  • Blundell 1547
  • Informal 157
  • Total 15786


Tracy Dobie.
Tracy Dobie. Jayden Brown

LIVE 7PM: TRACY Dobie has streamed ahead in the mayoral count, with Ross Bartley trailing by 800 votes.

As at 6.50pm:

  • Nauss 200
  • Dobie 3000
  • Bartley 2200
  • Blundell 700

ELECTION DAY: Who will be the next Southern Downs mayor?

Counting in under way at the Warwick Town Hall.
Counting in under way at the Warwick Town Hall.

LIVE 6.30PM: Scrutineers in the Southern Downs council election have crowded around the tally room table as counting begins.

The mayoral ballots are the first to be counted in tonight's polls, though a result is still hours away.

Mayoral candidates Tracy Dobie and Ross Bartley are yet to arrive at Warwick Town Hall.

With voting now over, candidates must remove campaign posters within seven days.

LIVE 6PM: The polls have closed and the counting has started to decide the make-up of the new Southern Downs Regional Council.

We will have the latest results as they come to hand.

Ross Bartley and Tracy Dobie are the front-runners in the mayoral race.

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs mayoral contest

LIVE RESULTS: Southern Downs councillor contest


Ross Bartley
Ross Bartley Emma Boughen

LIVE 5.40PM: Mayoral candidate Ross Bartley may be running late to Warwick Town Hall for the ballot count tonight, as he lends a helping hand out at Killarney.

Cr Bartley said he had been helping to feed riders at the annual Killarney Trail Ride today but would endeavour to return to Warwick for the result.

"I'm out here cooking burgers - now's about the time they all get hungry and come in for some tea," he said.

"I'm going to try to get back in for the counting but I never leave any loose ends and need to make sure everything's right here.

"In terms of the election, I'm comfortable and very settled, and we'll just have to wait and see what the result is, that's all you can do."


LIVE 5.30PM: Incumbent mayor Peter Blundell has said he will take a step back for the ballot counting tonight.

Cr Blundell said he would be at a friend's engagement party when the count begins in less than an hour, and could very well be out of range to get the result.

"I may well not know until tomorrow morning," he said.

"I'm calm but hopeful, I'm not using the word confident as I really don't know how it will turn out.

"As I have said my main interest is just to see what the result is and know who will be part of the council team for the next four years.

"I think most people have had enough of the process and just want the result."

LIVE 5.15PM: WITH less than an hour to go before the tally begins, the whereabouts of mayoral candidate Jay Nauss remain a mystery.

An unofficial Daily News survey showed the 71-year-old Glen Aplin resident struggled in the polls, receiving just 1.4% of the vote.

The outspoken mayoral candidate was present at the Daily News Meet the Candidates evening held two weeks ago at Kings Theatre, but has since been unavailable for comment.

The apparent front runners of the Southern Downs race are Ross Bartley and Tracy Dobie.

Warwick residents line up at Town Hall to cast their last-minute votes.
Warwick residents line up at Town Hall to cast their last-minute votes.

LIVE 5PM: Just a few hours out from the tally, Southern Downs mayoral candidate Tracy Dobie is calm and collected.

Ms Dobie said it now in the hands of the electorate to make their decision.

"I'm not the sort of person who's going to get head up over something that's out of my hands," she said.

"Today I took my mother to lunch and we went for a drive and right now I'm sitting at home because from returning the officer, as I understand, only counters and scrutineers will be allowed inside after 6pm.

"I should be around later but we'll just have to wait and see how everything goes."

Voters get their ballot papers lodged at Warwick Town Hall before the 6pm deadline.
Voters get their ballot papers lodged at Warwick Town Hall before the 6pm deadline.

LIVE 4PM: Southern Downs residents have flocked to Warwick Town Hall this afternoon to place last-minute votes.

Just hours before the counting begins, many of the voters at the Hall did not receive their postal ballot papers.

Warwick local Courtney Wren said her papers never arrived.

"I'm just making sure i get in before 6pm," Ms Wren said.

"I didn't know much about the candidates but I've seen a lot of fighting on Facebook, while none of them really put forward what they actually represent.

"There's been a lot of aggression and victimisation and I don't want to see that in council, so I won't be voting for anyone who has picked on other candidates."

Newcomer to Warwick, 19-year-old Genevieve Pyne said this was her first time voting in Queensland.

Who do you think will be the next Southern Downs mayor?

This poll ended on 25 March 2016.

Current Results

Jay Nauss


Ross Bartley


Tracy Dobie


Peter Blundell


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

"I didn't get my postal vote but my sister and everyone else in my family did," she said.

"I've just moved to Warwick and don't really know anyone running.

"There are so many candidates and I don't really know any of them so it's a bit confusing."

Five standout moments in match between Dalby and Warwick

Premium Content Five standout moments in match between Dalby and Warwick

PHOTOS: It was a heated match between the Swans and Redbacks. Here are some of the...

Back-to-back wet weekends offer Warwick renewed hope

Premium Content Back-to-back wet weekends offer Warwick renewed hope

Forecasters predict there’s plenty more rain yet to come.

YOUR VOTE: Warwick’s top trendsetter revealed

Premium Content YOUR VOTE: Warwick’s top trendsetter revealed

The winner shares her top tricks and tricks for elegance and style, no matter the...