Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ireland Wins Division 9 after Surprise Preference Flow

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ireland Wins Division 9 after Surprise Preference Flow

Article excerpt

IT WAS the election given up as lost, and then won after a tense preference count.

But Cr Sheila Ireland could finally raise her arms in triumph yesterday after claiming Division 9 by 650 votes.

The big question mark was over how the preferences from third placed Jade Connor would fall after he had done a preference deal with second placed Darren Baldwin, the main challenger.

But Mr Connor's preferences unfolded contrary to expectation yesterday with Cr Ireland securing 327, Mr Baldwin 377 and the other 1257 exhausted.

Cr Ireland was ahead 4199 to Mr Baldwin's 3549 yesterday after preferences, with just handfuls of votes still to count.

"I am just pleased that the final count is over," a delighted Cr Ireland told the QT yesterday.

"It has been a gruelling campaign and the wait has been very tense. I thank my family and my husband Chris who has taken the mood swings very well.

"I also have to thank my electorate officer Madonna Trevorrow who has been a really good support to me.

"She kept saying we were going to win all the time, and really believed it.

"I've had so much support from residents sending their love and prayers, and I thank them all.

"It has been very humbling."

It has certainly been a roller coaster ride for Cr Ireland over the past 12 days.

Cr Ireland thought she'd lost initially and even seemed to concede defeat in the QT straight after the election.

"My information on the night was that the preferences had favoured Darren so as a support mechanism for myself it was a case of 'don't get your hopes up'," she said.

The QT had been told Cr Ireland had also removed everything from her Raceview office so we asked her about that.

"The council came in and helped me to tidy up the office...yes," she said.

She saw the funny side of all that in hindsight.

"But I'm not sure if they (council) will because they have got to bring it all back," she grinned. …

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