There is eight candidates in the Coffs Harbour City Council mayoral race in 2012. Who will you vote for on September 8?
There is eight candidates in the Coffs Harbour City Council mayoral race in 2012. Who will you vote for on September 8? Rob Wright

Poll suggests preferences the key

IT SEEMS increasingly likely that preferences will determine who is Coffs Harbour's next mayor, if the Advocate's online poll is any guide.

If the 570 votes registered so far in the Advocate's online mayoral poll are indicative, Cr Rod Degens is set to receive the lion's share of No 1 votes with 25% of respondents saying they will put him first.

But that is unlikely to get him across the line on Saturday.

Deputy Mayor Denise Knight and Greens candidate Dr Sally Townley have both received 17% of the votes, Cr Keith Rhoades was at 10% and Bob Palmer was at 5%. That's where it gets interesting.

If, as indicated, Mr Palmer finishes below Cr Rhoades in the primary count, his preferences could then have the sitting mayor lift to within striking distance of Cr Knight. His preferences could then lift her to within reach of Cr Degens. In contrast, no candidates are directing preferences to the Greens and only Leo Muller is directing any preferences to Cr Degens. He will get a lift but will it be enough?

Of course, everything depends on the finishing order after the primary count as preferences are distributed from the bottom up.

The Advocate poll is not a scientific poll and the number of repondents represents only fractionally more than 1% of enrolled voters in the electorate.

To avoid the numbers being skewed by one person voting on multiple occasions, only one vote has been allowed per computer IP address.

If it is any guide though, particular attention should be paid to where the second preference votes are given.
The Advocate's online poll will remain active until noon Friday.

The ultimate and definitive poll takes place on Saturday.