Historically low turnout rates at WA’s local government elections means some council positions were decided by just a handful of votes last night.
In the City of Mandurah, the coveted position of mayor was won by just two votes by businesswoman Marina Vergone, over 25-year-old Rhys Williams.
There were seven contenders for the mayor position in Mandurah.
There were re-counts after ties for council seats in the City of Bayswater and the Shire of Menzies.
The Bayswater result was eventually decided by four votes, while the winner in Menzies had to be chosen by drawing a name from a ballot box.
High-profile mayors like the City of Fremantle’s Brad Pettitt, the City of Joondalup’s Troy Pickard and the Town of Port Hedland’s Kelly Howlett retained their positions as did the City of Cockburn’s Logan Howlett and Mosman Park’s Ron Norris.
John Carey will replace popular mayor Alannah MacTiernan in the City of Vincent.
Across the State, just 28 per cent of enrolled voters participated in this year’s elections, 3 per cent down from the 2011 election.
WA Electoral Commission acting electoral commissioner Chris Avent said it was one of the worse turnout rates in recent history.
“It is disappointing that, despite the State’s increasing population, nearly 20,000 less people voted this time,” Acting Electoral Commissioner Chris Avent said.
“It is a worrying trend and one I believe deserves to be the focus of robust discussion in our community.”
Particularly low turnouts were recorded in Joondalup, Wanneroo and Gosnells.Fremantle had the metropolitan area’s strongest participation.