ALTHOUGH Russell Turner’s majority may have stolen some of his thunder, Orange mayor John Davis is pleased with the result from Saturday’s council election which has so far seen him retain more than 20 per cent of the first preference vote.
The Davis team has been tipped to drag on two members behind Cr Davis - Cr Jason Hamling and Michael Gray - but the sitting mayor was coy about declaring outright victory for the three on his ticket.
“The numbers at the present time are only indicative of what might happen ... you just don’t know,” he said.
“I’m extremely happy ... I thought as a team and as individuals [my group] performed tremendously and better than we actually thought.”
Cr Davis said so far his group appears to have bettered its vote from the 2008 election.
“Sometimes you think you might get a hiding but the numbers thus far are very positive and backed up what we’ve done in the community over the last four years,” he said.
“I’m hoping that [number four on the group] Jan Savage can stay in the game.”
With his ticket and the other pro-Macquarie pipeline group lead by Mr Turner scoring almost 45 per cent of the first preference vote, Cr Davis believed voters made decisions based on a mixture of the personalities and the issues facing council.
He believed the issues led voters to his ticket but final preferences will be all over the place.
“I think people were very astute in regards to voting under the line,” he said.
“I believe the voters look very carefully in regards to who’s in and out.”
He said the support for his ticket and Mr Turner’s may put pipeline opposition to bed.
“We’ve finally got a decision that is very positive for water security and the pipeline,” he said.
“[Support for the pipeline] didn’t seem to harm me and it certainly didn’t seem to harm Russell Turner.”
With Mr Turner tipped to bring up to four group members on council he and Cr Davis’ group are expected to dominate the chamber.
“It’s not a case of can we work together, as a council it will happen because it’s a demand of the people,” Cr Davis said.
“They want a council that can work together on both issues ... debating the issues not the person.”
Cr Davis would not rule out a bid for the mayor’s chair but said he would make a decision when all the votes were counted later in the week.
“I really have to have a look at the councillors and what the councillors have to say ... and we don’t know who those councillors will be,” he said.
“It will be quite interesting because it will probably be the last council that will pick the mayor under the councillor elected system.”