Tight race continues in Lismore election
GREENS preferencing could help Country Labor get over the line to win the seat of Lismore, as counting continues.
With more than 77 per cent of the vote already counted, Nationals candidate Austin Curtin and Country Labor candidate Janelle Saffin are neck and neck to become the next member for Lismore.
While Mr Curtin leads the first preference count with 17,344 votes (39.94 per cent), Ms Saffin is currently winning in the two candidate preferred count with 18,266 votes (52.50 per cent).
But Lismore Election Manager John Arthur said it would be still a few days before a final result could be called.
"We've done all the first preference counting," Mr Arthur said.
"Staff are now doing their check count and data entry to verify the result, which should be finished by Friday or Thursday if it's done quickly."
Despite the two candidate preferred count currently favouring Ms Saffin, Mr Arthur said the winner of the election will be finalised after all the preferences are distributed sometime next week.
"Two candidate preferred count is just an informal count on the night," Mr Arthur said.
"The full preferential count is longer process, the computer works out who left until the vote is exhausted. It's up to the candidates to call for a recount.
"If one of the candidates think it's too close to call, then it's up to them to call for a recount."
Meanwhile, Greens MP Tamara Smith has retained the seat of Ballina for another four years, after Nationals candidate Ben Franklin conceded the election yesterday.
While Mr Franklin did receive the highest number of first preference votes with 17,029 votes (37.48 per cent), Ms Smith has received 18,562 votes (60.83 per cent) of the two candidate preferred count so far.