The City of Melbourne count is labouriously proceeding as the numerous electoral officials proceed to deflap and open ballot paper envelopes. We are told that there are all up around 61300 envelopes received. The VEC could not provide an accurate figure as such we are left with an approximation only.
In the absence of a preliminary sorting of ballot papers as is the case in a Federal Election it is virtually impossible to properly scrutinise the ballot, The VEC rejected the recommendations made the the State Parliament that ballot papers be resorted into primary votes prior to data-entry. So it is now left to a random sampling process.
Whilst it is still too early to give an accurate trend, indications are that Robert Doyle is receiving 20% of the vote sampled to date. In a surprise, yet welcomed outcome, Gary Singer from Team Melbourne is doing better then expected and could outcall his running mate Catherine Ng. The combined vote of Singer and Ng, who preference each other, would be greater the the Greens. This could prove interesting as Shelly Roberts also tops up Singers vote before being distributed to McMullin. Singer could retain the vote and out poll McMullin. If this trend holds then we could see Gary Singer take Catherine Ng place rising above the chorus and becoming the lead vocal. His main competition would be Robert Doyle. Doyle's campaign was noted for his absence from the campaign, relying purely on the name recognition factor.
Now I am not a Doyle backpacker, you understand, I think he would be a disaster for Melbourne (Mainly due to his choice of deputy lord mayor and his lead candidate in the Council ballot)
Again the information available is too patchy and too few to determine the outcome overall.There is also a built in bias in the count in that ballot papers are batched in a pseudo order based on the delivery time and collection, information that is not readily available to scrutineers. Unfortunately the count is not open and transparent, But we will keep you posted as results and trends become more clear.