WINNER: Cr Andrew Antoniolli greets a voter on election day at Silkstone State School, a booth where he won 39.47% of the mayoral vote.
WINNER: Cr Andrew Antoniolli greets a voter on election day at Silkstone State School, a booth where he won 39.47% of the mayoral vote. David Nielsen

ANALYSIS: Why Antoniolli's campaign strategy worked

THE author Robert Louis Stevenson said that "everyone lives by selling something".

>>LIVE RESULTS: Latest on Ipswich mayoral election 2017

The next Ipswich mayor, Cr Andrew Antoniolli, breathed life into his mayoral campaign by selling a message that a large number of Ipswich voters have bought.

Galaxy and ReachTEL polls showed clearly that a large chunk of the electorate wanted an investigation into Ipswich City Council and someone other than a sitting councillor as their next mayor.

Before those polls came out, Cr Antoniolli had been reiterating the key message of his campaign.

In a nutshell he had said: "As mayor I will ensure the council will be transparent and accountable. I will be an agent for change from within to take the city forward with a new philosophy and ethos."

Throughout his campaign the words "transparency" and "accountability" were constantly on the lips of Cr Antoniolli.

He spoke about lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding council owned companies and shutting down two of them.

It was a strategy with its inherent risks. The cynics would ask why he hadn't been hammering these points before.

As a sitting councillor for 17 years, Cr Antoniolli is an insider. He had to convince the public he was the man capable of being a revolutionary insider.

To make his message stick, Cr Antoniolli had to sell it. He did sell it to enough electors, and that is all that counts in the end.

Underpinning Cr Antoniolli's key message were over 60 policies he announced throughout the campaign - on everything from the environment and business to how he would transform the council.

Those policies gave electors looking for more meaty political food for thought something to sink their teeth into.

The Division 7 councillor did goad and prod his chief opponent Acting Mayor Paul Tully throughout the campaign.

He said on numerous occasions in the media that "I am not under investigation". Cr Tully made the point that he was not under investigation either, but the insinuation from Cr Antoniolli was there.

Cr Tully accused Cr Antoniolli of fighting his campaign under "dog and goanna rules" and not the "Marquess of Queensberrry rules" he was engaging in.

The Antoniolli campaign's strategy was to keep Cr Tully on the back foot with his insinuations, an all's fair in love and war style of tactic.

US president Bill Clinton said money, ideas and organisation win elections.

Cr Antoniolli received the most donations of any candidate and put them to good use by inundating the city with election signs with his youthful face upon them.

Several voters at exit polls the QT conducted at booths on Saturday mentioned those signs. One pointed at a poster and said they liked Cr Antoniolli's young looks.

Cr Antoniolli's ideas resonated with enough of the public to get him over the line.

His organisation on the ground on election day was highlighted by the large number of Ipswich people on booths, many of whom were local ALP branch members who had rallied behind him.

Former Ipswich West MP Don Livingstone said "numbers beat logic every time".

Numbers count on election day and Cr Antoniolli's wins in the key booths at Brassall, Karalee, Yamanto and Silkstone delivered him the mayoralty.

He also made inroads into Cr Tully's vote in eastern booths such as Augustine Heights and Camira.

Cr Antoniolli won his heartland, did well in the western booths, cleaned up in the big Ipswich booths that decide elections and was competitive enough in the east.

His numbers stacked up.

Cr Antoniolli has pinned his mayoralty to the promise that he will initiate great change in the corridors of power in Ipswich City Council. His immense challenge is now to act on the words he has spoken for the past two months.

**Note: The election result has not been declared by the ECQ.



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