David Martin favourite to become Ipswich mayor
DAVID Martin is the bookie's pick to become the next Ipswich mayor, with election day still set to go ahead despite increasing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who haven't already had their say at pre-poll or via a postal vote have been told by Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young it is still safe to vote today.
According to odds from Ladbrokes, former councillor Mr Martin is the favourite to lead the city into a new era 18 months after the previous council was sacked.
He was dismissed alongside his colleagues in August 2018 by the State Government.
Mr Martin is leading the way at $1.50, with Teresa Harding just behind at $2.75.
The two have been the biggest spenders in the local government election campaign, with Mr Martin spending $53,029 and Mrs Harding spending $40,399.25.
Pat Walsh's odds stand at $8, with Chris Smith at $16, Mark Williams and Ursula Monsiegneur at $26 and Karakan Karoly Kochardy at $51.
Mr Martin was the first person to declare their intentions to run for the top job, making his announcement in June.
The COVID-19 crisis has played havoc with campaign efforts this month, with candidates and their campaigners prohibited from canvassing outside polling places.
Any kind of celebration for winners will be muted in the circumstances.
"The goalposts have changed," Mr Martin said.
"We had 150 people coming around for a bit of party. That's not happening now. It's strange."
It was much the same for Mrs Harding, who will be waiting for the result in her backyard with her husband and three kids.
"Community health is the most important thing," she said.
"It's not the most ideal situation but we have to follow all the rules."
Nearly half of eligible voters have already voted, or have made arrangements to vote, ahead of polling day.
More than 1 million people have already cast their vote ahead across Queensland and 570,000 will receive a postal vote.
More than 30,000 people have registered for a telephone vote.
Dr Young said it was still safe to head to the polls today.
"We know, due to our fantastic pre-polling arrangements, and with the way Queenslanders have responded, and with the postal vote process, with all of that the number of Queenslanders left to vote by Saturday will be relatively small," she said.
The number of scrutineers observing the count is now limited to one per candidate, in order to support social distancing measures throughout the count.
Bundamba residents will also head to the polls today for the by-election sparked by long-time MP Jo Ann Miller's dramatic resignation in February.
Labor are hoping to retain the seat through Lance McCallum, who will be up against Pauline Hanson's One Nation's Sharon Bell, The Greens' Danielle Mutton and the LNP's Robert Shearman.