RACING: Acting Mayor Paul Tully has a 6% lead over Cr Andrew Antoniolli in the mayoral race according to a Galaxy Poll.
RACING: Acting Mayor Paul Tully has a 6% lead over Cr Andrew Antoniolli in the mayoral race according to a Galaxy Poll. David Nielsen

EXCLUSIVE POLL: Tully leads two-horse race

THE two sitting councillors in the August 19 mayoral by-election have secured two thirds of the vote between them in an exclusive Galaxy poll for the QT but leading pollster David Briggs insists neither is over the line.

The poll, based on a sample of 507 voters in the Ipswich City Council area, asked: 'Thinking about the election for the Mayor of Ipswich. In the mayoral election to be held on Saturday, August 19, which one of the following are you most likely to vote for?'

All 11 candidates were provided as an option with Acting Mayor Paul Tully scoring 36% and Cr Andrew Antoniolli in second on 30%.

Next was accountant Peter Robinson on 9%. Following him were Dallas Klass (5%), Gary Duffy (5%), Jack Paff (4%), Brett Morrissey (4%), Patricia Petersen (3%), Peter Luxton (2%), Paul Rix (2%) and last Ken Salter, who polled less than 1%.

An unusually high 14% of those asked were undecided.

Galaxy Reserach managing director David Briggs provided the QT with an analysis of the results.

"These things in a way come down to a sort of beauty contest and the (candidates) with the highest profile will win," he said.

"The two sitting councillors - Paul Tully and Andrew Antoniolli - are streets ahead of the rest.

"That doesn't mean that the others will have no impact on the election outcome because under the optional preferential scheme neither Tully or Antoniolli is over the line.

"They will both be relying on preference flow from the minor parties and candidates."

Mr Briggs said the number of uncommitted voters in this poll was three times what it usually was, meaning there were still undecided electors who could be won over in the remaining days.

"Normally when we do a poll we would expect something in the order of 5% or 6% to be uncommitted but in this poll it is 14%," he said.

Mr Briggs said that "while Tully has got a slight advantage" the preference flow and undecided voters would have an impact on the final result.

Mr Robinson, an accountant, was well back in the field in third position.

Mr Briggs said sometimes preference flow was reasonably predictable, and highlighted the way Green preferences usually flow to the ALP.

In the case of the mayoral race, only Greens candidate Brett Morrissey is endorsed.

"With most of these candidates not having any party affiliation the preferences could flow anywhere," Mr Briggs said.

"So what Antoniolli has got to do in the next couple of weeks is work on all those people who are sitting on the fence and see if he can persuade any of those, because there are a substantial number whose first vote will not go to him or Tully."

Readers will note the poll percentages add up to 100% and do not include the undecided 14%.

"What we have done is reproportion the figures excluding that 14% which is the standard way we present poll information," Mr Briggs said.

Cr Tully and Cr Antoniolli were both heartened by their Galaxy Poll results , which do have a margin for error of 4.4%.

Cr Tully said he was "still feeling confident".

"I have had a very good response at the three pre-polling booths in Ipswich," he said.

"Those (poll) figures confirm what my campaign workers are reporting back to me.

"With nine days to go the campaign is working out exactly as I had planned."

Cr Tully said the 14% of undecided voters did not surprise him.

"A lot of people still don't know there is a by-election on," he said.

"The 14% is a figure that will be critical. If it goes to minor candidates it won't significantly influence those (poll) figures."

Cr Antoniolli said the results were "encouraging".

"I'm feeling good and the response in the community has been really good," he said.

"It is campaign go, go, go until the 19th."

Cr Antoniolli said the 14% of undecided voters meant they could still be won over.

"It is there for the taking and I have a very good campaign team and I am running a targeted campaign," he said.

"My campaign is about a new future for the city, not the same old. I am offering something new and exciting...and energy."

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