Voting shut for Melbourne lord mayor poll

Fourteen candidates are vying for the job, vacated by Robert Doyle who quit in February.Melburnians will have to wait a fortnight to learn who the city’s next lord mayor will be.
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Voting closed at 6pm on Friday, with all enrolled residents and business owners in the City of Melbourne required to send back completed ballots forms or face a $79 fine.

Fourteen candidates are vying for the $193,000-a-year-job, vacated by Robert Doyle who quit amid sexual harassment allegations in February.

Mr Doyle vigorously denied any wrongdoing but an independent inquiry found he sexually harassed female colleagues.

There are 145,000 eligible voters in this by-election, up from 132,730 in 2016, the Victorian Electoral Commission told AAP.

The owners of investment properties account for 44.6 per cent of enrolled voters.

Melbourne is the only council in Victoria where businesses get to vote in local government elections, and they are entitled to two votes each.

Business owners and property investors don’t have to be n citizens to vote.

Sally Capp, an independent candidate who has stood aside as head of the Property Council of , remains the bookie’s favourite.

Bookmaker William Hill on Friday had her at $1.25 to win, followed by Greens candidate Rohan Leppert at $7.

The Greens polled second behind Team Doyle in the 2016 council election with 21 per cent of the vote.

Other candidates include ABC broadcaster Sally Warhaft, former Manningham mayor Jennifer Yang and beauty pageant queen Nathalie Nicole O’Sughrue.

Votes will be counted from Monday to Friday and the result is due to be announced at an event at Melbourne Town Hall on May 21.

THE NOMINEES FOR MELBOURNE LORD MAYOR:

* Qun Xie

* Sally Capp

* Luke Downing

* Rohan Leppert

* Sally Warhaft

* Alex MacDonald

* Allan Watson

* Jennifer Yang

* Katie Sfetkidis

* Gary Morgan

* Nathalie Nicole O’Sughrue

* Michael Burge

* Ken Ong

* Bruce Poon

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