Bob Kirk is leading the charge in the Goulburn Mulwaree Council poll with more than one-third of the vote counted.
NSW Electoral Commission results show the mayor of the last five years sitting on 1658 first preference votes at 9pm Saturday This translated to 23.7pc of the 6997 formal votes counted.
He was followed by Jason Shepherd on the Labor ticket with 624 votes, Andy Wood (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) on 529, Dan Strickland on 510 and Michael Prevedello close behind on five hundred.
Other results were:
Approximately 35 per cent of the 21,530 eligible vote has been counted, with pre-polls and postal yet to be tallied.
Mr Kirk said he was "stoked" with his result so far. Electoral Commission results showed he was leading in every booth at this stage.
"It tells me that people are happy with what's been going on so far with the council," he said.
"I thought the six existing councillors would get back in if people were satisfied with what's been happening because they were returned at the last election."
He expected Jason Shepherd, Dan Strickland, Michael Prevedello and Steve Ruddell to also perform strongly.
"The new candidates change the mix and Labor is polling well, Clearly, Jason will be elected," Mr Kirk said.
He believed that incumbency carried a value for himself.
Mr Shepherd was pleased with Labor's performance.
"Currently it's looking really good but there are still preferences to go. Overall, we have nearly two quotas but whether that translates to two candidates remains to be seen," he said.
Anna Wurth-Crawford was listed second on the Labor card.
Mr Shepherd said many non-Labor people were approaching his ticket members at the booths on Saturday and pledging their support.
"Looking at the result so far from an analytical sense, the vote appears to be a protest against the current council. The votes for some of them are down but it is still early days," he said.
Meantime, Mr Wood told The Post he was "cautiously optimistic" of being elected.
"They still have to do pre-polls and preferences and things can change quite quickly," he said.
"...I thought the result was roll of the dice except for Bob (Kirk), Labor and Michael Prevedello."
Mr Wood pulled in 43 votes at Tarago where he campaigned strongly against Veolia's proposed waste to energy facility. Mr Kirk drew the most with 107 votes.
He has also drawn the most primary votes so far at the Goulburn High School booth with 372 of the total 1450.
Overall, 7719 votes have been counted. A total 6997 of these were formal and 722 informal or 'other' votes.
Counting will continue this week. Returning officer Lars Gudiksen said distribution of preferences could take up to two weeks.
Postal votes will be received up until December 17.
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