Newcomer Russell Yon has led the voting in the 2017 St Helena general election, polling 753 votes – just 11 more than second-placed Dr Corinda Essex, who returns for her second term as a legislative councillor.
But three of the six female candidates were among the five who were unsuccessful.
Council veterans Derek Thomas and Brian Isaac were third and fourth with 668 and 631 votes respectively.
The other eight new councillors are Lawson Henry (568), Cyril Leo (561), Clint Beard (513 votes), Anthony Green (476), Cruyff Buckley (471), Kylie Hercules (460), Gavin “Eddie Duff” Ellick (458), Christine Scipio o’Dean (392).
Russell Yon said: “I wasn’t expecting to come out on top. I was expecting to get through because I was getting real feedback. I’m really overwhelmed and I’m happy to say thank you to my team, my supporters, my sponsors…”
New councillor Kylie Hercules said: “I think it takes a bit to sink in.”
Clint Beard said: “The team needs to get together and work hard.”
Eddie Duff said: “I feel very happy, like. Four years ago I was in 11th place and this time I’m in 11th place, so I have consistency.”
Pamela Ward Pearce, who did not retain her seat, said: “The people of St Helena has spoken and this is their wish. I feel honoured to have served St Helena for the two years that I have done. I wish the people who have got in a great deal of luck. It’s going to be a very hard four years ahead of them with all the change and they can be assured of my support.”
She said she would now be able to finish moving house – a job she hadn’t had time for while serving as a councillor.
There had been concern that a recount would be needed.
Shortly after 3am local time, Saint FM said it understood the number of ballot papers counted did not tally with the 1,108 originally received.
Presenter Tony Leo told listeners: “I certainly don’t want to be here for a recount. It’s not a good thought that they might have to count them again.”
As it was, a recount was avoided.