Residents will not know if Wollongong City Council will be led the first female Lord Mayor or continue with the incumbent for at least another two weeks.
People in Wollongong local government area went to the polls to vote on who would be the next Lord Mayor on Saturday while they also decided which councillors would represent them in their ward.
The race for mayor has come down to Labor's Tania Brown and independent incumbent Gordon Bradbery, based on the number of votes counted so after as at 5pm on Sunday.
There is only 62 votes between the two front runners at this stage.
It will likely take two weeks to definitively determine who has won with both candidates anxiously waiting for pre-polling, postal and preference votes to be counted.
Cr Bradbery told the Mercury he hoped preferences "would get me across the line".
"We will have to wait and see," Cr Bradbery said on Sunday. "I will be looking at the numbers closely."
He said it had been a "big day" at polling booths and in the two weeks leading up to the election but it was "worth the effort".
Cr Bradbery said this term was likely to be his last and it was now "the decision of the people", adding he had fought hard to "take on the well-oiled Labor machine".
He is no stranger to having to wait for a result - in 2011 he and ex-Wollongong MP Noreen Hay went head to head for the state seat of Wollongong, and he lost by a few hundred votes.
"It is very interesting to see what will happen," he said. "This time I'm the incumbent. It will likely be very close and we have to wait and see".
Cr Brown has taken 29.62 per cent of first preference votes and Cr Bradbery has 29.54 per cent with just under half the ballot papers counted.
Cr Brown said she was hopeful of becoming Wollongong's first Lord Mayor.
"I am pretty happy as no matter what happens, we took the incumbent to the brink. It is too close to call on Sunday so that is a big achievement for our team," she said.
"Now we wait for the final count and it will definitely go down to preferences."
Cr Brown said the early results and swing against Cr Bradbery was a reflection of residents' "mood for change".
"I know we gave it our all. I am really proud of our campaign and we couldn't have done more," she said.
The remaining candidates Liberal's John Dorahy has 19.25 per cent of the votes counted, followed by Greens' Mithra Cox on 12.71 percent, then Sustainable Party Australia's Andrew Anthony on 4.95 per cent and independent Marie Glykis on 3.92 per cent.
Cr Dorahy said he "fully expected it would be long odds for me to have a chance to get up" and was pleased with the result so far.
He said it was now the job of incoming councillors to hold either Cr Bradbery or Cr Brown to account and to ensure what they campaigned for was the best outcome for the council and community.
Cr Cox said she "always expected to come fourth in the mayoral race", anticipating the contest would be between Cr Bradbery and Cr Brown, adding she was happy with the swing towards her.
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