Hunter Calder

It is official. Hamilton's new mayor is Andrew King - by just nine votes.

Andrew King says he "felt warm and fuzzy and a little bit teary" when he heard the news.

"So I just want to thank everybody out there, it's the small sports clubs, it ended up every vote being critical. There's people out there who have actually made the difference and got me across the line, it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for that person."

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Mr King says he is looking forward to bringing the councillors together.

"I believe the tension, the paradox that comes from the tension from the far left and the far right is a very healthy thing in local government, that's what brings robust debate, that's what brings the pressure and that's where people start listening and making an informed decision with the arguments from the extremes.

The newly elected mayor says the lack of polling in the lead up to the election may have worked in his favour.

"It was a great thing that there was no polling because it meant that people didn't jump on and start voting for someone they thought were going to be the winner, it meant people had to think about who they wanted to be the winner, it meant that people had to make up their own mind, had to listen, had to read."

Mr King has also congratulated his main opponent Paula Southgate - acknowledging it could have gone either way.

Ms Southgate says she's "hugely disappointed, to be so close and be pipped by just nine votes is crushing", but she's accepting the democratic vote and would begin her duties as City Councillor for the East Ward while she awaits the outcome of a recount.

"Part of me would rather not do a recount because of the further uncertainty it creates. But my supporters feel very strongly that I should because the margin is so close and I owe it to them to do that."

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