Bill Grainger isn't saying goodbye yet and Terry Molloy isn't counting his chickens.
The two incumbent councillors are locked in a tight race for the second Welcome Bay-Te Papa ward seat on Tauranga City Council.
According to progress results, Grainger (2050 vote) trails Molloy (2080 votes) by just 30 votes.
Both were bested by newcomer Tina Salisbury, who was the ward's highest poller on 2945 votes. She would be among five new councillors.
Tauranga electoral officer Warwick Lampp estimated there were about 2500 votes still to be counted in Tauranga - an unexpectedly large late surge.
Around a third of those - 700 or so - would be from the Welcome Bay ward.
He said the next lot of results - the preliminary count - would be released sometime after midday Sunday.
Grainger, who is seeking a fifth term, said until he saw the preliminaries, he was not counting himself out.
"It may possibly be swinging my way."
If the final result saw him ousted, he said he would be "a little disappointed".
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"I would certainly like to see myself back on the council, but it's all down to the way people voted."
Asked what went wrong, he said he could not be sure.
Grainger also thought the council's change of voting methods from First Past the Post to Single Transferrable Vote this election had disadvantaged him.
"I personally prefer first-past-the-post. I think that if we used that the result would have been slightly different."
Other factors might have been people wanting change, or his choice not to campaign online.
He also felt some people might have been influenced by what he termed "dirty politics".
He was referencing two ads placed in the Bay of Plenty Times that were critical of him, councillor Rick Curach - who also missed out on a seat - and councillor John Robson, who has been re-elected.
Grainger also thought the council's change of voting methods from first-past-the-post to single transferrable vote this election had disadvantaged him.
Molloy said the result was "in the lap of the gods".
He was first elected in 2010, booted by the voters in 2013 and returned in 2016.
"We will see what happens."
There was no way to know what the final votes would show, but he hoped the trend would continue in his favour.
"I can't think of any reason why it should swing either way."
He said he was surprised by the result. He had been picking Grainger - who beat him by more than 800 votes in 2016 - and Salisbury to take the seats.
"I am pleasantly surprised I have done as well as I have."
He said Salisbury would do a "very good job" and he could live with her taking his seat if it came to that.
If not, he thought he and she would work well together as ward councillors.
"Hopefully I get through. Otherwise, I will be opening a new chapter."