Paula Southgate has been preliminary elected Hamilton mayor.

In 2016, Paula Southgate and Andrew King contested one of the tightest mayoralty results in New Zealand history, with Ms Southgate missing out by six votes.

This year Ms Southgate was elected by 11079 votes, while Mr King had 8606 votes, and Angela O'Leary secured 6664 votes.

These results do not include more than 3500 votes received at drive-through voting and ballot boxes across the city today, or any special votes cast since September 20.

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Preliminary results, released tomorrow, will include all votes cast today, but not special votes. Given the high number of votes received today, there is a possibility the results may change.

The final results (preliminary results + all special votes) will be announced on Thursday October 17.

Ms Southgate told Hamilton News she was feeling elated by the result.

"I'm so very grateful to the support I've received over the election campaign," Ms Southgate said.

"I want to congratulate Andrew and Angela on a hard fought campaign and I know from last time how it feels to miss out when you work so hard."

Ms Southgate said she plans to meet with the new council over the next few weeks and set about forming the team that will run the city for the next three years.

"I hope to touch base and congratulate all the new councillors and get to work on forming a strong team to lead the city."

"I want to have a few days rest to gather my thoughts and I'll be back at work next week to have that conversation on what we now need to do."

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Andrew King released a short video on his council Facebook page saying the people of Hamilton has chosen a new mayor, and he thanked Hamiltonian for their support over the last three years.

Andrew King is on his way out after losing the mayoralty to Paula Southgate. Photo / File
Andrew King is on his way out after losing the mayoralty to Paula Southgate. Photo / File

Speaking to Hamilton News Mr King said that he will look back at his three years as mayor with fondness, and that he has no regrets.

"I've always said I was going to do what was right over what was popular," Mr King said.

"I've congratulated Paula, I'm in a good place and it is time for me to move on with my life."

Under Mr King's leadership, Hamilton has introduced free buses for youth and those with disabilities, created the Hamilton Land Trust, and laid the ground work for the Hamilton to Auckland commuter rail.

He received criticism for raising the rates by 9.7 per cent, and going against public consultation and purchasing properties on Victoria Streets, with plans to open up the city to the river.

Four term city councillor Angela O'Leary announced on Facebook she was unsuccessful for the mayoralty, but will continue to serve as a West Ward councillor, while 26-year old Louise Hutt said she received a phone call saying she was "unsuccessful for mayor, and was seventh place for West (there's six seats on council) but I'm only 300 votes behind the next candidate and there's 3,700 votes which came in today and also specials too."

Around the council table, Kesh Naidoo-Rauf, Margaret Forsyth and Maxine van Oosten join returning councillors Mark Bunting, Ryan Hamilton and Rob Pascoe on the East Ward.

On the West Ward, Sarah Thompson and Ewan Wilson joins Angela O'Leary, Dave Macpherson, Geoff Taylor and Martin Gallagher around the table.

The full results will be announced tomorrow morning once all the votes have been received, while an official result is not expected until October 17, once special votes have been counted.

In the Waikato Regional Council, there are two new elected members in the Hamilton constituent - Angela Strange (19,268) and Jennifer Nickel (13,920). Russ Rimmington (16,778) and Barry Quayle (15,566) have been re-elected. William Durning received 13,044 votes, with Peter Koizumi coming in with 5234.

More to come...