Hopes of council election provisional results today

PROVISIONAL results for the Wellington Shire Council election could be published as early as today.

Votes have been counted this week, with the Victorian Electoral Commission to publish full provisional results between noon today and Sunday.

Final results will then be declared on Monday morning.

Results for this election have been later than previously because of the extension of the deadline to admit postal votes.

Ballot papers had to have been sent by last Friday, but can be received by the returning officer by today.

Twenty candidates are in the running for the nine spots on council.

For the first time, Wellington Shire has been divided into three wards, each to be represented by three councillors.

Councillors will be sworn in during a special council meeting on Thursday, before they elect the new mayor.