A MONTH or so ago, the conventional wisdom among those who most closely watch Bathurst Regional Council was that mayor Graeme Hanger had no chance of surviving in the city's top job beyond next week's mayoral vote.
But with six days of furious lobbying still ahead of the four hopeful candidates - including the mayor and councillors Ian North, Bobby Bourke and Jess Jennings - he remains well in the mix (depending who you ask, of course).
Councillor Warren Aubin wants Cr Hanger to remain mayor for the 12 months until full local government elections in September 2020 and Cr John Fry could yet support him, too.
And Cr Bobby Bourke has always said if Cr Hanger had four votes then he would be his fifth, putting Cr Hanger potentially within a single vote of keeping his job, something that seemed impossible not too long ago.
However, as the hours and days tick by with still no clear result decided the question must be asked: Do we really need to change the mayor?
As Cr Aubin has been saying to his colleagues, there is something to be said for stability. Despite divisions within the chamber, this is not a council in turmoil and the Bathurst region continues to be one of the healthiest economies in regional NSW.
Yes, much of this success (and Cr Hanger would likely concede this point) is due to the talent and experience of council's senior staff, but there is no clamour for change among the general public.
An online Western Advocate poll last week (admittedly one with no scientific merit) found Cr Hanger was the most favoured of the four contenders and he remains a popular figure in town.
More importantly, 12 months is not a lot of time for a new mayor to get into the job.
Past mayors agree it takes a couple of months to find your feet in the role and by that stage it will be almost Christmas.
It will then be February before council swings back into full gear but once we get to around July attention will start turning to the council elections. Then we get a new council and, potentially, a new mayor again.
Do we really need all that change?
None of this is to say the mayor will keep his job and, when the nominations are called, he may not even enter the race.
But if we're only changing mayors for the sake of change, then maybe that's no great thing either.