Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Reluctant Political Candidate (Part 3) - Election Day 19th March 1988

In preparing for Election Day the committee put together a route that would take me to every polling booth. This was so I could talk to people as they went into vote and, most important to me, to thank the volunteers handing out how to votes and provide them with refreshments. We even gave donuts to the Labor Party volunteers who were not as well looked after as ours.

Hank did up his work van; no one could miss us, and drove me around all day. I had an absolute ball. Because I knew winning was unlikely, I was able to relax and enjoy meeting all the supporters. We must have had a very similar route to my opponent because nearly everywhere we went we were told McManus had just passed through as was looking very worried.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this was a new electorate and considered a very safe notional Labor majority.

That evening we had a post election party at home with family and many supporters and of course my wonderful committee. When the results started to come through I was totally astounded how close we got. I was won, as expected by the Labor Party with McManus receiving 56.6% of the vote and the “Libs” with 43.4%.

There were two highlights for me in the results. Thanks to the advice or Michael Baume and my determination not to be overridden by an outspoken, self centreds and slightly intoxicated person we won the Appin polling booth for the first time in many years.

There was an extensive housing commission estate in Bellambi and during the campaign I was invited by a local church minister to door knock the area with him. The range of questions was unbelievable. On Election Day we got an enormous 17% swing to the Libs at the Bellambi polling booth.

Following these results Burragorang started to be considered a marginal seat but another redistribution of boundaries before the following election it was merged with other seats.

I was extremely pleased with the result, thrilled with the efforts of the campaign committee and workers and very grateful for the opportunity and experience.

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