Series 02: Alan Gibson Stewart papers, 1987-1989 - Page 587

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leaving me tired and disillusioned.

The sun was going down. In the deepening shadows, we drove back to my office in Manly to await the results. All over the electorate the polling booths had closed, and inside the little piles of paper were starting to tell the story of the electorate's choice.

For this election, we had decided to separate the celebrations from the analysis of results. Our workers had been invited to a party at the Stewart home, which commenced as soon as the booths closed. At the same time, a few of us waited by the phones in my office; to receive calls from our scrutineers, to calculate trends, and to pass on information.

Bob Quail unrolled a large tally sheet on my desk, and sat down with a calculator. Donna and Willie were at the desk in the outer office. Donna would handle the incoming calls with the raw booth figures; while Willie would use another phone for outgoing calls. I paced up and down, impatient to hear my fate.

The first calls came from the booths at Allambie. The figures from there were small and indecisive. Meers and I were neck and neck. Then we started to get messages from Harbord. If I was going to win, it was essential for me to get a big vote in my local precinct to make up for the deficiencies we epxected in the "tiget country" of Balgowlah. But the figures we were getting from the Harbord booths were disappointing -- I

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