Series 02: Alan Gibson Stewart papers, 1987-1989 - Page 67

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object was to win as many points as possible; even if we had no real hope of taking the trophy from the Liberals.   The local Liberal Party members were regarded more as opposing players than as enemies.   Some of our opposite numbers at the polling booths became old friends, who we would greet in the street, and look forward to meeting at the next election.

        As a small branch in Liberal territory, we did not seem very significant.   Our contacts with ALP officials or members of parliament were rare.   Few directions and very little advice came from above.

        The government of New South Wales changed hands in 1976.   Askin had retired after a record term as premier.   Tom Lewis took over, only to be deposed in a palace coup by Sir Eric Willis.   The colourless Willis was no match for Labor's rising star.   He tried to head off Wran by calling an early election but he was too late.   The Wran government won office with a slender majority.   It was six months since Whitlam's defeat at the polls, and the victory gave the Labor faithful a badly needed lift in morale.   Now we had a new leader with a sense of style who could outshine the Libs.

        After more than thirty years as the Member for Manly, Douglas Darby had decided to have one more fling.   He had easily held the seat, although his  

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