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In the federal election of 1980, the sitting Liberal Michael MacKellar was easily returned, winning all the booths which had voted Labor in the state election.

For the next state election, I was preselected without opposition to contest Manly again for the ALP. Meers had a more difficult time with the Liberals.

He first nominated for Willoughby and was soundly beaten by the relatively unknown Peter Collins. Obviously stunned, he declared that he was quitting the political race, having no further ambitions to enter State Parliament.

Preselection for Manly would take place two weeks later, at the end of August. When the nominations for Liberal preselection had closed there were four candidates in Manly, including Tony Selmes. After licking his wounds for a few days, Meers had a change of heart and became a late entrant.

The Manly Daily crowed:

"Manly's Mayor, Alderman Joan Thorburn, and former Premier Sir Robert Askin have come out in favour of Sydney's Lord Mayor...

"I most certainly hope he gets it because he is the only one who could win the seat back for the Liberals,' Ald Thorburn said yesterday...

"Former NSW Premier and long-standing Manly resident, Sir Robert Askin, said the Liberals

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