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about abortion when I had been seeking preselection back in 1978.

She rushed towards me -- there was no chance of escape. Under the eye of the camera, she threw her arms around me and planted a passionate kiss on my cheek. Then she turned to Paul Murphy and loudly declared her admiration for me: "He's the only one who has ever done anything for Manly", she said, and disappeared into the crowd.

Noon was approaching. We headed towards the State Electoral Office to watch the draw. For this election, it had been hastily set up on the ground floor of a dilapidated arcade in Sydney Road. I walked into the large room, trailed by the ABC crew. In one corner, the newly appointed returning officer, a small nervous looking man, was talking in an agitated manner on the telephone. Small groups of Liberal and Labor supporters were standing about, waiting. There was no sign of either Meers or Darby.

My nomination, with the cash deposit, had been lodged several days before. There was still a chance for a last-minute candidate to put in a nomination, but most interest seemed directed towards the relative positions that Meers, Darby and I would get on the ballot paper.

I edged towards the returning officer, wondering what his problem was. Michael Darby was on the line, saying he was calling from the city. It was now

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