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was slightly ahead of Meers, but my vote was definitely down compared to the 1978 election. The total vote in the subdivision was also down. It seemed that the closing of the Literacy Institute booth had caused confusion and discouraged many people from voting.

Ernie Chaples shook his head: "If there's a swing against you in Harbord, then Meers will slaughter you in Balgowlah," he said, peering over Bob's shoulder at the mounting columns of percentages.

Willie answered a call from ALP Head Office: "What are the figures that you have there?" Asked Steve Loosely, the Assistant General Secretary. "They're bad," sobbed Willie, "very bad", and hung up.

A non-smoker, I was puffing my way through Bob's Benson and Hedges Extra Mild cigarettes, as I shuffled from one end of the office to the other. I could not keep still.  

Donna went to the front window to glare out into the empty Corso below. "Fuck them!" She cursed, "we will scuttle the 'Freshwater' as soon as its launched. That'll show the ungrateful bastards."

"Where the hell is that gal with the figures from Belgrave Street?" Said Ernie, "The count there should have been finished by now."

This was the booth in the Council hall, only about a hundred metres from us. I had won it narrowly at the last election. The scrutineer there was Marina Garlick,

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