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arguments. He found that the ticks and crosses were valid and hence the poll could be declared.

Ironically, our scrutineers reported that these marks were used by as many Liberal voters as Labor. Hence their exclusion would not have favoured Meers. The long delay in the declaration of the poll in Manly was the result of pointless manoeuvring, without any real  hope of changing the outcome.  

In the meantime, despite the uncertainty, political life had to go on. I was committed to my routine duties in the electorate, where most people assumed that I was still their MP. The round of official functions rolled on, and constituents continued to ask for my representations on their behalf. Letters had to be written, appointments kept, bills paid.  

The poll for Manly was finally declared on October 21, almost five weeks after the election day. A small crowd of supporters clapped when the Returning Officer officially declared that I had been elected as the Member for Manly, by a margin of 709 votes.

I made a short speech, pointing out that it was an historic occasion: "In 1978 an ALP member was elected in Manly for the first time. Now the electorate's choice has been confirmed -- the ALP has successfully defended the seat." I thanked my supporters; and then added a non-partisan message; "Every person in the Manly electorate can be assured that I will continue to

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