By-election: Almost over…

Filed in Just In by May 22, 2021

THE hour of the by-election is upon us, with the last of the voters filtering through a corridor of signs, which look suspiciously like cattle runs, flanked by a crowd of politicians, media and campaign volunteers.

The polls will close at 6pm to voters and open to the scrutineers, who will watch the votes being counted, while the rest of us can tune in to the plethora of state media who will all speculate about what was important to us and why we voted the way we did.

Reporting on the election has been a bit like being in a washing machine, chasing down 13 candidates running around the electorate and trying to cover all announcements and their reaction to the announcements of other candidates.

But it may have been worth it, worth it by about $200 million in extra funding which was promised during the by-election – now to hold them to account after the election to spend everything promised before we head to the polls again in 18 months!

While most Australians don’t think much of politicians, I’d challenge anyone to volunteer for a campaign, it is gruelling. Many independents have run this time on the smell of an oily rag competing against the cashed up major parties, trying to get their posters noticed in a sea of others and reliant on friends and family to cover more than 40 polling booths, while major parties bus their people in from all around the state. It is no mean feat for independents and they will be lucky to cover costs.

They may be the underdogs, but it is a claim both major parties have tried to use as well. The Nationals clearly started from a terrible position with our last Member being ousted after appalling behaviour and by-elections can be very unkind to the incumbent party. But Labor also claimed the underdog position in a seat which has always been held by the Nationals, or former Country Party.

Having reported so closely on the election and spoken to locals in towns across the electorate, we have no idea who may win, but soon it will be all over bar the shouting and after the winner is announced they should get ready for us to continue to chase them around the electorate with a calculator checking they are spending the $200 million we were promised. 

Congratulations to all the candidates who have run and for the rest of us we can look forward to waking up on Sunday knowing the posters will all gradually vanish from our trees and fences, the by-election will become a distant memory and we can return to our usual program…with an extra $200 million.

Some pics of the voting below:

 

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