It’s an election night tonight, with a by election in the federal seat of Eden Monaro. This is a community that has been devastated by the bushfires earlier this year, and now Covid-19 is decimating the local tourist industry. No one knows what is going to happen in the election today. We never willingly miss an election night broadcast and we will be in front of the TV tonight.
On August 21 2010 there was a very significant Federal election. The contest was between Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister, and Tony Abbott, leading the conservative Liberal National Coalition.
On election day we were in our caravan at Warakurna in the middle of the Great Central Road. We weren’t going to miss election night, so we tuned in the satellite dish and sat down to watch the ABC, champagne optimistically ready in the fridge. Unfortunately the vote was so close that there was no outcome that night.
There followed weeks of negotiations to determine which of the two major parties was going to form a minority government. Finally on 7 September it was all down to the last of the Independents, Rob Oakeshott. We parked in the rain on the West Australia coast to listen to the live radio broadcast. Rob spoke for seventeen agonising minutes before revealing that he would be supporting Labor and Julia Gillard.
To say we were pleased would be an understatement.