Friday, November 30, 2007

The Tallyroom: Howard Made History

The Poll That Counts No.2: Howard Made History

Inside the Canberra Tallyroom the excitement builds in the 2007 Australian Federal election. Maxine McKew, the ALP candidate, establishes a comfortable lead over John Howard, outgoing Prime Minister and Member for Bennelong.

We wait for Senator Penny Wong, ALP campaign spokesperson, to smile. What a poker face! It finally happens at 9.30 pm when Maxine appears on the TV coverage. National Barnaby Joyce, and Liberals Bill Heffernan and Joe Hockey clearly have dud hands all night. Humpty Dumpty Hockey gets hotter and hotter. Looks like he might explode as he he struggles in his own seat. Heffernan spars with the Chaser but more of that in the following episodes. Finally Howard appears, to make his concession speech, and the crowd hushes.

Footnote: Later Kerry O'Brien and Antony Green both complained about the crowd noise. Some of it was caused by the Chaser. Most was spontaneous outpourings of delight as the figures for Bennelong came on the screens or images of Maxine or Julia Gillard appeared. Unfortunately Julia was seated with her back to the public area so we missed her live facial expressions.

Think I was the only one watching the old tallyboards.

More to come: People in the tallyroom watch Howard's speech. Hefferan payback.

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