Election Night 2007 – Howard vs. Rudd
Where to begin? There was a get together at my house, as my parents are in Hong Kong. The house would be ours to rule, make noise in, and run a muck through, thus it was decided that this would be the venue to watch the proceedings of the evening. We had all voted, and the cards had been shown well before the day:
- St. Ives Correspondent, Mr. Rabbit, and myself had all voted for Labor in the House of Representatives;
- Andrew, the Ombudsman, and Pope Francious had voted Liberal
There were two select camps, and two distinct predications. Those who had voted Labor predicted a Labor win by 24 (Mr. Rabbit) or 26 (St. Ives Correspondent and myself) seats gained. The Pope said that Labor would gain 14 seats, lose 2, and not have enough.
St. Ives, Mr. Rabbit, and myself had all expressed interest in Rudd for some time. The Pope had expressed his dislike for as long (though I can’t for the life of me identify what his problem is with him still). As a result of all this, there were going to be happy people and unhappy people.
We received a call from the Ombudsman twice – once early on when the N.S.W., Victoria, and Tasmania were reporting low, though encouraging, numbers. The Ombudsman, who had also voted Liberal, chose a very similar result to the Pope. He, however, began to admit that he may be off by some margin early in the night – a feat the Pope didn’t do at any stage in the result-tallying. Modesty eh?
Once N.S.W. and Victorian seats began to fall, the trio at the house behind Rudd began to have encouraging conversations (that is, in between being told to be cut out of ‘commentating’ by the Pope and being spoken down to by the same culprit). And once some big numbers started coming through in these few states, we began to think that we could be onto something here.
We were switching between channels 9 and 2, though would stop in at 7 every now and then. Antony Green was mine, St. Ives and Rabbit’s main go-to guy as he is, without a doubt, the best in the business in terms of Australian politics. I would really like to spend a day with this guy. Channel 9 had a ‘countdown’ bar across the top of their screen which ticketed up and down whenever Labor won a seat. The bell sound that came with a won seat quickly became music to our ears.
Eventually there was sign enough that in N.S.W., Victoria, and Tasmania there was sign enough that the win was on. The television channels were eager to call the election then and there – our hesitation was obvious. Though we expected a win from the data then and there (with many a time noting that neither Queensland or South Australia was reporting), we were still apprehensive to.
South Australia started reporting – the state I had put a lot of faith in with predicted Labor gains. Things went from looking good to great, and there were many a loud cheer when the bell sounded. Queensland then started reporting and all signs pointed to a called election. The speculation, on the Rudd-trio, turned to how many seats they would gain and how big a majority they would have.
We wanted information on the senate, so I dived onto the computer to get that. Reporting back, we had begun to watch 7 more than we had originally. However, we were pleased to watch the shredder (rough though it may be) on channel 9 and Kerry fume about the crowd behind him on the A.B.C..
The night was getting late, and the frustration and displeasure was evident in the Pope by this point. For the Rudd-trio, it was like walking on egg shells. But none of us cared: Our man won! It was fantastic to have been a close watcher of the campaigns, an invested fan of Rudd, and a keen politics fan, and to have my guy win. The demand is that they do a damn good job. If they do, it will be hard to beat them with the set-up they have now.