I moved to my present home in 1990 and by my count today's is the 13th election I have voted at this polling centre. The Federal elections have been in 1993, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 whilst the State elections have been in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. I don't have to wait long for my 14th election here which will be the next State election on 26 March 2011.
The queue for registration and collection of ballot papers and voters in the background completing their ballot papers.
With voting continuing as I type and the count not to commence until after voting closes at 6pm, I don't know yet the outcome nationally or for my electorate of Wentworth. My guess is that nationally the ruling Australian Labor Party (ALP) will be returned although predictions are that the national outcome will be very close.
The ballot paper for the electorate of Wentworth in the House of Representatives
Wentworth is currently held by Malcolm Turnbull for the opposition Liberal Party. I'm expecting that Turnbull will be returned. My prediction is not based on any inside knowledge but simply because the indications are that the other parties and independents contesting the seat - there are six other candidates - appear to have written off their own chances. During the course of the campaign it is only Turnbull who had a mailout to residents. There has not been a single mailout in this electorate from any of the others; not even a how to vote pamphlet from the ALP. This contrasts dramatically with the previous elections in 2004 and 2007 when Turnbull faced up to 14 other candidates for the seat and most if not all the candidates flooded the electorate with their mailouts.
The ballot paper for the candidates to the Senate from the state of New South Wales. As usual, so many candidates it is impossible to spread the ballot paper out flat in the booth
In years past I used to sit glued to the television watching the evening count and taking in the political and journalistic commentary but I don't intend to watch much of the proceedings tonight even though there are predictions this may be the closest outcome since the 1961 election, if not ever. Age has wearied me. I quickly grew tired of this year's negative, Presidential style campaigning and have the sense of 'a pox on both your houses'.
As the cliche goes, 'whatever the outcome, it is always a politician that gets elected'.