Peter Costello worked hard on election day, personally touring all 37 booths in his Higgins electorate. We finally caught up at the Prahran RSL at about 5pm and had a couple of minutes of light-hearted banter.
Cossie chided me for doing a preference deal with Labor and wouldn’t be in a picture opportunity accepting the Glenn Milne how-to-vote card. However, he could offer no answers about the churlish budget lock-out.
I told Cossie the goal was to take 3% off him in his Toorak stronghold and he scoffed, but the final 3.25% result was vindication, as you can see here.
I finished the night on 2.10% but that has already slipped to 2.04% after Sunday’s 1.34% effort from the pre-poll and will probably slip further with postal and absentee votes over the coming two weeks.
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That doesn’t sound much and is my fourth lowest vote in 35 contested elections over eight years but it was great to get more votes than Family First and the Democrats combined and also to finish 4th out of 8 – the first time I’ve ever finished in the front half of a field.
The suburbs that got my four page flyer generally delivered an extra 1%. Similarly, the bigger booths where how to vote cards were distributed also delivered about 1% more than those that weren’t covered.
Spending four hours at Toorak Uniting Church was lots of fun. The two recognisable billionaires – Solly Lew and Lindsay Fox – both politely accepted the how-to-vote card. Even my old boss, Jeff Kennett’s Treasurer Alan Stockdale, accepted the card and stopped for a quick chat for the first time in a decade. Hugh Morgan was very friendly after arriving to vote well before 8am.
Alumina chairman Don Morley agreed to a deal at last year’s Victorian state election where he voted for me and I promised not to ask questions at his next AGM. Worley Parsons chairman Ron McNeilly and Onesteel chairman Peter Smedley were both offered the same deal on Saturday and politely laughed it off.
The better half wasn’t happy with a $5000 spend for 2% and has banned any tilt in a future Higgins by-election, so now it’s back to shareholder activism for now.
Check out today’s Mayne Report video wrapping up the Higgins tilt including some banter with Labor’s best dressed volunteer in the country, Loretta Little on the big Toorak Uniting Church booth.