Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 27, 2010

Saturday note taking – and a potential change of the Victorian government

The rain had stopped this morning, and all seemed calm outside, however by late morning, it was raining again, steady drizzle, enough to sadly prevent my son’s cricket team from getting some much needed play this afternoon – they have not had too much because of all the wet Saturdays we have had, so far this season.

Did my citizenship duties this morning  –  an early visit to the local polling booth to vote in today’s State election for the Electorate of Macedon, and even at that point, there was a brief queue to get to the electoral table.  Today, voting for both the Upper and Lower Houses of State Parliament. There are 3.5 million Victorians eligible to vote today,  and voting takes place on just the one day between 8am and 6pm, although there have been pre-polling and postal voting facilities available for people not in the electorate or unable to vote today. We have had 11 years of Labor Government in Victoria  – I decided that was enough, and voted Liberal this morning!! Probably not a surprise to most who know me!  There are 88 electorates in all, and counting of votes will commence as soon as the polls close at 6pm.  I hope to have some progressive comments as the day proceeds.

Meanwhile, purchased my first Christmas gift this year, for my eldest girl  – rather an early start for me. In fact it was a morning spending money – something I’m never keen to do very often – with visits to the supermarket and the local garden supplier, needed a few little new plants to freshen up and add some colour to my front garden.  It was perhaps a bad  omen, but I sent a message to Adam – hoping he gets some cricket played today, and he was rather confident it would happen!  Not long afterwards, it started to rain again!!  Misguided optimism!

Well, with the weather deteriorating outside, what else can a guy do, but adjourn to the television set, and watch Day 3 of the Ashes Test Match?  We left Australia last night on a score of  5 wickets for 220 runs. By lunchtime today, that score had moved to 5 wickets for 329 runs, with the partnership between Brad Haddon [our wicketkeeper] and Michael Hussey sitting at 184 runs [Hussey 124 not out, Haddon 79 not out]. The pair’s 186-run partnership is one run shy of the Ashes Gabba record for Australia for the sixth wicket, held by Steve Waugh and Ian Healy since 1998-99. England failed to take a wicket in two-and-a-half hour first session but bowled without luck.   By the Tea  break, yes, they were still there –  5 for 436, Hussey on 176 and Haddin on 134. Haddin didn’t last long after Tea –  out for 136, and the Australian score then 6 for 450 after a partnership between the two H’s of 307, a lead over the English score of 190 runsm still more to come, hopefully!  However, Michael Hussey went out a few minutes later  –  for 195 runs!!!  Bad luck!

Back to politics!  The polling booths closed at 6pm, and as tonight’s ‘election coverage’ commences on the ABC,  the first reported exit polls, and final polls from this morning were indicating the election would go towards the Coalition [Opposition] –  Labor people pessimistic, Liberals optimistic, but not confident. The voting turnout – affected in many areas by more heavy rainfall at different times throughout the day. With a high % of pre-polling and postal votes occurring [perhaps up to 900,000], this is likely to slow down the final result if things are close at the end of tonight. Pre polling votes won’t be counted until Monday!

By 8pm, a clear swing away from Labor, but is it enough? Swing seems to be all over the state rather than in a few predicted areas. The only Independent member of the former Lower House loses his seat to the National Party [the other half of the Liberal/National Coalition], and the results overall being given to us on the tally room floor are suggesting a likely change of government.  Though surely, it is too early to claim that as yet?

By 9.30pm,  the election coverage is suggesting quite strongly to us that there will be a change of Government, from Labor to the Coalition, although many seats are admittedly still too close to call.  Surprisingly, even  in our local electorate of Macedon – well, Joanne Duncan is in real danger of losing the seat she has held since 2002, though again, the outcome there will depend very much on postal and pre-poll votes. Overall, at present, a 5.4% swing to the Coalition.

[As an interlude, at Stumps on Day 3 of the Test Cricket match, Australia lead by 202 runs, with the match scores so far being:  England: 260 and  0 for 19. Australia: 481.  Two more days of play.]

Meanwhile, just before 10pm, we hear that Labor are not yet prepared to concede defeat, claiming it is still too early to surrender, the results are too uncertain in many electorates!! So we have seen neither the Premier, John Brumby, or the Opposition leader, Ted Bailleau, make an appearance yet to either concede defeat, or claim victory!!

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