On election day, smiling Matthew Guy feels the love (and loathing) at his old primary school


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He appeared like somebody who has simply completed their yr 12 exams and is aware of that the outcomes aren’t wanting good however that gained’t cease them having fun with schoolies.

Or that they’re about to exceed everybody’s expectations and develop into dux of the category.

A relentless drizzle saved away all however the keenest of suffrage exercisers throughout Man’s go to, whereas the remaining loved a late sleep-in, maybe hoping that the barbecues would have fired up by the point they rose to carry out their civic responsibility.

His eyes lit up as he walked round his outdated main college, the one he first attended in 1979, simply across the nook from the suburb of Montmorency the place he grew up.

There was the hill he rode as much as go to highschool, over there the pen that held Tremendous Chook, the varsity’s pet rooster who sadly died far too younger.

Then he talked in regards to the pool the Labor authorities constructed right here after the 1982 election, describing it as “basic pork barreling”. He wouldn’t have been a lot older than eight on the time, solely a small Man however already a Liberal chief in ready.

Like greater than 1.5 million Victorians, Man had voted early forward of election day, robbing the assembled cameras of their conventional pic op. However his mother and father Vera and Chris had been there to vote for his or her son’s childhood buddy Nick McGowan within the seat of Eltham.

Matthew Guy with his mother, Vera.

Matthew Man along with his mom, Vera. Credit score:Tom Cowie

“As a mom after all I believe he’s going to win,” Vera stated. “He’s labored very arduous.”

It wasn’t all pleasant faces for Man. This was a Labor seat and that introduced the inevitable hostile voters who could not resist throwing just a few barbs his method about lobsters .

One wearing blue, a sensible color selection for an intruder, managed to get in shut and shake the potential premier’s hand earlier than saying by a smile: “you have not received a hope in hell”.

Even that little second did not appear to spoil Man’s temper, who replied calmly that he believed her evaluation was fallacious earlier than transferring over to the barbecue to purchase a spherical of sausages (maintain the onions) for anybody who was hungry.

When the mother and father turning the tubes of meat requested what he would promise them, Man responded to laughter: “One other pool!”

He had slept soundly that morning till four.45am, he stated, when his son Sam rushed in and instructed him he had woken from a foul dream. Was it that you simply had gained the election? “Yeah, as a result of then he thinks I will not be residence,” Man stated.

After the early wake-up, it was on to the primary look of many handing out how-to-vote playing cards in his personal neighbouring seat of Bulleen at Templestowe Park.

He was nonetheless assured of victory and that the opinion polls favouring Labor can be confirmed fallacious, because the voters rewarded his get together’s “quiet on-the-ground campaigning”.

“We’ve completed quite a lot of that, greater than we ever have earlier than, far more than our opponents and we hope that it bears fruit tonight,” he stated.

The get together would maintain on to Ripon, he hoped, in addition to making positive aspects in opposition to Labor in Eltham and the swag of seats within the south-east of Melbourne. Prahran, he stated, was not possible to name as a three-way contest.

Lastly, he declined to say whether or not he would proceed as Liberal chief ought to the get together lose the election.

“I am going to make any of these selections after the election. I hope to win, I wish to win, I believe I can win, I am certain I can win,” he stated, channelling the Little Engine That Might.

Then he jumped right into a automotive, smile nonetheless on his face, for extra last-minute campaigning.

Tom Cowie is a journalist at The Age protecting common information.

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