THE ALP candidate for South West Coast had to change his shirt halfway through campaigning today.
Roy Reekie told The Standard he was supporting his third fund raising barbecue of the day when he had a “sausage atrocity” and tomato sauce dripped down his front.
“It looked like I’d been shot,” Mr Reekie laughed.
He donned a new shirt and carried on but, in the hive of campaigning activity, almost forgot to vote. Luckily he remembered about an hour before the polls closed.
His choice of booth was apt – the Temperance Hall – which could become the new title for Parliament House if his leader Daniel Andrews is elected tonight and breath tests are introduced for MPs.
Mr Reekie started the day at the hall, which is Warrnambool’s main election venue, then trekked across town to Merrivale.
He said the response there was “great fun” as he spoke to voters opposed to the development of a milk processing plant at the nearby Midfield site and the Napthine Government’s major grant to help it go ahead.
Mr Reekie then campaigned outside the Special Development School, which will be rebuilt on a new site no matter which party wins tonight, and booths at Warrnambool north, east and the Uniting Church.
He described the general mood of voters today as “really weird”.
“Pre-polling was incredibly positive. I was really encouraged by what I was hearing and that gives me some hope.
“But on Friday, the mood turned quite what you could call sombre. It was a really down day.
“Today’s been incredibly patchy. Most people are not taking anyone’s (how-to-vote) cards. They haven’t engaged much. They just want to get the job done.
“In pre-polling they were determined to vote. There was anger in Portland and discontent in Warrnambool but today they’re just annoyed.”
Mr Reekie said traditional Liberal voters had told him they were going to change their vote because they felt conned and taken for granted.
He said they were angry that sitting MP and Premier Denis Napthine had held back on promising funds, such as the $100 million stage two redevelopment of the Warrnambool Base Hospital.
“They believe the hospital commitment should have been made in May when the budget was announced.”