Live from the tally room

It’s 8.22pm on election night and the Tally room is a crazy busy, fluro lit, noisy pointing clapping chaos with politicians and cameras and AEC tech heads running and writing and filming and screaming and […]

It’s 8.22pm and the Tally room is a crazy busy, fluro lit, noisy pointing clapping chaos with politicians and cameras and AEC tech heads running and writing and filming and screaming and drinking beer from plastic cups.

The journalists look freaked out, stressed and speedy filing and snapping and typing while the crowds are glued to giant TV screens, occasionally checking back over their shoulders at the ancient green board.

“I like the old flip board,” one punter tells me.

“Don’t get rid of it and digitize. It’s a bit more human.”

The public crowds indoors arrived early, some at 4.30 or 5pm, to stand for hours.

“I’m here to see democracy in action,” a young woman from Cooma tells me.

“When I was little I nagged my parents to take me down to the tally room. Now that I’m a grown up I come every election.”

They come here because they love the tally room, arguing it provides more sense of community than the view from their living room couch.

They tell me the set up was better before, when the crowds walked behind the elevated TV sets.

“Kerry got upset. Because the crowds were screaming so hard for Julia.”

But that was three years ago now and the mood on the floor is muddled. Not enough votes have come in to call the winners, but in the ACT the gap between Greens Senate Candidate Lin Hatfield Dodds and Liberal Senator Gary Humphries is as predicted with 2000 primary votes dividing them at last count.

Kate Lundy, pink lipsticked and smiling, has already crossed the line.

More from the floor as news comes in. Follow our updates on twitter @city_news

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