ALL in all, the mood was pleasant at the polling stations visited by the Register on Saturday.
Campaign volunteers in blue, red, green, yellow and white T-shirts exchanged friendly banter as they competed to get their how-to-vote cards into the hands of voters heading into polling stations to cast their ballots.
There was certainly no sign of the bitterness played out on the nightly news. The congeniality reflected the generally civilised campaign in Gilmore.
Apart from grumblings about posters featuring former PMs Rudd and Gillard in an embrace, which carried no party label, there were no major upsets, although some Liberals at one booth claimed The Greens had been a little vigorous with their how-to-vote cards.
Campaign volunteers reported large turnouts in the morning followed by hours of inactivity as the rush subsided and voters got on with their normal Saturday routines.
Some volunteers put the quiet turnout down to the large number of people who had pre-polled.
After polls had closed, supporters of Ann Sudmalis and the Liberal team gathered at the Nowra School of Arts, while Neil Reilly and a small clutch of Labor supporters gathered at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club in Nowra.
A technical hitch at the Liberal gathering meant there was no sound from the big screen set up for the occasion. It fell to state MPs Gareth Ward and Shelley Hancock to call out the numbers. With an elderly contingent present, it resembled a night at the bingo.
The mood was initially subdued in the Reilly camp, with supporters fearing the worst. As it turned out the national result for Labor was not as apocalyptic as predicted and the result in Gilmore, while not a victory for the ALP, certainly lifted spirits.
Mr Reilly was chuffed to be called by outgoing Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, who congratulated him on resisting the national ebb tide from Labor.