Party faithful upbeat in face of crushing defeat

HAPPIER TIME: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife Therese Rein cast their vote at a voting centre at St Paul’s Anglican church in Brisbane yesterday.
HAPPIER TIME: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife Therese Rein cast their vote at a voting centre at St Paul’s Anglican church in Brisbane yesterday. LUKAS COCHAAP

CHEERS for red. Boos for blue. The victory was sour.

But there was little they could do.

The crowd at Kevin Rudd's post-election event at the Brisbane Cricket Ground was surprisingly upbeat despite the disheartening figures across the two huge wall-mounted screens.

It helped that a few children, like three-year-old Natasha Gishkariany-Myles, were running around, weaving between legs, and putting smiles on faces.

The chit-chat moved fluidly as each federal electorate seat crossed the screens with the appropriate Labor response depending on the votes counted so far.

Queensland Labor stateMP Jackie Trad said the mood was upbeat because people were proud that the ALP put up a good fight.

She said they had seen Labor annihilated in the state election in 2012 and knew everyone had worked as hard as they could.

"This is a crowd that understands what it's like for Labor to be wiped out," she said.

There were gasps and chuckles in disbelief when Clive Palmer's possible Fairfax win flashed up.

The room was aflutter with comments about Palmer United Party's presence at the polls.

Ms Trad, who handed out how-to-vote cards across south Brisbane, said PUP had taken votes away from both major parties.

"I think Clive Palmer has seriously engaged in the election campaign. He has provided a lightning rod for people not captivated by the mainstream election campaign," she said.

Both wall-mounted televisions were screening ABC24, some saying Sky was abandoned because it comes under the banner of News Ltd which has been unrelentingly against Mr Rudd.

ALP's younger supporters refused to lose hope despite the numbers on the screen.

Chris Goder, 26, spent the day at Mackenzie Primary School in Brisbane handing out how-to-vote cards for the man he wants to continue to lead our country.

"There's always those people that are a bit rude but there were a few people that would take me aside and say 'I hope Labor wins'," he said.

"I believe in Kevin. I believe in marriage equality, NBN, workers' rights and I don't want to this country pushed back into the 1950s.

"I'm not enjoying these numbers but there's always hope."

Topics:  federal election 2013 kevin rudd labor party

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