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Despite the morbid prognostications of Mr Mackerras and the left-wing locos, I said before the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections that both seats would be retained easily by the Liberals, that neither would go to preferences, and that there was a chance both candidates would be returned with increased majorities.

I even gave a fairly detailed analysis of why I thought so.

By 8.30 on Saturday night it was clear the Liberals had won both seats easily. It was not clear then what the final two party result would be. I said that increased majorities were still likely after postal and absentee votes were counted.

My guesses on the night were:

Higgins 58% to 42%. Actual result 59.6% to 40.4%.

Bradfield 64% to 36%. Actual result 63.9% to 36.1%.

About half a percent increase in the majority in Bradfield. About what I expected – 64% is a pretty decisive result and will be difficult to better.

But a nearly 3% increase in Higgins – the seat Mackerras said would be lost to Clive Hamilton and the Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden Party.

When you consider both seats had lost long-time, high profile, popular incumbents, this is an an amazing result.

And I did pretty well, too.

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