In such a close race as the Melbourne byelection any advantage could swing a couple of votes to a party, and those votes could win the seat.
It’s not surprising then that prime bunting positions were snagged early.
At midnight North Melbourne Primary School was swaddled in bunting. Labor had the lion’s share of space.
Docklands was a different story. Depending where you stand, Labor had the advantage, but the Greens had key positions in the bunting war of 2012.
The entrances of the polling place were gateways of green, but from across the street it was a red tide of Labor bunting.
The minor candidates, understaffed compared to the Greens and Labor, were lucky to secure unclaimed space.
Did it pay off? Between 4pm and 5pm we asked every 10th voter leaving the Docklands polling booths who they voted for.
Turnout was slow, only about 50 voters turned up in that hour, but all but one voter said they picked the Greens.
In the 2010 state election Docklands was a win for the Liberals, out of 941 votes lodged Luke Martin took 421, the Greens’ Brian Walters took 185 and Bronwyn Pike, the former Labor MP whose resignation sparked this byelection, took 255.
At noon outside Carlton Primary School, the Greens appeared to have it.
One voter remarked she'd voted ‘‘Greens. I'm sick of Labor and I'd never vote Liberals’’. Carlton Central and North polling places were Green wins in 2010.
At Kensington Primary School from about 5pm until the polls shut at 6pm about half of voters said they picked Greens. The rest of the voters didn’t want to tell MTW who they voted for.
Labor was well ahead of the Greens and Liberals in the 2010 poll at Kensington.
It’s far too early to make any call on the outcome of the byelection. This story is not to be taken as an indication of the election’s outcome.
More to come, including the election’s result.