Hope and Glory

Paul Blackmore / Rapho for TIME

Victory salute: Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd acknowledges the crowd in Brisbane with wife Therese Rein and youngest son Marcus

After so long in opposition, victory is a sweet but strange fruit for the Labor faithful packed into a function room at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. Between the party notching its election-winning 76th seat and the arrival on stage of Kevin Rudd, guests are occupied mostly by their own thoughts. "The polls had been good for so long . . . then came the bad ones yesterday," says silver-haired Tony Smith, a "booth captain" in Rudd's seat of Griffith. "Now it's relief."

Earlier, nerves were palpable. While the exit polls were encouraging and the swing...

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