Goodnight and Good Luck

Peter Solness for TIME

Bitter blow: Howard supporters at the Prime Minister's election night party watch in dismay as the results come in

The unclaimed passes in the lobby of Sydney's Wentworth Hotel suggested many Coalition supporters had lost their faith even before John Howard's election night function had begun. Some had lost their composure: there were tears from a Young Liberal lad, perhaps owing more to alcohol than sentiment; another roared, "We love you Johnnie," even though Johnnie was still at home watching the tumbling seats drive him from office.

Former Liberal Senator Michael Baume sipped at a glass of red in the foyer, explaining why the government had gone. Howard had given Australians so much,...

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