Looking for a place to celebrate or commiserate after the polls close on Saturday? The Canberra Times have got you covered in your convivial quest with a tailor made map of all the venues around the capital who are hosting Election Night parties. Cheers!
Canberra’s pubs and clubs are stepping up in the wake of the national tally room’s closure, hosting events across the city during tomorrow's vote.
The Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn confirmed the closure of the political institution in July, several weeks after reports that commercial broadcasters planned to abandon the service.
Mr Killesteyn said online advances meant the service based at Exhibition Park was used as little more than a visual backdrop for many outlets, making it hard for the commission to justify its $1.2 million price tag.
It’s a loss for political junkies, but local business owners such as Mary-Jane Liddicoat have jumped at the opportunity to cater to those in mourning.
The owner of Polit Bar in Manuka said the election would coincide with the venue’s official opening, where she would welcome people to “celebrate, commiserate, or express indifference” while the votes were counted.
“We’re opening when the polls open,” she said.
“We are licenced until 4am. We’ll open when the polls open and will close very, very late.”
Ms Liddicoat said the bar had been getting into the spirit early by running an election cocktail poll since the September 7 vote was announced.
Patrons can purchase a blue, red or green concoction to cast their vote and also enjoy an appearance by Gillard impersonator Julia Spillard, also known as Gabby Millgate, when the polls close.
“This will be one of her farewell performances in that role, given that Julia Gillard has retired from that life,” she said.
Like many venues across the city, Polit Bar’s televisions will also be tuned into the election coverage.
However, there are some venues willing to offer a safe haven for people needing a break from political coverage.
Wig and Pen owner Lochie McOrmish said the Civic pub would be welcoming “election refugees”, adding that Melbourne Cup Day was the only occasion a television was allowed in the venue.
“We will sit and have a normal night and be a bit of an escape for people who are electioned out,” he said.
“There are some places that do it really well, but that’s not what the Wig and Pen is about.”