Collier for Miranda is an easy-to-read, political memoir with a difference. It's the true story of a grassroots campaign by a first-time candidate seeking election as the Labor MP for the southern Sydney seat of Miranda in the New South Wales Parliament
An unknown, inexperienced political aspirant given no chance of defeating the very high profile, sitting Liberal MP, Barry Collier recounts his 1999 campaign - run on a shoestring budget with the help of local Labor Party members and supporters.
Barry takes you on a real political journey, from his preselection to election night itself. Along the way, he reveals his conversations with voters at their front doors, on the streets, at the railway stations and at the polling booths. He outlines the lessons he learnt and offers practical, down-to-earth advice with do's and don'ts about campaigning.
This book is a must read for political aspirants about to set foot on that perilous campaign trail and for the student of Australian politics. The lessons of the 1999 Labor campaign for Miranda are as relevant today as back then.
Barry Collier was the Labor MP for the southern Sydney seat of Miranda in the NSW Legislative Assembly from 1999 to 2011. Having retired after 3 terms, he returned to Parliament in 2013 with a record 27% by-election swing against the Liberal Government.
A barrister and former high school Economics teacher, Barry Collier was awarded the Order of Australia Medal 'for service to the Parliament of New South Wales, to the law and to education' in 2017.
PREFACE PART A: THE STARTING LINE
1. LABOR ASPIRANTS … AND ME
1.1. Getting into politics
1.2. Labor aspirants and the bodies
1.3. Labor pathways into NSW Parliament
1.4. One anomaly…Me!
2. FIRST ATTEMPT
2.1. Putting up my hand
2.3. Getting to know you
2.4. Candidate Forums: testing times
2.5. Preselection day and beyond
2.6. Another local preselection battle
2.7. Don't spit the dummy!
2.8. Scrutineering: the numbers in Cook
2.9. What about Miranda?
3. MIRANDA, HERE I COME!
3.1. Miranda on my mind
3.2. Homework time
3.3. I can win this!
3.4. Preselection for Miranda
3.5. Getting started: the groundwork
3.6. Getting a little good advice
3.7. December 4th and 5th, 1998
PART B: A SHOESTRING CAMPAIGN
4. EARLY DAYS
4.1. Getting started…with a media event
4.2. Some media of my own
4.3. Getting out there and doorknocking
4.4. A Premier call
4.5. Doorknocking stories #1, 2 and 3
4.6. Letters to Della
4.7. Shoestring campaigning
4.8. Doorknocking stories #4 and 5
4.9. A bridge, a street stall and Scully
4.10. Belief, arrogance and tall poppies
4.11. Doorknocking stories #6 and 7
4.12. Australia Day 1999
4.13. Keeping a promise
5. HARD SLOG
5.1. The Beverly Hillbillies
5.2. Doorknocking stories #8 and 9
5.3. The Campaign Office
5.4. A sign from above
5.5. Doorknocking story #10
5.6. A pressure group
5.7. Railway stations
5.8. Electricity privatisation: A case study
5.9. Doorknocking story #11
5.10. Shire commitments, Labor colleagues
5.11. Shopkeepers … A captive audience
5.12. And don't forget the schools!
6. SERIOUS STUFF
6.1. Come March and 'Candidate's Day'
6.2. Doorknocking stories #12 and 13
6.3. My Sussex Street summons
6.4. Candidates, donkeys and preferences
6.5. Two campaign launches
6.6. Pre-polling, Miranda style
6.7. Doorknocking story #14: The Litmus test
7. THE HOME TURN
7.2. Enter Mr Knowles
7.3. Infrastructure and other commitments
7.4. Newspaper ads, flies and loyalty
7.5. Where is 'The Absent Member for Miranda'?
7.6. Last week, last day
7.7. Last doorknocking story (#16)
PART C: ELECTION 1999
8. THE BIG DAY FINALLY ARRIVES
8.1. Kicking off on home turf: Kareela
8.2. Moving on … Gymea Bay and Sylvania Heights
8.3. Taking the pulse elsewhere
8.4. Oyster Bay: Why people vote for you!
8.5. Miranda suburban booths
8.6. At home with Mr Knight
9. ELECTION NIGHT
9.1. Early evening
9.3. Mr Knight's second announcement
9.4. At the Tradies
9.5. Other news reports
10. WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
10.1. Early morning, early thoughts
10.2. What the Sunday papers were saying
10.3. Sunday morning and a question
10.4. More media
10.5. More to do