At last the phony election campaign - which seems to have been going for months is over and the real one can begin.
All the polls are telling us that Labor are likely to win the election, and possibly in some comfort, and the Coalition have only themselves to blame.
Who could forget the period between 2010 and 2013 when Labor in power and flipped and flopped leaders and were rightly castigated by the then-opposition and roundly booted out of office in 2013.
Now the shoe is very much on the other foot, with the Coalition recycling their way through three leaders since 2015.
For the fourth election in a row, the prime minister elected at the beginning of the parliamentary cycle has failed to make it through to judgement day at the end.
The voters were none too impressed to be denied their chance to deliver their verdict on Kevin Rudd (2010), Julia Gillard (2013), Tony Abbott (2016) or Malcolm Turnbull now in 2019.
The pattern is looking ominously similar. A new government in 2007 scraped across the line in 2010 and was savaged in 2013.
A new government in 2013 scraped across the line in 2016 and now looks like being savaged in 2019.
The polls tell us that Bill Shorten is not popular, but then again neither was Tony Abbott in 2013. Perhaps too much store is placed on the leader - our elections, despite the hype, are not presidential but 150 separate contests around the country, and it is hard to see how the LNP is going to win 75 or more of those contests.
In our local contest, Bob Katter - despite never formally saying he would run - is back for yet another tilt, and another likely victory. Mr Katter and I have had our run-ins especially as I have made no secret of my opinion it is time for him to retire.
Needless to say Mr Katter pays no attention to my opinion.
As long as he remains in office, he will always be a formidable public figure, but whether he will be a force in the next parliament depends on the election being a lot closer than the polls predict - Derek Barry
Responsibility for election comment in this issue is accepted by North West Star editor Derek Barry, 112 Camooweal St, Mount Isa, Qld.