Voters across Newcastle and the Hunter watch this election play out in other places. Only the seat of Robertson, way down on the Gosford end of the Central Coast, is in play. Otherwise, local seat watching next Saturday night will be dull.
There'll be no live crosses to the seats of Dobell, Shortland, Newcastle, Paterson or Hunter. All will stay in Labor hands, nobody will be surprised.
And after the election we will resume our longstanding conversation: How does a region filled with safe Labor seats gain any political leverage? Rusted-on loyalty earns little reward in modern politics.
One way to secure leverage, of course, is to have a direct line to cabinet. If Labor wins government, Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon will presumably become a senior member of cabinet. He'll be busy with national responsibility for agriculture, fisheries and forestry and perhaps the portfolio of rural and regional Australia, given these are his shadow ministerial responsibilities. But Mr Fitzgibbon has a big swag where he can carry the interests of Newcastle and the Hunter as well, no?
After the election we will resume our longstanding conversation: How does a region filled with safe Labor seats gain any political leverage?
But if the Coalition wins government, don't hold your breath waiting for ministers to come asking what they can do for Labor heartland. Still, we also get a vote next Saturday in the Senate. Can we hope for leverage via that chamber?
Unfortunately for NSW voters the Senate voting system is heavily weighted against the nation's larger states, and NSW is the largest. Big or small, each Australian state is represented by the same number of senators. So Tasmania gets the full kit of 12 senators for its 386,000 electors, while NSW has the same number for its 5,300,000 electors. Crikey.
This generosity in favour of the smaller states makes it easier for minnows from those states to get elected. Winning a Senate seat in NSW on Saturday will require a quota of about 750,000 votes after preferences. But in Tasmania a quota will be only 55,000 votes, and in South Australia only around 170,000 votes.
The effect of the much larger quota in NSW is that only candidates backed by well-funded, well-organised campaigns get elected. So NSW Senators come invariably from the major parties.
But in states where the quotas are very low, left-field candidates have a much easier pathway into office.
In Tasmania, Jaqui Lambie, elected to the Senate in 2016 for the Palmer United Party but resigning in 2017 because of dual citizenship, stands a good chance of regaining a Senate place with a tally that would put her at the back of a Senate race in NSW.
Similarly, in South Australia, the Centre Alliance party could repeat its 2016 success as the Nick Xenophon Team, but with a losing vote count were it in a NSW contest.
This imbalance impedes good government. If the party that wins the House of Representatives next Saturday fails also to also win a majority of Senate seats, then it will probably need the support of low-vote senators from the small states to get budgets and key legislation enacted.
To secure this support, then, the government must always be mindful of the interests of the small fries on the cross bench, and fund their pet projects accordingly. And so it goes.
Do you think the writers of our constitution would have reconsidered if they knew the distortions their formula for the Senate would cause?
Historians tell us the Senate was designed as a house of review. Instead it operates too often as a house of obstruction.
In 1968 prime minister Robert Menzies warned that actions by the Senate to overturn legislation passed by the lower house would be "a falsification of democracy".
In 1974 Prime Minister Gough Whitlam quoted Menzies' words when frustrated by Senators voting against legislation to create the universal health care system Whitlam had promised voters.
In 1992, famously, prime minister Paul Keating captured the historic frustration of the House of Representatives in calling the Senate "unrepresentative swill".
So Saturday looms as a day of double frustration for Hunter voters: of living in a neglected heartland, with a democratically-elected government obstructed by unrepresentative swill.
Enjoy your voter sausage. And be careful what you throw at the telly.