MONACO - Opinion polls were forbidden as always, but for the first time a TV campaign was waged ahead of Sunday's vote to fill the 24 parliamentary seats in this Mediterranean principality best known as a playground for the rich.
There were even burning issues as the opposition tried to upset the old order that has had a monopoly on the National Council for three decades.
Two parties were facing off in the balloting: the Democratic National Union led by Jean-Louis Campora, president of the National Council for the past decade, and the opposition Union for Monaco, led by Stephane Valeri.
Monaco, with some 5,800 eligible voters, does not allow opinion polls ahead of the election and exit polls are banned.
But representatives, who were being selected for five-year terms, were allowed to wage their campaigns on television for the first time.
Politics in Monaco? Yes, even in this Riviera enclave that is smaller than New York's Central Park and usually brings to mind tax breaks, sumptuous casinos, beaches and Formula I racing.
Prince Rainier III, Monaco's ruler for the past 53 years, stays out of the fray.
The Union for Monaco, a coalition that includes the National Union for the Future of Monaco and Promotion of the Monegasque Family, has portrayed itself as the embodiment of the new generation in its bid to get a foothold in the National Council.
Campora - whose party has held all seats for 30 years - campaigned on the theme of political continuity. Campora, president of the first division soccer club AS Monaco, is a local heavyweight.
However, a change in the voting system - a mix of majority and proportional representation - could potentially give the opposition a place in the governing body, where seats were increased from 18 to 24.
Issues included renovation of the Princess Grace Hospital and the process of obtaining Monegasque nationality, desired by some of the world's wealthy seeking tax breaks.
The most intense debate centered on Monaco's bid for membership in the 44-nation Council of Europe, with the opposition claiming that Campora's party has dragged its feet on the issue. Campora's party said the question needed scrupulous study to be certain the principality loses nothing if admitted.
Official results were not expected before Monday morning.