This week it looks likely Labor leader Anthony Albanese's "captain's pick", former Bega Valley mayor Kristy McBain, is set to replace retired MP Mike Kelly in Canberra.
In just six months, the Traralgon-born mother of three young children has gone from providing daily bushfire updates to anxious communities, to most likely gaining her own seat on the Labor backbench in a Liberal Party-led federal parliament.
Director of the Australian Politics Studies Centre at the Australian National University, Dr Marija Taflaga, said the campaign's "endless flyers" and robocalls during a time of COVID-19 made it one of the strangest elections she has ever seen.
She said while the "symbolic nature" of by-elections is overestimated, results from Saturday show "voters are clearly looking further afield than the two major parties".
Dr Taflaga said the arrival of the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party, who picked up 5.44 per cent of the vote, "is the most interesting thing to come out of the by-election", with the party's growth in the north of the state now potentially spreading to the south.
"What is really hard to determine is why people have voted the way they have," Dr Taflaga said.
"People know things will get worse [due to the recession], but don't understand what that will mean."
Dr Taflaga said "voter identification" is higher in Australia than anywhere else in the world, but things are changing and parties are concerned it is getting harder for them to rely on voters and form big majorities.
"We are seeing a long-term shift in voting patterns," Dr Taflaga said.
She said the public rarely remembers by-elections, and put Saturday's, in a region still dealing with disaster and navigating a pandemic, in that category.
"Angry voters will still be angry in two to three years," she said.
While some pundits have said having an MP who is not in government essentially makes them ineffective, that may not be the case in areas which are market driven, like the current approach to climate change policy.
An opposition MP can work, much like Mike Kelly did, as a lobbyist with the private sector, harassing them to get on onboard local projects and invest big money in the region.
Whatever the result, one thing for certain is there will be one more strong female voice in parliament at a time the region needs an advocate.