While it's not expected to be officially declared until next month, Labor's Michael Holland has claimed victory in Bega following a significant swing in Saturday's by-election.
It's the first time in the NSW electorate's history Labor will hold the previously very safe Liberal seat.
Labor was facing a 6.9 per cent deficit from the previous election, but Dr Holland claimed victory on Saturday night after a swing of almost 14 per cent.
Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs is understood to not yet be conceding the election, preferring to await confirmation of postal and pre-poll numbers that will still feed in over the next fortnight.
However, at a function on Saturday night, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet acknowledged Dr Kotvojs was unlikely to win the seat vacated by Liberal colleague and federal government aspirant Andrew Constance.
"I want to congratulate Dr Michael Holland, he has big shoes to fill and I'm sure he'll do a great job representing Bega," Mr Perrottet told the ABC.
Dr Holland said unless there was a drastic change in postal vote results, he was confident the apparent victory would hold.
"You don't make that claim without good advice," Dr Holland said.
"So when I came out last night and did so I was doing that with confidence."
The respected obstetrician and gynaecologist said several key issues stood out for him during the campaign as a point of difference between the major parties.
"It shows there was a significant local sentiment here [against the state government].
"I started off with health naturally, but as the campaign continued housing was an important issue. There's also still a lot to do in bushfire recovery, which is a big issue, particularly in and around Mogo and Cobargo."
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Dr Holland said while his win meant Bega would have a member in opposition, he would be fighting strongly for his community, with that advocacy "likely to be more powerful with the government further in minority now".
"And it's good to have those 13 months in opposition to make sure we go to an election with clear policies on health and housing."
Dr Holland was meeting Labor leader Chris Minns in the Euorobdalla Sunday morning before returning to "normal work" on Monday.
However, on Tuesday he said he was heading to Sydney to be introduced to the Labor Caucus.
"I was planning to be in Bega for the nurses rally, but I believe there's also ghoing to be one in Martin Place I can attend.
"I will be there [at Bega] in spirit though."