The polls, her opposition, and even senior ministers within her own party thought Julie Owens had no chance of winning Parramatta for Labor.
But although she’s not claiming victory just yet, she’s feeling more confident than not that she will hold the bellwether seat for the fourth time.
As of Wednesday noon, Ms Owens was about 1000 votes ahead of the Liberal candidate Martin Zaiter, with about 7500 postal votes still to be counted.
Ms Owens said she was ‘‘98 per cent’’ sure she will retain the seat because there would need to be a significant swing against her in the postals for her to lose.
But she’s following an old adage and hasn’t declared her win yet.
‘‘It’s wise not to count your chickens before they hatch. I’ve got enough eggs but just in case a duckling comes out of one I will wait.’’
Most polling showed Parramatta would be won by the Liberals and Ms Owens said even Labor ministers didn’t visit the area before the election because they thought it was ‘‘unwinnable’’.
‘‘The reality is that nobody thought I could win, apart from the locals. Anybody who was watching the polls and the trends thought I had lost it six months ago, the only person who didn’t think I had lost it was me,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t think you make a great difference in the election campaign, it’s about really consistent hard work over many years.’’
Mr Zaiter said he was "definitely still in the race" and expects the postal votes to favour him over Ms Owens.
"I'm definitely not conceding yet there is a long way to go," Mr Zaiter said.
Although Ms Owens is tipped to win, the seat has so far recorded a 3.6 per cent swing to Mr Zaiter.
As of Wednesday, Mr Zaiter had recorded more primary votes but Ms Owens held 50.8 per cent of the vote after preferences were distributed.
Ms Owens said she will put her hand up for a shadow portfolio but wouldn’t be drawn on who she preferred to lead the Labor Party now Kevin Rudd has quit the position.