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Berejiklian’s old seat in jeopardy for Liberals

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The NSW blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Willoughby on Sydney’s north shore hangs in the balance after voters went to the polls on the weekend in four state byelections.

The seat was held by popular former premier Gladys Berejiklian with a hefty margin of 21 per cent but the party is facing a swing against it of more than 19 per cent.

With 32.7 per cent of votes counted, Liberal candidate Tim James leads with 51.9 per cent, just ahead of Independent Larissa Penn on 48.1 per cent.

Treasurer Matt Kean said he was confident postal votes would favour the Liberal Party as counting continued.

“I’m confident we will get over the line but we’re not going to count our chickens yet,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.

“We will go through the process and see what the people of Willoughby decide.

“When Gladys [Berejiklian] ran in 2003, she only won by 144 votes,” he said.

ABC election analyst Antony Green said the seat remained in doubt after preference flows were released on Tuesday.

“Who would have thought of these four byelections that Willoughby would be the close one,” he tweeted.

“This is the result with federal election implications.”

Willoughby overlaps the federal seat of North Sydney. It is held by Liberal backbencher Trent Zimmerman, who if preselected will face a strong challenge from independent Kylea Tink.

On Saturday, NSW voters went to the polls in four byelections in Strathfield, Monaro, Bega and Willoughby.

Labor candidate Michael Holland looks likely to have secured Bega for the party for the first time while the ALP retained Strathfield and the Nationals held Monaro.

The final results may not be known until March 11 due to a surge in postal votes. The NSW Electoral Commission will begin processing them on Wednesday.

We’ve Already Come Too Far To End This Now.

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