SARAH De Santis is one step closer to being elected as the new Ripon MP after counting finished with the Labor candidates just 31 votes ahead of Liberal Louise Staley.
But Ms De Santis is not quite ready to take her seat in Victoria’s lower house just yet, with final declarations still to be announced.
Speaking to The Courier on Wednesday morning, Ms De Santis said there was still a long way to go and believing there may still be a chance of a recount.
“I’m sure there will be a push for a recount,” Ms De Santis said. “It’s not just one position, there’s staff involved, there’s people’s livelihoods as well.
“We always thought it could not get any closer than .8 of a per cent, I guess we were wrong about that.
“But right now, it’s all in the hands of the Victoria Electoral Commission.”
Ms De Santis said she had tried to remain calm despite the long wait to determine the seat.
“You put in all the effort possible in the lead up to the election, but after election day, there’s nothing more you can do,” she said.
At the close of counting and preference distribution, Ms De Santis leads with 20030 votes, compared to Ms Staley’s 19999.
It is understood the result could be one of the tightest ever and could equal that of federal seat McEwen in 2007.
In that election Labor's Rob Mitchell was ahead by six votes after the first count but a review gave a 12-vote victory to the Liberal Fran Bailey. A court challenge to some ballots extended that lead to 31.
What areas are in the Ripon electorate? Explore here.
The closest ever count was in 1999 when the seat of Geelong was decided by just 16 votes. In 2006, Ferntree Gully was decided by 27 votes.
In 1985, under a different voting system, the upper house seat of Nunawading produced a tied result which saw the Labor candidate Bob Ives win after having his name drawn out of a hat.
A subsequent court order for a by-election saw Liberal candidate Rosemary Varty elected.
A Victorian Electoral Commission spokesman said as it stands there is a “successful candidate but it’s not until the declaration that the candidate will be elected”.
The spokesman said any candidate could request a recount, but whether it happens would be up to the electoral commissioner.
“There’s not magic threshold or number to say there must be a recount,” he said.
“The votes have been counted and recounted, so you would need to look closely to see if there are any grounds for the it.”
The spokesman confirmed that the 1999 Geelong vote was not recounted.
Ms Staley has not returned calls from The Courier.