SUSSAN Ley has made Farrer mission impossible for a Cathy McGowan-style assault in future elections by comfortably retaining the seat on Saturday.
The Albury-based candidate has claimed a fifth election victory and her anticipated final margin of around 20 per cent will make Farrer one of the Liberal’s safest electorates in NSW.
Ms Ley is on track to regain the ground she lost at the 2010 poll with a swing towards her of 5.25 per cent with votes from 94 of the 105 polling booths counted.
As expected, Ms Ley had a clean sweep of the eight Albury booths on a two candidate preferred basis with Labor’s Gavin Hickey and she also won the two booths in Lavington and Thurgoona.
Her first preference votes sat on 40,449 at the closing of counting on Saturday night to be well clear of Mr Hickey on 17,861.
Ms Ley is expected to become the minister for childcare and early childhood learning and employment participation in government under prime minister Tony Abbott after the Coalitions' crushing election win.
Meanwhile, Mr Hickey bucked the trend of nationwide carnage for his party by holding ground on results from the 2010 election.
But the chances of Labor ever winning the seat again remain remote with Mr Hickey mustering 25 per cent of the vote with postal and pre-polls still to be counted.
Mr Hickey has 17,861 first preference votes and is within striking distance of the 20,981 his predecessor Christian Emmery collected three years ago.
The first-time candidate offered his congratulations by phone to Ms Ley as party leader Tony Abbott was making his acceptance speech.
Labor’s strongest support was again at Broken Hill with seven of the eight booths set to be won by the outgoing party.
Mr Hickey said this was a great result for the party following a disastrous showing at the NSW state election.
The school-teacher again had to contend with a limited budget of around $3000 to make inroads into the Liberal stranglehold.