Steve Kamper, who won Rockdale for Labor said, “I cannot thank the people of Rockdale enough for their endorsement of me.
“I recognise that not everybody voted for me and my commitment to the Rockdale community is that I will represent each and every person in my electorate without fear or favour.”
Chris Minns, who won Kogarah for Labor, said it was not the “walk in the park” suggested by some observers.
“[Liberal candidate] Nick Aroney was a strong opponent and a lovely person,” he said.
“I knew when Nick was pre-selected, we were in for a hard fight.
”The Cherie Burton factor was also large.
Cherie [the Labor MP who retired at the election] had a big incumbency following, and that’s not transferrable.
“A lot of people who voted for Cherie wouldn’t consider themselves Labor supporters, so we had to work hard to gain their confidence.”
Mr Minns said the swing to Labor, with vote counting incomplete, was about three per cent.
“Without being mawkish I am thrilled”, he said.
”I think it is an honour to be elected as the member for Kogarah.
“The supporters work so hard and you don’t want to let them down either.
“We had a great party and now the hard work begins.”
Lee Evans, who was re-electe in Heathcote said he wished to “thank people for their confidence in me”.
He said he and his team would visit Sutherland, Engadine and Helensburgh railway stations tomorrow morning to thank voters.
Mr Evans said it was “”a pretty intense campaign”, strongly influenced by Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon.
Melanie Gibbons, who held the seat of Menai, which was radically reshaped and renamed Holsworthy, was a standout Liberal Party winner.
Labor was confident of winning the seat, despite the Liberal Party’s notional margin of 10.7 per cent.
However, Ms Gibbons won 59.4 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, and there was a swing of only 1.3 per cent to Labor.
Ms Gibbons won every booth at the Sutherland Shire end of the electorate.
At Lucas Heights Community School polling booth, she gained 1223 primary votes, compared with 288 for Labor candidate Christina Kaliyanda.
See Tuesday’s Leader for full election coverage.
Were you pleased or disappointed with the result in your electorate?
SATURDAY UPDATE: 10PM
Sitting Liberal Mark Coure bucked the trend by gaining a swing of more than four per cent in Oatley, which appeared to be the biggest swing to the Liberal Party in the state.
"It’s an amazing result, and I think it proves hard work always wins,” he said.
“They did throw a lot at us, a lot of negative propaganda and allegedly ripping posters down, but I think people saw through it.”
Asked about the strong campaign over electricity privatisation waged in Oatley by workers at the local Ausgrid depot, Mr Coure said, “They have every right to campaign, but it’s a vote of confidence that people want to see results, and they will always reward hard work.
“My campaign team will be at Oatley railways station on Monday morning to say thank you.”
When asked by the ABC if he thought a photos of Mike Baird holding his baby James helped him win votes, Mr Coure smiled and said the election had put everything, including James's recent first birthday, on hold. "We will celebrate in style now," he said.
Labor candidate for Oatley O’Bray Smith called Mark Coure to concede defeat.
“While disappointed, I hope Narwee railway station will get a new lift, Mortdale fire station will remain open, there will be no recriminations against firefighters [who campaigned at polling booths] and that St George Hospital is rebuilt,” she said.
Swings to Labor in others seats, according to the ABC’s analysis, included 2.7 per cent in Cronulla, 11.9 per cent in Heathcote, 10 per cent in Miranda (on the 2011 election result, not the 2013 by-election outcome), and 7.5 per cent in Rockdale.
The Liberal Party has regained the seat of Miranda, but lost Rockdale, in today’s state election.
Oatley has been retained by the Liberals, along with Cronulla and Heathcote.
Labor has retained Kogarah.
John Flowers was philosophical about his term as the MP for Rockdale ending.
“From school teacher to councillor, to mayor, to MP, I am ready to move on to the next stage of my life,””he said.
“We tried for a second term but it wasn’t to be.”
Mr Flowers said he had called Stave Kamper to concede defeat and congratulate him.
“I think he will be a good new member for Rockdale,” Mr Flowers said.
Mike Baird’s Coalition government has had a comfortable win, but could lose 10 or more seats.
Labor candidate for Miranda, Greg Holland, said at 8.15pm his primary vote was about 15 per cent behind that of Liberal rival Eleni Petinos.
Mr Holland said the result was shaping as Labor getting a swing of about six per cent on the 2011 result, before the 2013 by-election “aberration”.
“We have had some big swings today in some booths, including 11 per cent in Alfords Point, 15 per cent in Bonnet Bay (his home suburb) and 14 per cent in Como, not including Como West,” he said.