CHRIS Minns, who gained a swing of 1.4 per cent in winning Kogarah for Labor, said it was never going to be the "walk in the park" some would have believed.
"[Liberal candidate] Nick Aroney was a strong opponent and a lovely person," he said.
"I knew when Nick was pre-selected that we were in for a hard fight.
"The Cherie Burton factor was also large.
"Cherie had a big following, and that's not transferable.
"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 Aroney said he had enjoyed the experience and did as well as he could, given that Kogarah had been a Labor seat since 1950.
"I wanted to get as close as possible," he said.
The fact that he had only three-and-a-half months to get into the swing of campaigning while his opponent Mr Minns had about 18 months had also been a huge negative.
"I didn't have the necessary length of time to get my profile up," Mr Aroney said.
"It was a little like a contest between David and Goliath but I rolled up my sleeves and did my best."
Mr Aroney said that Kingsgrove, Bexley and parts of Carlton registered the worst results for the Liberals.
He attributed some of this to changed rail timetables and reduced services, along with Kogarah's ongoing parking problems.
Mr Minns said he had not yet analysed the results but believed there were good swings towards Labor in Carlton south and Kogarah; results were tighter in Hurstville and Beverly Hills.
He was thrilled Labor was back in its traditional areas and would work hard to better his 7 per cent margin.