Former cabinet minister Stuart Ayres and Liberal Party hold hope of hanging onto Penrith and another electorate as vote counting resumes


Former cabinet minister Stuart Ayres and the Liberal Party are holding out hope of hanging onto Penrith and another electorate on Sydney’s fringe as vote counting resumes.

As premier-elect Chris Minns gets to work on Monday, the Penrith MP and former deputy Liberal leader will be watching to see if he can claw back a 3.1 per cent swing to Labor.

Ayres was trailing Labor’s Karen McKeown by 1451 votes, or 2.5 per cent, when counting stopped on Saturday.

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“There’s still a lot of pre-poll and postals to be counted in Camden and Penrith,” a NSW Liberal Party spokesman told AAP.

It’s one of several battles still ongoing for the Liberals, which started Saturday with a claim on 33 seats.

Stuart Ayres with defeated premier Dominic Perrottet. Counting in Ayres’ seat of Penrith has recommenced. Credit: AAP

The party has a firm hold of 15 seats, is ahead in six and is a chance in another five or six.

“Apart from obviously asking for an unprecedented 16 years, the retirement of hard-working local members made a considerable difference,” the party spokesman said.

“As opposed to the overall primary, in the seats where our MPs retired there was an average swing of about 12 per cent.

Chris Minns with his family. Over the next few days he will be sworn in by Governor Margaret Beazley. Credit: Dean Lewins/AAP

Still, large swings were still felt in Dominic Perrottet’s seat of Epping (8.5 per cent) and outgoing treasurer Matt Kean’s Hornsby (9.2 per cent).

Kean on Sunday put a line through himself as a potential contender to Perrottet, after the defeated premier also quit the leadership in his concession speech.

The moderate powerbroker said he was instead choosing to “hang out and be a dad” to his three-year-old son, Tommy, while serving his Hornsby electorate.

“I have a young family and I would love to spend a little more time with them,” he said late on Sunday.

“The election result will enable me to do that.”

Labor’s Chris Minns and outgoing premier Dominic Perrottet. Credit: Dean Lewins / James Gourley/AAP

Meanwhile, the work begins for Chris Minns and Labor as he prepares to be sworn in by Governor Margaret Beazley in coming days.

Ryan Park (health), deputy leader Prue Car (education), Jo Haylen (transport) and Penny Sharpe (environment) will stick with the portfolios they held in shadow cabinet.

The quartet made up half of those present at the Minns government’s first leadership meeting on Sunday.

Others present were John Graham, most recently Labor’s roads spokesman, likely treasurer Daniel Mookhey and Heffron MP Ron Hoenig, a barrister and former public defender who could become the state’s next attorney-general.

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