Greens hopeful of Ballina, but expert tipping Labor win
BALLINA Greens candidate Tamara Smith says she has won every booth in the Byron Shire, some with massive swings, and is hopeful she could pull off an upset victory tonight.
About 50 loyal supporters have gathered at the Ocean Shoes Tavern for the Greens campaign party and the mood is exuberant.
Ms Smith said the Greens had also achieved a 4% swing at the Ballina High School booth, a usually more conservative vote.
"It's looking pretty exciting," she said.
The greens are expected to pick up labor preferences as well as preferences from independent candidate and ex-Green Jeff Johnson who has had a stronger than expected showing in the race.
However, at the Nationals' campaign office in Ballina, supporters of Kris Beavis remain hopeful they can get their man over the line.
Mr Beavis said whatever the result he would sleep well because he had run an honest grass-roots campaign.
The ABC's Antony Green says it looks almost certain that the Nationals have lost Ballina.
However, he says the Greens may be premature in their celebrations.
Mr Green pointed out the booths still to be counted in the electorate were the bigger booths in the more conservative Ballina-end of the electorate.
Depending on how those votes flowed, they could push the vote back over to Labor.
On the current estimates from the Electoral Commission, Mr Green was tentatively predicting a Labor win.