REGION - Nationals candidate Andrew Broad is favoured to secure the seat of Mallee, but with preferences still to be counted yesterday, it was too close to call.
Close to 82 per cent of the votes had been counted up until yesterday morning, with Mr Broad having secured 39.51% first preference votes. This gives him the upper hand to retain the safe Nationals seat held since 1993.
However, the final outcome will depend on the distribution of Labor preferences, which were still being counted.
Mr Broad said yesterday he had received advice that it could be 'a number of days' before the result for Mallee is known.
"I will say I am cautiously optimistic and I am happy with the campaign we ran," Mr Broad said.
"With regards to the outcome, I use the analogy that I've been a farmer for many years and only after I tip the gauge out, am I aware of how much rain I've had."
Liberal candidate Chris Crewther had polled 27% of the primary vote up to yesterday and was awaiting the outcome of the counting of preferences.
Mr Crewther said he had been pleased with the way the campaign went.
The first Liberal candidate to contest Mallee in 20 years, Mr Crewther said he would not be giving up hope of securing the seat until the last vote is counted.
"The preferences are still being counted, so the result is up in the air," Mr Crewther said.
"It's not over until it's over. I am 50 points down at three quarter timne, but I can still win it."
Mr Crewther said regardless of the outcome, he was pleased to have been able to secure funding for vital projects in the region under the newly elected Coalition government.
"I am particularly pleased to have secured the Green Army funding for Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans," Mr Crewther said.
"Securing funding for vital rehabilitation works at both lakes is a real boost for the Stawell community. It's a great project for Stawell and the Grampians and regardless of the outcome of the election, I am happy the funding has been secured."
Mr Crewther said with preferences still being counted, the candidates would now be playing a waiting game.
"As the 1993 result showed, it could take weeks to determine an outcome," he said.
"If it is really close, then there could even be a recount, you just never know. It could be a few days, it could be a few weeks before we know."
In the 1993 election, retired Mallee member John Forrest, won the seat for the Nationals from Liberal candidate Andrew Kidd by 0.5 per cent.