Don goes and Ballina becomes only NSW seat without an MP
BALLINA is the only seat in NSW without a current MP following the retirement of Don Page after almost 27 years as the sitting member.
Mr Page's tenure as member finished the day before the election, Friday March 27.
Southern Cross University political lecturer Dr Jo Coghlan said the current situation in the seat of Ballina was not unique and has happened before.
"The normal course of affairs when a seat hasn't been declared in a general election is that the electorate staff, who are employed by the sitting MP, remain employed for a number of weeks after the election," she said.
"If the MP is returned then it's business as usual.
"If there's a change of seat then there a couple of weeks to clean out the office of the sitting MP."
Dr Coghlan said if there are constituent issues that arise when a seat is undeclared, staff refer those to another sitting MP to handle.
NSW Electoral Commission Ballina returning officer Ian Smith said the new member for Ballina would not be officially declared until next Thursday.
ABC election analyst Antony Green is still predicting the Greens Tamara Smith to win Ballina over Nationals candidate Kris Beavis.
Mr Beavis had a clear lead of 4856 on primary votes over Ms Smith on Thursday afternoon, after 82.6% of the votes were counted.
After preferences are distributed Ms Smith was sitting just ahead of Mr Beavis, gaining 51.9% of the vote compared to Mr Beavis' 48.1%.