Eden-Monaro could produce an historic result in the 2016 federal election as the positive swing to Labor could mean an end to the bellwether status.
Just after 8.30pm Dr Mike Kelly addressed the crowd gathered at his function at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club.
"I can say that Eden-Monaro is going to come home to Labor tonight," he said.
At the same time, Labor was holding just more than 34 per cent of the vote nationally compared with the Coalition's 42 per cent. Similar numbers held steady throughout the night.
Just before 11pm, 69 per cent of votes were counted nationally with the Coalition holding 74 seats to Labor's 67.
This could produce an historic result for the key seat as for more than 40 years the electorate has gone to the party which forms government.
The consistent swing to Labor had Dr Kelly confident from early on in the evening.
He arrived at the party function in Queanbeyan to cheers and applause, about 7pm.
Across town, about five people were holding down the fort for incumbent Liberal member Peter Hendy.
It wasn't until much later when Dr Hendy arrived to thank his volunteers.
In conceding the electorate, he said he was proud of the campaign he and his team had waged.
"We focused on policy and presented a positive plan, but above all, we retained our honesty and integrity," Dr Hendy said in a statement.
"I congratulate Mike Kelly on his apparent success tonight, and hope he can provide the representation in Parliament that Eden-Monaro deserves."
Ex-Army lawyer Dr Kelly, who held the seat from 2007-13 before it was taken from him by Dr Hendy, said the key to his win was hard work and understanding the community.
He said the polling reflected a community that was "not just about politics".
"It is a community that focuses on good quality people who fight for them," Dr Kelly said.
"Regardless of whether we can form government tonight at the very least we will be in a position to really be a credible, alternative government heading into the next election."
Earlier in the day, Dr Kelly spoke from his post at Eden-Monaro's biggest polling booth, Jerrabomberra Primary School, where he said the result was palpable.
"There are booths where people might have projected we might struggle," Dr Kelly said.
"Certainly after the redistribution we were written off by just about all the commentators, they believed that was going to really reinforce Peter Hendy's position."
Dr Kelly said his team worked hard to "understand the new communities".
"We deeply learned and understood their needs, desires and interests, and we worked hard to make sure we're reflecting those," he said.
Amid cheers and rounds of applause from the sea of red-shirted volunteers who helped him win the campaign, Dr Kelly said: "Tonight we will celebrate and tomorrow we will commit ourselves to getting out there and working hard for the people of Eden-Monaro."