Nats retain seat of Murray

ADRIAN Piccoli has retained a massive majority in winning the new seat of Murray, despite a 6.1 percent swing to Labor at Saturday's New South Wales election.

Ballot papers at all but three of the 50 voting booths had been counted as of yesterday, with Mr Piccoli receiving 74.8 percent of the vote after preferences were counted.

A 6.1 percent swing was recorded to Labor's Max Buljubasic, with independent Helen Dalton winning more than 6000 first preference votes.

Mr Piccoli has been member for Murrumbidgee since 1999, with electoral changes seeing his seat merge with Murray-Darling to form Murray.

He has been the NSW Minister for Education since the LNP won the 2011 election in the state.

The Coalition retained government in New South Wales on Saturday night, despite an improved showing by Labor.

NSW Premier Mike Baird claimed victory on Saturday night.

In conceding, opposition leader Luke Foley said Mr Baird was "a formidable opponent".

"He's at the peak of his popularity [and] he's also an honourable opponent," Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley said the ALP had gone from a rump in state parliament to a genuine opposition.

For more on this story grab a copy of Monday's Guardian (March 30).