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Recount ordered after nailbiting NSW electorate result

Lyndal Howison hits the campaign trail in Sydney with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Lyndal Howison hits the campaign trail in Sydney with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Photo: AAP

A recount has been ordered in the Sydney seat of Ryde, after weeks of counting left the NSW Liberal candidate just 50 votes ahead of his Labor opponent.

The recount will delay the declaration of the results of the March 25 election in the NSW lower house, which was due to take place on Friday.

“I am satisfied there are factors relevant to this particular election that mean a recount is appropriate before proceeding to declare the final results,” NSW Electoral Commissioner John Schmidt said on Thursday.

It comes after the NSW Labor Party formally requested the recount on Tuesday, with the Liberal candidate, Jordan Lane, about 50 votes ahead of Labor’s Lyndal Howison.

The call was largely due to the very small amount of votes separating the two candidates, after preferences were distributed, Mr Schmidt said.

“There is no automatic requirement to recount votes when a result is close in a NSW election, as is the case in a federal election, and no errors in counting had been found,” he said.

However, a number of factors meant having a recount was appropriate, including that the Ryde electorate had its boundaries redrawn in 2021, and the margin between the two candidates had tightened significantly since the last election.

The recount will begin on Saturday and extend until Monday if necessary.

If Labor cannot secure a win in Ryde, it will hold 45 seats in the lower house, and require the support of two crossbench MPs to pass legislation.

Three independent MPs, including speaker Greg Piper, have already guaranteed the government confidence and supply.

Meanwhile, recently returned Kiama MP Gareth Ward will face one trial in a Sydney court on sexual assault allegations, after a judge rejected a bid to have the allegations separated.

Ward, 42, an ex-Liberal turned independent, has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent, three counts of indecent assault and one of common assault.

The case is before Judge John Pickering in the NSW District Court.

A trial date will be set as soon as possible.

– AAP

Topics: NSW election
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