Voters are heading to the polls in Wagga Wagga as the NSW government prepares for a possible defeat at the regional headquarters for the first time in more than half a century.
A disastrous election campaign by a local corruption scandal and a disorderly federal coup has eroded the margin of security for liberals by 12.9 percent, government sources say.
Speaking in front of a polling station in Wagga on Saturday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said achieving a victory would be difficult.
"It's a fight," he said.
When asked if he would stay for the result, he replied "thank you".
Local doctor and academician Joe McGirr has become the frontrunner with the best chance of ending the 60-year possession of the Liberals at the Riverina post, although he expects tight competition.
"A lot of people are really excited … it makes sense to make a change," he told AAP in Wagga.
The coalition's primary vote has plummeted to 25 percent, according to a recent ReachTel poll published by News Corp Australia.
Labor candidate Dan Hayes said he felt there was an appetite for change.
"People have been queuing early and for me that indicates they are ready to vote, they are ready to make a change, where the change will continue to be difficult," Hayes told reporters.
But Labor leader Luke Foley did his best to minimize expectations when he visited a voting booth, giving his candidate a probability of 500 to one in a victory.
"It's really difficult, it's one of the safest conservative seats in New South Wales," Foley told reporters.
"I'll take those chances," joked Mr. Hayes.
Bookmakers have Hayes a better chance than the $ 7, while an independent win is the favorite at $ 1.87, ahead of the Liberals $ 1.90.