Labor candidate for the seat of Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Amid an era in which election watchers have learned to expect the unexpected, Saturday's Eden-Monaro byelection surprised by not surprising, delivering one of the electorate's characteristic knife-edge results and broadly confirming the predictions of the polls.

Labor operatives were perhaps stretching the elastic a little yesterday when they told reporters they were "100% confident" that their candidate, Kristy McBain, had won the seat.

But with Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs needing roughly 60% of around 3500 outstanding postal votes to overhaul a deficit of 737 votes, it seems her only realistic chance is that errors will show up as ballots are rechecked (two of which indeed emerged to her advantage yesterday).