LISA Chesters made a victory speech to rapturous applause and chants from about 250 Labor supporters on Saturday night.
While she is yet to officially declare victory, Ms Chesters is confident she will become Bendigo’s first female federal member of parliament.
She is awaiting results from the final booths before declaring a win.
Mr Bickley has not conceded defeat, but the Australian Electoral Commission results point to a local ALP victory.
Ms Chesters thanked supporters for their help during the campaign.
“It’s looking really good, really positive,” she said.
“We’ve still got a lot of votes to count.
“Pre-poll is the biggest booth and we’ve still got postals to come.
“All the signs are that I will be the first female ever elected to represent Bendigo in the federal parliament.”
Ms Chesters said the “chaos” of Labor at a federal level had cost the party with Mr Abbott declared the new Prime Minister in waiting.
Retired former member Steve Gibbons was a notable absence at the ALP headquarters on Saturday night.
Mr Bickley said he held onto hopes of a late swing from pre-poll votes.
In his Bull Street party headquarters he said he was hopeful the 15,000 early votes and postal votes could deliver him a winning margin. He said regardless of the result he was proud of the campaign his team ran.
Mr Bickley also offered a pointed criticism of other party's tactics. "We had passionate people volunteering, not just paid union officials," he said.
"I'm proud of our volunteers that worked so hard on this campaign."
Former Liberal Bendigo candidate Craig Hunter labelled Mr Bickley "the man for Bendigo". He said the local campaign had been a spectacular success.
"Greg is a great candidate and he has had a team working extremely hard. Irrespective of the result, Bendigo will now be a marginal seat and that's great news for the region," he said.
Mr Hunter said he was hopeful Mr Bickley would stay on to contest the next election if he does not clinch the seat.
"I really hope he does," he said.
"With the great work he has done, he should capitalise on this effort."