If one or two decisions went differently, could Bill Shorten be Australia's presumptive Prime Minister? These are the questions now being asked about NSW Labor's federal election campaign despite election-night elation at a result said to have brought NSW back to the ALP and proof of a strong campaign by party boss Kaila Murnain. Several senior Labor sources are now questioning whether Labor got lucky or got it right and allege the party made many of the errors that bedevilled the Liberal approach: committing resources in the wrong places. The sources, who cross Labor's factions and state and national divisons, say too much was spent on a handful of Labor-held seats the party romped in on margins of between 6 and 8 per cent but minimal amounts on one key marginal seat and less on two Liberal seats now resting on very slender margins. Those two seats, depending on a number of variables, could make a material difference to Labor's chances of forming a majority in the House of Representatives. A big swing in the western Sydney seat of Lindsay was underlined by Labor on Saturday. But sources said the campaign had given up on it. "Lindsay was never on our radar," said a campaign source. "Kaila never believed we could win that." Two sources allege Labor's head office spent only $50,000 on Linsday, or up to one-tenth of what the party might spend on a hardcore marginal seat battle, after one early poll showed the party was down 56-44. Labor sources say money instead went to four Labor-held seats in which the party eventually cruised home: Greenway, Kingsford Smith, Barton and Werriwa. Even less money , the critics say, was spent on the NSW South Coast (Gilmore) and Sydney's west (Banks) where current counting has the Liberal lead shredded to 700 and 1800 votes. "Money was being completely wasted," said a campaign source. But a source in Ms Murnain's camp flatly denied the criticism: "Lindsay was one of the seats they invested the most of all [into]. This sounds like sour grapes." A union, the CEPU, is understood to have injected more than $100,000 into the Lindsay campaign. As is usual party figures will not talk on the record about team decisions. But Ms Murnain's campaign has been widely praised by the media and Labor figures and also backed by Labor veteran Bruce Hawker. Laurie Ferguson, the long-serving and outgoing MP for Werriwa, said a popular Liberal candidate had presented a genuine threat to the seat despite Labor's eventual strong showing. "I don't think we got $1 million, or anything out of the ordinary like that," he said. "But I wouldn't know." Mr Ferguson, who praised Ms Murnain's campaign, queried whether the Lindsay campaign was under-resourced but also whether Kingsford Smith or Barton would ever have been considered in doubt by the party. Lending credit to some of the detractors' claims are leaked screenshots obtained by the Buzzfeed website in late June, showing where Labor's doorknocking and phone-call efforts had been directed across Australia and NSW. Kingsford-Smith was the second-most heavily door-knocked and telephoned electorate in NSW and third most door-knocked in the nation in that week, a fortnight out from polling day, the report said. Lindsay did not figure in the top 10, nor did Gilmore and Banks. Key Labor gains such as Macarthur and Macquarie were high on the list. Kingsford-Smith, occupied by former NSW General Secretary, Matt Thistlethwaite, was a marginal Labor seat at 2.7 per cent, its 13th least-secure in Australia. That margin more than tripled on Saturday. Mr Ferguson noted that local campaign may reflect Mr Thistlethwaite's personal organisational efforts rather than head office decisions. Ms Murnain declined to comment. Mr Hawker said that Labor's NSW campaign was among the best organised in decades. "The proof is in the pudding. "People forget sand-bagging seats is part of what you're doing in campaigns," said the long-time Labor strategist. "You could equally also say that if Labor had done a bit more of that in Victoria [where Chisholm, a key Labor marginal seat appears likely to fall] the result might also have been different. "There are always critics with the benefit of hindsight for a variety of reasons. But none of the briefings I received or the polls I saw suggested Labor was going to have the result that it did." This campaign has demonstrated that many television and internal party polls got the results disastrously wrong in several key seats. Liberal and Labor internal polling variously had Werriwa and Barton pegged as tight races despite thumping results for Labor on election day. Ms Murnain took over as campaign director at the beginning of a year where party headquarters was rocked by instability. Previous general-secretary Jamie Clements was ousted in January. Other organisers left in his wake. At the time Ms Murnain took over the campaign many key decisions, such as candidate preselections, were already made, Mr Clements' supporters have noted. Many worried the party organisation had been struck by an exodus of expertise at the worst possible time.