After 12 years in the wilderness of opposition, Chris Minns has delivered NSW Labor a resounding victory and is set to form a majority government.
With a statewide swing of more than 7 per cent, it is expected Labor will hold at least 47 seats in the 93-member lower house, picking up at least nine seats from the Coalition. With such a commanding victory, the Premier-elect has a clear mandate to deliver his agenda and will not be hamstrung by a crossbench.
Mr Minns will look to quickly implement his key policies like frontline worker wage increases, which have had a major impact in mortgage-stressed Western Sydney.
The large percentage of undecided voters in the last week swung heavily in favour of change. Chris Minns ran a disciplined campaign that positioned him as a credible leader to take NSW in a new direction.
A strong campaign narrative centred on cost of living pressures and cleverly tied to privatisation, tolls and the public sector wages cap, along with favourable electoral redistributions, retiring Ministers, major scandals and the ‘it’s time factor’ all played well for Labor.
Labor’s gains included key seats in Western Sydney, including East Hills, Leppington, Parramatta, Penrith and Riverstone. But Labor also had impact outside Sydney, achieving huge swings on the South Coast and Central Coast seats like Terrigal.
The loss saw outgoing premier Dominic Perrottet resign as leader. The Liberals now have a tough challenge ahead of choosing a new leader who can rebuild a party that wasn’t able to appeal to the masses in the middle.
The Nationals look like they have held all their seats except Monaro which was lost in the Labor wave. The junior Coalition partner will likely want to take a more prominent role in developing a credible opposition to hold the new Government to account.
Popular independent Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan was able to steal Brad Hazzard’s former seat of Wakehurst. The Teals weren’t able to have a major impact without Scott Morrison as their foe. They did, however, divert Coalition resources away from the crucial Western Sydney battleground for Sydney’s North Shore and Northern Beaches.
Labor, much more so than the Coalition, is about its history and heroes. This is a mythmaking win for Chris Minns and a personal triumph. Last night former premier Morris Iemma said it was a bigger win than Labor legend Neville Wran’s 1976 victory that swept the party to 12 years of power. That’s quite an accolade and sets the scene for a new Labor dynasty in NSW. At a national level, Mr Minns has delivered Labor the full set of mainland governments from coast to coast.
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