NSW will soon be sent to the polls again to determine who will form the state government for the next four years. Polling has suggested it will be a close race between the incumbent Coalition Government and the Labor Opposition. Here’s the state of play in NSW.
NSW has two houses of Parliament: the 93-seat Legislative Assembly (Lower House), and the 42-seat Legislative Council (Upper House). To form a majority government, you need 47 Lower House seats. The NSW Coalition currently has 45 seats, meaning they are in a minority government. The Coalition did form a majority at the 2019 election, but has since lost seats through members leaving the Liberal Party and retirements. Labor currently has 36 Lower House seats.
NSW is governed by a coalition (or alliance) between the Liberal and National parties. They’re led by Dominic Perrottet, who has been NSW Premier and leader of the NSW Liberal Party since 2021. The Coalition has been in Government in NSW since 2011. Tasmania is the only other Australian jurisdiction also governed by the Liberal Party. Perrottet has been a member of Parliament since 2011, and has previously served as Treasurer and Industrial Relations Minister.
The Coalition is being challenged by the NSW Labor Party, which governed for 16 consecutive years until 2011. They’re led by Chris Minns, who has been Opposition Leader since 2021. If Labor wins the election, Minns will become NSW’s Premier. Minns has been a member since 2015, and has never served in Government. He was previously Shadow Transport and Corrections Minister.
Your two votes
For the Lower House, voters will be choosing the candidate they want to represent their local electorate in NSW Parliament. The successful candidate will be elected for a four-year term. Members of the Upper House represent the whole of NSW in Parliament (not just a single electorate) for an eight-year term. Half of the Upper House is up for election this year. If you don’t know what electorate you’re in, you can find out at https://elections.nsw.gov.au/elections/find my-electorate.
When’s the election?
The election will take place on Saturday, 25 March (two weeks from today). Early voting will be open from next Saturday. It’s compulsory for Australian citizens in NSW aged 18 or over to vote.