There will be a minority government in NSW. What does that mean?

Labor will form a minority government in NSW, after falling short of a majority of seats in Parliament. Here's how they can do it.
NSW minority government

Despite initial predictions, the new NSW Government looks set to govern in a minority. This means the NSW Labor Party will need to find support from other members of Parliament in order to govern.

What is a minority government?

A party in NSW needs to win 47 seats in the Parliament’s Lower House to form a majority government.

So far, at least 45 seats have been called for Labor and at least 32 have been called for the Coalition. There are still a few seats left to be called.

If no party wins 47 seats, a phase of negotiation will begin. This means NSW Labor will need to negotiate with independents or minority parties to gain their support in forming government.

Watch: TDA interviews NSW Premier Chris Minns. Post continues below.

Negotiations to form a minority government

Negotiations are largely fought over key issues. Crossbenchers typically use their leverage to ask for adjustments to policies. In return, they provide their support to allow the party to form government.

However, a crossbench member who helps a party form government doesn’t have to vote with the major party on every bill. They can make decisions free of the party they supported in negotiations, and often use their voting power to secure amendments to legislation.

So far, 12 seats have been secured for members of the crossbench. This includes three members from the Greens, and nine independents.

Labor will need a maximum of two crossbenchers to reach 47 seats.

The Greens said before the election that stronger environmental policy and gambling reform would be key issues raised during potential negotiations.

Some Independents have named new transport and health infrastructure, as well as regional investment, as their key issues.

Is there a precedent?

There have been previous minority governments in NSW, including under the Coalition in the last parliamentary term.

The NSW Coalition lost the majority they won at the 2019 election through retirements and members leaving the Liberal Party.

This gave members of the crossbench more influence, as their support was at times contingent on the Government’s laws being passed.

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