The NSW Labor Party has won a decisive victory in the state election, while all four incumbent members in New England have retained their seats.
The clear swing to Labor was evident early in the count and stayed at around 6% in favour of the Labor Party throughout the evening as the count progressed. ABC election analyst Antony Green called the election for Labor quite early at about a quarter to 8, but he wasn’t sure if it was majority or minority government. About an hour later it was clear it would be a majority government, and at the end of the night’s counting, Labor was projected to hold 47 of the 93 seats.
With only 27 seats confirmed so far and a small number of in-doubt seats they are likely to pick up as the count continues, the Liberals are reeling at the scale of the loss. Outgoing Premier Dominic Perrottett was graceful in defeat, saying he believed Chris Minns would make a “fine premier for New South Wales”, and standing down as leader of the NSW Liberal Party.
In the New England, the results were very clear early in the night.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin had the honour of having the first seat called. The 15 point swing takes the previously marginal seat well into very safe territory. Ms Saffin told the ABC she was shocked by the result, and thanked her supporters who had been through so much in recent times. At the end of the night’s count, she had 67.5% of the two party preferred count.
Adam Marshall emphatically retained his role as Member for Northern Tablelands with a tic over 70% of the primary vote, and almost 83% two party preferred. He has now equalled the record held by Ray Chappell and Richard Torbay, who were both also elected to the seat four consecutive times.
Despite the fierce campaigning, Kevin Anderson was also never in doubt in Tamworth retaining the seat with over 50% of the primary vote. Independent Mark Rodda secured 18% of the vote and Labor’s Kate McGrath added almost 5 points to the Labor result to deliver 14%. The preference flow may be interesting in the days to come to who is in the final two candidate preferred count, but it won’t change the result.
Barwon was the slowest to be called of the four, but former Shooters Fishers and Farmers now Independent MP, Roy Butler, should be re-elected. At the end of the count he was on 42% primary vote, with a projected two party preferred results against the Nationals Annette Turner of 66.7%.
It will take until mid April for the final count to be known. Postal votes will be accepted until April 6, the lower house count will be declared on April 14, and the declaration for the upper house will happen on April 20.
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