Chris Minns’ Labor party has secured the NSW state election, with early indications it will be a ‘landslide’ victory.
The 42-year-old dad-of-three will be the state’s 47th premier, in what is being hailed an historic win for his party after 12 years in the political wilderness.
Millions of residents turned out across the state to place their votes, contending with both rain and sunshine at different stages throughout the day.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said: ‘There will be a change in government’, noting it’s looking increasingly likely the party will get the numbers to secure a majority.
He said it would be ‘difficult for the Coalition to survive’ on the back of the results which have already filtered through.
‘We have Labor up above 40 seats and the Coalition is struggling to get above 27 at this stage.’
With 93 seats up for grabs, whichever side could secure 47 would be able to form a majority 58th NSW government.
The landslide win comes on the back of early concerns a result may not be decided until Monday after record numbers of voters opted to vote early or send in postal votes.
There’s several marginal seats in particular which will be hotly contested and could help win the election for either party
The NSW Electoral Commission says more than 1.5 million residents voted early across the state, with 127,653 postal votes returned as well.
There’s nine marginal seats in particular which were considered crucial to help win the election for either party. So far, it looks like the majority have been taken by Labor.
Labor has so far gained Holsworthy, Monaro, Oatley, Parramatta, Penrith, Ryde, East Hills and the South Coast.
Outgoing NSW Transport Minister David Elliott indicated early on it’s ‘not good news for the Liberal party’, warning of ‘significant swings in western and northwestern Sydney’.
Both Dominic Perrottet and Mr Minns have been watching the results trickle in with their families. The Coalition had hired out the Hilton for what they hoped would be their celebratory post-election function.
Instead, it is reportedly a ghost town, with not a single MP in sight.
Meanwhile at Labor’s party in Brighton Le Sands, guests are beginning to celebrate their evident victory, after a hard-fought campaign.
Mr Minns is yet to arrive to his party, but Labor sources say the excitement is palpable.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet casts his vote alongside wife Helen at Beecroft Public School in Sydney’s north-west on election day
Labor’s Mr Minns remains the favourite as of 6pm
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor leader Chris Minns have joined millions of residents to cast their votes at the state election
Western and southwestern Sydney experienced particularly tough lockdown restrictions which were expected to hamper Mr Perrottet’s efforts.
Parramatta was held by the Liberal Party with a 6.5 per cent margin and Mr Elliott said it was considered ‘reasonably safe’. Now, he says the party has conceded defeat to Labor’s Donna Davis.
East Hills and Heathcote in Sydney’s south west and south are both held by Liberals with a minute margin, but are now likely to be stolen by Labor.
With 37.1 per cent of the vote counted in Heathcote, it appears Labor has enjoyed a 7.8 per cent swing against sitting MP Lee Evans – another crucial seat to be called.
And in East Hills, a recent redistribution of the area reduced the Liberal margin from 0.5 per cent to 0.1 per cent, and Labor is at $1.25 odds to win it.
Just two and a half hours after polling booths closed, Coalition MPs both federally and within NSW have started rolling out excuses for the crushing defeat.
Federal Liberal MP Angus Taylor said he believed the Coalition had copped blame over the national – and global – cost of living crisis.
‘People are looking for who to blame,’ he said, describing it as a ‘tough time for incumbent governments’.
And NSW Treasurer Matt Kean noted rail disruptions could’ve proven ‘devastating’ for the Coalition’s campaign, with every train in Sydney delayed by almost an hour toward the pointy end of election day.
‘It was devastating, these things happen, regardless of who is empowered,’ he told the ABC.
‘It happened as everyone started to focus on who they were going to vote for, so it wasn’t helpful, but these things happen.’
He also noted the odds were stacked against a coalition victory, saying the party had been ‘hoping for the best but preparing for the worst’.
‘I think it’s the 12 year factor. No Coalition government has ever won a fourth term in NSW,’ he said. ‘You accumulate barnacles.’
Meanwhile, retiring Health Minister Brad Hazzard described Mr Perrottet as the underdog of the election.
‘When you come off the back of Gladys Berejiklian or Mother Teresa, she’s a hard act to follow,’ he said earlier. ‘It’s been very challenging for him. He’s done a great job.’
Labor Deputy Leader Prue Carr said the party’s policies ‘struck a chord’ with the people of NSW.
‘The campaign, thus far, is showing that we really were listening to people, and talking about the bread-and-butter issues that people are concerned about,’ she told the ABC.
Former deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres has a 0.6 per cent margin in Penrith in western Sydney, but Labor is at $1.30 odds to win it.
Parramatta and Riverstone are both held by the Liberal Party with margins of 6.5 per cent and 6.2 per cent. Labor is the favourite to win both seats.
Holsworthy is Liberal held with a six per cent margin, but experts are still predicting a tight race in the south-western Sydney seat, while Nationals hold a margin of just 0.5 per cent in the Upper Hunter. The Coalition is still the favourite at $1.55 odds compared with $2.30 for Labor.
Labor is the favourite to win the NSW election but it won’t be able to form a government without the Greens or independents, based on betting odds and expert predictions
NSW Labor leader Chris Minns is seen outside of Panania Public School with local candidate Kylie Wilkinson (left) on election day
Voters looking relaxed after a swim at Bondi Beach before voting in the NSW State election
Labor leader Chris Minns kisses his wife Anna as they vote at Carlton South Public school during the NSW state election in Sydney
And nearby Leppington is an entirely new seat, expected to vote in favor of Labor.
One Nation’s Mark Latham slams Teal Independents
One Nation MP Mark Lathan has slammed Climate 200 founder in a tense TV interview on election night.
During the bold stand-off Mr Latham called the Australian businessman ‘a complete and utter fraud’.
His comments came as he claimed the teals should declare themselves as a political party after questioning who chose their five candidates.
‘You can’t answer that question because you’re a complete and utter fraud, that’s what you are,’ Latham said.
Mr Holmes a Court conceded that none of the five teal candidates funded by Climate 200 were likely to pull off a win.
‘We’ll be very happy if a number of these seats go marginal,’ he said.
‘Most of these seats haven’t changed hands in a generation or two. So bringing genuine contest in these seats and the community engaging in politics, that’s a win before we start.’
Golbourn holds a 3.1 per cent Liberal margin and the party is the favourite to retain this marginal seat in southern NSW, but odds are tight at $1.65 compared with $2.15 for Labor.
A seat is generally considered marginal if the seat is held by six per cent or less.
The coalition has governed for two years in minority with 46 seats, while Labor had 38 coming into this election.
If Labor does not win enough seats to form a majority, it could earn the support of the the Greens if it agrees to no more coal or gas projects, an end to logging in native forest and mandatory cashless gaming.
The result is a far cry from what Mr Minns was expecting, after telling reporters just hours ago he believed it would ‘come down to the wire’.
‘I do believe it’s going to be tight,’ he said. ‘Most NSW elections, except for a few here and there, are tight contests, and I think that we’ve always known that.’
The premier was accompanied by his wife Helen to the Beecroft Public School polling booth in his seat of Epping, north-west Sydney, on Saturday morning to vote.
Mr Minns joined volunteers to hand out flyers at Panania Public School, in the inner south-west suburbs, as he prepared to cast his vote for his seat in Kogarah.
There were also initial concerns over his seat of Kogarah, where he held just a 0.1 per cent margin after a recent redistribution saw his holdings slashed.
Labor has held the electorate for 70 years and Mr Minns was confident today won’t be any different.
‘To the best of my understanding, I’m the only candidate running for the seat of Kogarah that actually lives in the Kogarah electorate,’ he said.
‘So I’m going to leave it up to my neighbours and my friends and the people that I’ve grown up with in the St George region to make a verdict.’
With 33 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Minns appears to have enjoyed a 16 per cent swing toward him.
In an unexpected turn of events, it’s Mr Perrottet’s ultra-safe seat of Epping that could cause one of the biggest upsets of the night, with massive swings seen toward Labor.
It’s still too early to call either way, but the early results are a shock.
If the betting odds are right, Dominic Perrottet would be the first Liberal premier to lose an election since John Fahey in 1995 (he is pictured with his wife Helen and three of their seven children)
More than 1.5 million people had already cast their ballots when early voting closed on Friday night, representing around 28 per cent of the state’s 5.5 million voters
Pictured: A family arriving at Bondi to vote on Saturday afternoon
Mr Minns is only the fourth state Labor leader to win from Opposition since World War II – ending 12 years in the political wilderness for the ALP.
Earlier on Saturday, former prime minister Scott Morrison was seen handing out pamphlets at polling booths in the Sutherland Shire, while current PM Anthony Albanese took on Balmain.
Mr Albanese said a string of retiring senior Liberal ministers bailing out before the state election showed the Perrottet government didn’t even have confidence in itself.
‘It’s time for a change of government,’ he told reporters.
Mr Minns would also be the first state Labor leader since 1995 to have won from Opposition when Labor was in power federally (he is pictured with Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese)
Sydneysiders stand in queue at a polling station in Bondi, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs
Mr Minns now joins William McKell in 1941, Neville Wran in 1976 and Bob Carr in 1995 as the only New South Wales Labor leaders to have won from Opposition since World War II.
He’s also be the first state Labor leader since 1995 to have won from Opposition when Labor was in power federally.
This also makes Mr Perrottet the first Liberal premier to lose an election since the late John Fahey, leaving him as the only living former Liberal premier to have been defeated.
A different premier has fronted every NSW election since 2007, with Mr Carr in 2003 the last state leader to contest consecutive elections.
How Labor won the election
Chris Minns is the fourth state Labor leader to win from Opposition since World War II.
Labor picked up a suite of seats from Parramatta to the South Coast from the Coalition.
Polling put Labor’s primary vote at 38 per cent compared to the coalition’s 35 per cent and Minns led Perrottet as preferred premier throughout the campaign.
Labor’s staunch opposition to privatisation was a key part of its campaign.
It promised to be scrap or reduce Stamp Duty for first home buyers for purchases up to $800,000.
The party was seen as the best to deal with rising living costs heading into the election.
Labor promised $1.1billion – compared to the Coalition’s $1billion – for road improvements across Western Sydney and regional NSW.
Voters backed the party’s pledge of $225million to build critical infrastucture across Western Sydney to protect it from flooding.
Labor said it will start the process for a new fleet of trains to be built in NSW, creating at least 1,000 jobs.