After a big year of electoral success, Labor arguably faces their toughest challenge yet, the NSW election. The Liberal-National Coalition has been scandal-plagued, and seemingly dysfunctional for months. This sets the stage for a hotly contested election, with thin margins, and so many swings you would think you’re in a playground.
The magic number is 47 to win a majority in the Legislative Assembly, and 22 to win a majority in the Legislative Council. The most likely scenario is that one of the major parties will form a minority Government, however here are the four scenarios and what is required to achieve them:
- Labor Majority: Labor will need to pick up tenmore seats to win majority;
- Labor Minority: Labor will need to pick up seven seats and would govern in a minority with the support of the Greens and possibly Alex Greenwich, and Greg Piper. Although who they will support remains to be confirmed;
- Coalition Majority: The Coalition will need to pick up one seat to govern in majority;
- Coalition Minority: The Coalition will need to lose four seats to govern comfortably in Minority, although could lose six and govern with the support of Alex Greenwich and Greg Piper
The concern for Labor is that the Coalition has more allies than enemies on the Crossbench, namely Gareth Ward, Dr Joe McGirr, and the former Shooters, Fishers and Farmers independents.
The Teals continue to provide a difficult position for pollsters as the Federal and Victorian elections provide contrasting impacts of the Teals on elections. The Federal election saw a wave of support for the Teal independents with the electoral success of 10 Teal independents in the House of Representatives, and David Pocock in the Senate. In Victoria the Teals were seen to provide a problem for the Opposition and a pain in the side for Dan Andrews, but the impact of the Teals was negligible t in Victoria. One reason for this is that the donation caps stifled the Climate 200-backed candidates, and is the reason for their success at the Federal level. An alternative narrative is that of the Teal movement. It emerged as a rejection of the established Liberal-National Coalition in their own, often safe, seats. This is a very different scenario to the Victorian election. The NSW election is quite reminiscent of this scenario.
The Teals do not provide a direct threat to NSW Labor, as they campaign in Liberal held seats. If successful, the Teals will support the Coalition to form a minority government on the condition that they support more ambitious climate goals.
What does this mean?
If Labor wins the election in majority or minority, expect a more ambitious federal government. If you have a piece of policy or proposed regulation that requires the support of COAG, a Labor win now is your best shot of getting it passed.
At the Labor campaign launch on Sunday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was ready to campaign and swing the bat for NSW Labor saying, “Plagued by scandal, dogged by resignation, and it still boggles my mind to say this, even stooping so low as to rort bushfire aid. Imagine the deficit of character it takes to do that.”
Despite this, the Prime Minister has pragmatically, and at times enthusiastically cooperated with Dominic Perrottet since the election, and therefore expects continued good-faith collaboration between the federal and NSW governments. Although, not to the level of a Minns-led NSW Government.
Irrespective of the outcome, the time to make yourself known to the candidates is now, write to them wishing them good luck. After the election, offer congratulations and commiserations to all candidates. Give the Parliamentarians some time to settle in, for either side there will be many first-time ministers. Many will be ‘getting their sea legs’. This does not mean upi don’t engage early. Just expect delays as it may be some time before you can meet with ministers.
If you are looking to start planning your post-election NSW strategy, please reach out and Fifty Acres would be more than happy to help you make your voice heard in NSW Parliament.