NSW Election 2023: Election Outcome Issue 5

Issue 5, 26 March 2023

Key points

  • Labor will return to government in NSW for the first time since 2011.
  • Chris Minns will be sworn in as the 47th Premier of NSW.
  • While still undetermined, it is likely Labor will form a majority government.
  • Dominic Perrottet has resigned as leader of the Liberal Party but will remain in Parliament.
  • Significant swing against the Liberal-National Coalition, with Labor picking up seven seats from the Coalition.

The NSW Labor Party has defeated the incumbent Liberal-National Coalition to form government after 12 years in opposition. On current estimates, according to the ABC, Labor has secured 45 seats to the Coalition’s 24, with just over 50 per cent of votes counted. While 15 seats remain in doubt, Labor is expected to achieve the necessary 47 seats required to form a majority government. At the time of writing, Labor’s primary vote has increased to 37.1 per cent, while the Coalition’s primary vote dropped to 34.8 percent. Labor now governs in all Australian jurisdictions, with the exception of Tasmania.

Late on Saturday night, Labor leader Chris Minns claimed victory stating that, “We know that the challenges are huge, the responsibilities are awesome, but NSW Labor is back and ready to govern in this great state”. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined the incoming Premier and addressed supporters at the Labor election night function in Sydney’s Brighton-Le-Sands, noting that Minns “embodies all that is best about the Australian Labor Party”. In his victory speech, Mr Minns described Labor’s win as a rejection of the public sector wages cap and a “decisive vote against privatisation” of state-owned assets.

In his concession speech last night, outgoing Premier Dominic Perrottet conceded defeat and urged the people of NSW to rally behind Premier-elect Chris Minns as the 47th Premier of NSW. Perrottet also praised Minns and the Labor Party for the way the 2023 election campaign was conducted, noting that, “Elections can get ugly, but I believe this election truly was a race to the top”. Perrottet announced that he would step down as parliamentary leader of the NSW Liberal Party and said he took full responsibility for his party’s electoral defeat.

The Liberal Party suffered swings across the State and notably lost seats where its long-standing MPs  were stepping down, including Parramatta and South Coast to Labor and the Sydney seat of Wakehurst, held by retiring health minister Brad Hazzard for 30 years, to Independent Michael Regan. In the marginal seat of Penrith, Labor’s Karen McKeown defeated former minister and former Deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres; Labor also picked up the Liberal-held seats of East Hills and Riverstone, along with the often bellwether-seat of Monaro from the Nationals. Once held by former Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Labor’s Steven Whan returns to the seat, having previously served as the Member for Monaro for almost eight years from 2003.

While there were a number of Climate 200-backed ‘teal’ independents contesting previously safe Liberal seats, the 2022 Federal election result was not replicated for the teals. At this stage, no teal candidates have been successful – however, some seats are still too close to call. In Manly, Liberal MP James Griffin has prevailed over a challenge from teal Independent Joeline Hackman. In the former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s seat of Willoughby, Independent Larissa Penn is attempting to take the seat from Liberal MP Tim James, however while it remains too close to call, James is ahead by about 4,000 votes.

The Greens have retained the seats of Ballina and Newtown. In Balmain, following the retirement of their sitting MP Jaimie Parker, the Greens are hoping to retain the seat. While the seat has seen a swing towards Labor, it remains too close to call at the time of writing. One Nation and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers are yet to pick up any seats in the Legislative Assembly. However, three former Shooters, Fishers and Farmers who are now Independents have retained their seats.

What’s next?

The NSW Electoral Commission will resume counting on Monday (there is no counting on Sunday) and the vote count is expected to be finalised in the coming days.

At a media conference this morning, the Premier-elect Chris Minns presented as humble, happy and ready to govern. He said he would hold a leadership meeting this afternoon to get moving on the transition to government.

The team’s first priorities are to “invest in the human capital of NSW” by lifting the public sector wages cap and to initiate legislation to protect Sydney Water from privatisation.
He said details on the swearing in of the new Government were yet to be determined but discussions with the NSW Governor would begin today.

Premier-elect Minns’ has indicated his leadership team will retain existing roles and includes  Prue Car as the Deputy Premier and Education Minister, Daniel Mookhey as Treasurer, Ryan Park as Health Minister, Penny Sharpe as Environment Minister and Jo Haylen as Transport Minister.  Further announcements regarding the Ministry are expected in the coming week.

The Liberal Party will vote on a new leader at the next party room meeting. Speculation on the new leader has already begun, with outgoing NSW Treasurer Matt Kean among the contenders. When asked on Saturday night whether he would run for leader after Perrottet’s resignation, Kean said it was “too soon” to turn his mind to it. It has also been suggested that former Sports Minister Alister Henskens will challenge Kean for the leadership.

Further information

For more information about the NSW State Election outcome, or to enquire about our services in New South Wales, please contact a member of our team on the details below or our Sydney office on +61 2 8353 0400 or at [email protected].

Jaimi Greenspan, Director – Public Affairs
M: +61 432 590 193
E: [email protected] 

Kirsten Mulley, CEO
M: +61 408 476 470
E: [email protected]


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