Gladys Berejiklian Eyes Off Majority Win for Liberal Party in NSW State Election

March 23, 2019Australia
Gladys Berejiklian Eyes Off Majority Win for Liberal Party in NSW State Election
Gladys Berejiklian is greeted by former PM John Howard and current PM Scott Morrison at the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney, Australia, on March 23, 2019. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Gladys Berejiklian says whether or not she ends up winning a majority, she will work closely with the three independents in the NSW lower house.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expecting to form a majority government with up to 49 seats after Saturday’s state election win.

She on Sunday, March 24, again refused to concede the loss of any Liberal seats, telling reporters that the coalition would win between 47 and 49 seats allowing the coalition to govern in its own right.

As counting stands, the Liberal-Nationals coalition has 46 seats—just one short of an outright majority in the 93-seat parliament.

But even if it falls short, Berejiklian will be able to rely on the three returning independents—Alex Greenwich, Greg Piper and Joe McGirr—and she said the government would not take them for granted.

“I want them to be have a strong working relationship with my government from day one, not just when I might need them,” she told reporters on March 24.

The Berejiklian government has held on to power in NSW with the coalition hoping the result will prove a boost to Scott Morrison just two months out from the federal election.

Berejiklian on Saturday became the first woman to be popularly elected premier of NSW and she’ll lead the coalition into a third straight term for the first time in 50-odd years.

She told the party faithful on Saturday night she was incredibly proud of NSW where “someone with a long surname—and a woman—can be the premier.”

With almost 66 per cent of the vote counted the Liberal party and Nationals had won 46 seats in the 93-seat lower house.

Labor had 35 seats, the Greens had three, and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party had at least two. It was revealed that NSW Labor had struck up a preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ahead of the weekend state election, local media reported.

Liberals hope the result is an indication NSW voters won’t punish the prime minister and the party for the 2018 chaos in Canberra when they cast their ballots in May’s federal election.

“How good is Gladys Berejiklian and how good is the Liberal Party here in NSW,” Morrison told supporters.

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has only been in the top job for four months but after Saturday’s poor showing his days could well be numbered.

He vowed again on Sunday to remain as leader.

Labor frontbencher Jodi McKay—a potential leadership contender along with Chris Minns—backed Daley to stay in the top job before adding: “In saying that, last week we had a bad week.”

“We had two incidents there which I think all of us wish hadn’t happened,” she said, referring to a video of Daley saying Asian migrants were taking local jobs and his inability to recall, during a TV debate, how much the opposition had committed to schools and TAFE.

By Julian Drape, Tom Rabe and Dominica Sanda

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