All 93 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
and 21 (of the 42) seats in the New South Wales Legislative Council
47 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
The top map shows the first party preference by electorate. The bottom map shows the final two-party preferred vote result by electorate.
Elections to the 55th Parliament of New South Wales were held on Saturday, 26 March 2011. The 16-year-incumbent Labor Party government led by Premier Kristina Keneally was defeated in a landslide by the Liberal–National Coalition opposition led by Barry O'Farrell. Labor suffered a two-party swing of 16.4 points, the largest against a sitting government at any level in Australia since World War II. From 48 seats at dissolution, Labor was knocked down to 20 seats—the worst defeat of a sitting government in New South Wales history, and one of the worst of a state government in Australia since federation. The Coalition picked up a 34-seat swing to win a strong majority, with 69 seats–the largest majority government, in terms of percentage of seats controlled, in NSW history. It is only the third time since 1941 that a NSW Labor government has been defeated.
New South Wales has compulsory voting, with an optional preferential ballot in single-member seats for the lower house and single transferable vote with optional preferential above-the-line voting in the proportionally represented upper house. The election was conducted by the New South Wales Electoral Commission (NSWEC).
|Summary of votes by party|
|Legislative Council election, 2011|
|Party||Votes||% won||Swing||2011 seats||2007 seats||Total seats||Change|
|Shooters and Fishers Party||150,741||3.7||↑0.9||1||1||2||0|
|Christian Democratic Party||127,233||3.1||↓1.3||1||1||2||0|
|Balmain||Labor||Verity Firth||3.7||–7.2||3.5*||Jamie Parker||Greens|
|Bathurst||Labor||Gerard Martin||13.0||–36.7||23.7||Paul Toole||National|
|Blue Mountains||Labor||Phil Koperberg||11.1||–15.8||4.7||Roza Sage||Liberal|
|Camden||Labor||Geoff Corrigan||3.9||–22.8||18.9||Chris Patterson||Liberal|
|Campbelltown||Labor||Graham West||18.5||–21.9||3.4||Bryan Doyle||Liberal|
|Charlestown||Labor||Matthew Morris||14.6||–24.5||9.9||Andrew Cornwell||Liberal|
|Coogee||Labor||Paul Pearce||7.2||–15.4||8.2||Bruce Notley-Smith||Liberal|
|Dubbo||Independent||Dawn Fardell||0.9||–14.6||13.7||Troy Grant||National|
|Drummoyne||Labor||Angela D'Amore||7.6||–24.3||16.7||John Sidoti||Liberal|
|East Hills||Labor||Alan Ashton||14.1||–14.7||0.6||Glenn Brookes||Liberal|
|Gosford||Labor||Marie Andrews||4.9||–16.7||11.9||Chris Holstein||Liberal|
|Granville||Labor||David Borger||11.1||–13.7||2.6||Tony Issa||Liberal|
|Heathcote||Labor||Paul McLeay||8.8||–21.4||12.7||Lee Evans||Liberal|
|Kiama||Labor||Matt Brown||12.0||–19.5||7.5||Gareth Ward||Liberal|
|Londonderry||Labor||Allan Shearan||6.9||–19.2||12.3||Bart Bassett||Liberal|
|Maitland||Labor||Frank Terenzini||9.7||–16.0||6.3||Robyn Parker||Liberal|
|Menai||Labor||Alison Megarrity||2.7||–27.1||24.4||Melanie Gibbons||Liberal|
|Miranda||Labor||Barry Collier||0.8||–21.8||21.0||Graham Annesley||Liberal|
|Monaro||Labor||Steve Whan||6.3||–8.3||2.0||John Barilaro||National|
|Mulgoa||Labor||Diane Beamer||11.1||–23.2||12.0||Tanya Davies||Liberal|
|Newcastle||Labor||Jodi McKay||1.2||–3.6||2.4||Tim Owen||Liberal|
|Oatley||Labor||Kevin Greene||14.4||–14.9||0.5||Mark Coure||Liberal|
|Parramatta||Labor||Tanya Gadiel||13.7||–25.8||12.1||Geoff Lee||Liberal|
|Port Macquarie||Independent||Peter Besseling||28.2**||–35.1||6.9||Leslie Williams||National|
|Riverstone||Labor||John Aquilina||10.1||–30.3||20.2||Kevin Conolly||Liberal|
|Rockdale||Labor||Frank Sartor||10.3||–13.9||3.6||John Flowers||Liberal|
|Smithfield||Labor||Ninos Khoshaba||15.5||–20.3||4.8||Andrew Rohan||Liberal|
|Strathfield||Labor||Virginia Judge||15.1||–19.3||4.3||Charles Casuscelli||Liberal|
|Swansea||Labor||Robert Coombs||10.8||–11.9||1.1||Garry Edwards||Liberal|
|Tamworth||Independent||Peter Draper||4.8||–12.5||7.8||Kevin Anderson||National|
|The Entrance||Labor||Grant McBride||4.9||–17.3||12.5||Chris Spence||Liberal|
|Wollondilly||Labor||Phil Costa||3.3||–18.0||14.7||Jai Rowell||Liberal|
|Wyong||Labor||David Harris||6.9||–9.4||2.5||Darren Webber||Liberal|
The centre-left Labor Party, led by Premier Kristina Keneally, and the centre-right Liberal Party, led by Leader of the Opposition Barry O'Farrell, were the two main parties in New South Wales. In the 2007 state election, of 93 seats total, Labor won 52 seats, the Liberals won 22 seats and the Nationals, led by Andrew Stoner, who are in coalition with the Liberals, won 13 seats. Six seats were retained by independents. Smaller parties which hold no seats in the lower house but achieved significant votes in 2007 include The Greens and the Christian Democratic Party.
On 18 October 2008, four state electorates (Lakemba, Ryde, Cabramatta, Port Macquarie) went to by-elections as a result of the resignation of the Premier, two of his ministers, and an independent who left after winning a federal by-election. The results in Ryde, Cabramatta, and Lakemba showed the largest by-election swing against Labor in its history.The results showed a significant swing towards the Liberal Party with a swing of 22.7 percentage points in former health minister Reba Meagher's seat of Cabramatta, but it was retained by ALP candidate Nick Lalich, and a swing of 13 points against Labor in former premier Morris Iemma's seat of Lakemba, also retained by an ALP candidate, Robert Furolo. Ryde, once a safe Labor seat, with a swing of 23.1 points delivered former deputy premier John Watkins' seat to Victor Dominello. Peter Besseling, the independent candidate, won Port Macquarie, left vacant after the resignation of Nationals-turned-independent member Rob Oakeshott, over the Nationals by a two-party margin of 54.5–45.5%, despite a swing of 23.7 points to the Nationals. On 19 June 2010 a by-election in the electoral district of Penrith was triggered as a result of the resignation of Labor Party MP Karyn Paluzzano, with Liberal candidate Stuart Ayres winning the seat with a two-party-preferred swing of more than 25 points, the biggest swing against an incumbent government in New South Wales history, until the 2013 Miranda by-election which eclipsed it with a 26-point two-party swing against the Liberal/National government.
The Labor Party launched their campaign on 5 February 2011in Liverpool within the electoral district of Macquarie Fields. Premier Keneally launched the Labor Party's campaign slogan "Protecting jobs – Supporting families". In attendance for the launch were former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and former Premiers Wran and Carr.
The Liberal and Nationals Coalition launched their campaign on 20 February 2011 at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith within the electoral district of Penrith with the slogan: "Real Change for NSW". In attendance for the launch were both Liberal and Nationals Leaders O'Farrell and Stoner as well as federal Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott, former Liberal Premiers and Leaders Greiner, Fahey, and Chikarovski.
The Coalition had been leading in opinion polling for almost three years, and were unbackable favourites throughout the campaign to win the election. The final Newspoll had support for Labor at an all-time low with 23 percent of the primary vote and 35.9 percent of the two-party vote. Bookmakers were paying $1.01 for a Coalition win with Labor getting as much as $36 and one agency even paid out the winnings and declared the winner a week earlier.At one point, Labor was widely predicted to win as few as 13 seats, seven less than the actual result. According to several pollsters, Labor was in danger of losing several seats where it had not been seriously threatened in decades, as well as several that it had held for a century or more. Indeed, there were concerns that Labor would not win enough seats to form a credible shadow cabinet.
The Liberal/National Coalition won the largest proportional number of seats in NSW state history with 69 of 93 seats in the lower house (74.2 percent of the chamber)—in contrast, Labor won 69 of 99 seats (69.7 percent of the chamber) at Neville Wran's second "Wranslide" in 1981 election. Labor won 20 seats, the lowest for Labor in NSW Parliament in over a century, and the worst defeat that a sitting government in NSW has ever suffered. Many prominent Labor MPs and ministers lost their seats including Verity Firth, David Borger, Matt Brown, Jodi McKay, Virginia Judge, Phil Costa and Kevin Greene.In the process, the Coalition took dozens of seats in areas considered Labor heartland, such as western Sydney and the Upper Hunter—some on swings of well over 10 per cent. The Liberals actually won 51 seats, enough for a majority in their own right—the first time the main non-Labor party in the state had achieved this since adopting the Liberal banner in 1945. Although O'Farrell thus had no need for the support of the Nationals, he opted to retain the Coalition.
In the upper house however, where half of the chamber was up for election, the landslide was not enough to deliver a Coalition majority. Three additional votes outside of the Liberal/National Coalition were required to pass legislation. The balance of power shifted from the Greens to the Shooters and Fishers Party and Christian Democratic Party. With two seats each held by the latter two parties, both needed to give legislative support if Labor and the Greens opposed legislation.
Where a Member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council did not renominate to contest the election, their term ended at the dissolution of the parliament. Members who confirmed their retirement were:
Newspoll polling is conducted via random telephone number selection in city and country areas. Sampling sizes consist of around 1200–1300 electors. The declared margin of error is ±3 percentage points.
|21–24 March 2011||32%||48%||20%|
|9–11 March 2011||35%||48%||17%|
| Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian .|
1 Morris Iemma, 2 Nathan Rees
|Primary vote||2PP vote|
|21–24 March 2011||23%||41%||9%||12%||15%||35.9%||64.1%|
|9–11 March 2011||26%||43%||7%||11%||13%||37%||63%|
|Mar– Apr 2010||31%||37%||5%||14%||13%||45%||55%|
|Sep – Oct 2008||29%||38%||4%||11%||18%||44%||56%|
| Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian .|
|The Australian Financial Review||Liberal [ citation needed ]|
|Newcastle Herald||Liberal [ citation needed ]|
|The Daily Telegraph||Liberal|
|The Sydney Morning Herald||Liberal|
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