Politics of New South Wales

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New South Wales politics takes place in context of bicameral parliamentary system. The main parties are the Liberal and National parties of the governing Coalition and the Australian Labor Party. Other minor political parties include the Greens, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, the Christian Democratic Party, the One Nation, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Keep Sydney Open..

The Liberal Party of Australia , commonly known as the New South Wales Liberals, is the state division of the Liberal Party of Australia in New South Wales. The party currently governs in New South Wales in coalition with the National Party of Australia (NSW). The party is part of the federal Liberal Party which governs nationally in Coalition with the National Party of Australia.

National Party of Australia – NSW New South Wales division of the National Party of Australia

The National Party of Australia – N.S.W., commonly known as the NSW Nationals, is a political party in New South Wales which forms the state branch of the federal Nationals. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the Progressive Party, from the 1922 split until 1925. It then used the name the Country Party until 1977, when it became the National Country Party. The party's name was changed to the National Party of Australia in 1982.

Coalition (Australia) group of centre-right parties in Australia

The Liberal–National Coalition is an alliance of centre-right political parties that forms one of the two major groupings in Australian federal politics. Its main opponent is the Australian Labor Party (ALP), and the two forces are often regarded as operating in a two-party system. The Coalition has been in government since the 2013 federal election, most recently being re-elected in the 2019 Australian federal election. The group is led by Scott Morrison as Prime Minister of Australia since August 2018.

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The New South Wales government is sometimes referred to informally as "the bear pit", as a mark of perceived unruly behaviour within the parliamentary chambers, and 'Macquarie Street', a metonym of the street of that name where Parliament House is located, in Sydney's CBD.

Metonymy figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept

Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept.

Macquarie Street, Sydney street in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Macquarie Street is a street in the central business district of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. Macquarie Street extends from Hyde Park at its southern end to the Sydney Opera House at its northern end. Apart from connecting these two major landmarks, the key government institutions of the state of New South Wales are all located on this street.

Parliament House, Sydney house of parliament for State of New South Wales, Australia

The Parliament House in Sydney is a heritage-listed complex of buildings housing the Parliament of the state of New South Wales, Australia. The building is located on the east side of Macquarie Street in Sydney, the state capital. The façade consists of a two-storey Georgian building, the oldest public building in the City of Sydney, flanked by two Neo-gothic additions containing the parliamentary chambers. These buildings are linked to a 1970s 12-storey block at the rear, facing onto the Domain. It is also known as Parliament House, Parliament of New South Wales, Parliamentary Precincts and Rum Hospital.

State politics

Parliament of New South Wales

The Australian state of New South Wales has a bicameral parliament. The Legislative Assembly (lower house) is composed of 93 members of parliament, each of whom represents a single electorate. The voting system is preferential. Until the mid-1990s, members of the Assembly served for up to four years, until the Greiner government made terms a fixed length of four years. The Legislative Council (upper house) comprises 42 members, who serve terms of 8 years. The Queen of Australia is represented by the governor, who formally appoints the premier, as nominated by the majority party in the Assembly.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Nicholas Frank Hugo Greiner is an Australian politician who served as the 37th Premier of New South Wales from 1988 to 1992. He was Leader of the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party from 1983 to 1992 and Leader of the Opposition from 1983 to 1988. He has been the Federal President of the Liberal Party of Australia since June 2017, with Fay Duda, Allan Pidgeon, Karina Okotel, and Trish Worth as Vice Presidents.

Governor of New South Wales vice-regal representative of the Australian monarch in New South Wales

The Governor of New South Wales is the viceregal representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in the state of New South Wales. In an analogous way to the Governor-General of Australia at the national level, the Governors of the Australian states perform constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level. The governor is appointed by the queen on the advice of the premier of New South Wales, for an unfixed period of time—known as serving At Her Majesty's pleasure—though five years is the norm. The current governor is retired judge Margaret Beazley, who succeeded David Hurley on 2 May 2019.

Office holders

The formal chief executive of New South Wales is the governor, who is appointed as the Queen's representative on the advice of the head of the governing party. The current governor is Margaret Beazley. The governor holds limited reserve powers, but with few exceptions is required by convention to act on the advice of the government.

Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

Margaret Joan Beazley, is an Australian jurist and the 39th and current Governor of New South Wales, serving since 2 May 2019. She was the president of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, the first woman to hold the office, from 2013 until February 2019.

The premier of New South Wales is currently The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, of the Liberal Party. Berejiklian is the 45th Premier who assumed office on 23 January 2017 after the resignation of Mike Baird. This follows a succession of resignations as Baird succeeded Barry O'Farrell, who served as premier after a landslide election win at the 2011 election. O'Farrell was forced to resign following an unfortunate appearance at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. The Deputy Premier of New South Wales, currently Nationals leader is John Barilaro, MLA, who has held this office since 2016 succeeding Troy Grant who is now the Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services.

Premier of New South Wales head of government for the state of New South Wales, Australia

The Premier of New South Wales is the head of government in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Government of New South Wales follows the Westminster system, with a Parliament of New South Wales acting as the legislature. The Premier is appointed by the Governor of New South Wales, and by modern convention holds office by virtue of his or her ability to command the support of a majority of members of the lower house of Parliament, the Legislative Assembly.

Gladys Berejiklian Australian politician

Gladys Berejiklian is an Australian politician serving as the 45th and current Premier of New South Wales and the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party, offices which she assumed on 23 January 2017 following the resignation of Mike Baird. She has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly since 2003, representing the seat of Willoughby.

Barry OFarrell 43rd Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Western Sydney 2011–2014

Barry Robert O'Farrell is a former Australian politician who was the 43rd Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Western Sydney from 2011 to 2014. He was the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party from 2007 to 2014, and was a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1995 to 2015, representing Northcott until 1999 and representing Ku-ring-gai on the Upper North Shore of Sydney from 1999 to 2015. He is currently President and Independent Board Chair of Diabetes Australia, Chair of the Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club and CEO of Racing Australia Ltd.

Officially opposing the New South Wales government is the opposition, made up of the Labor Party, currently led by the leader of the opposition, Michael Daley.

The Australian Labor Party , also known as NSW Labor and Country Labor in regional areas, is the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party. The parliamentary leader is elected from and by the members of the party caucus, comprising all party members in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. The party factions have a strong influence on the election of the leader. The leader's position is dependent on the continuing support of the caucus and the leader may be deposed by failing to win a vote of confidence of parliamentary members. By convention, the premier sits in the Legislative Assembly, and is the leader of the party controlling a majority in that house. The party leader also typically is a member of the Assembly, though this is not a strict party constitutional requirement. Barrie Unsworth, for example, was elected party leader while a member of the Legislative Council. He then transferred to the Assembly by winning a seat at a by-election.

The Leader of the Opposition is a title held by the leader of the second-largest party in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of New South Wales. There is also a Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council. He or she acts as the public face of the opposition, leading the opposition on the floor of parliament. They act as a chief critic of the government and ultimately attempt to portray the opposition as a feasible alternate government. They are also given certain additional rights under parliamentary standing orders, such as extended time limits for speeches.

Michael John Daley is an Australian politician who was the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of New South Wales from November 2018 to March 2019. He is currently a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Maroubra for the Australian Labor Party since 2005. Daley is aligned with the Labor Right faction.

The government is decided every four years by election. The current election was held in 2019.

Political parties

New South Wales is currently governed by the Liberal Party. The two main parties are the Liberal Party/National Party Coalition, and the Labor Party. Other currently elected parties in New South Wales politics include the Greens, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, the Christian Democratic Party, the Animal Justice Party, the One Nation, the Liberal Democrats and the Keep Sydney Open.

State party support by region

Liberal

The Liberals strongest base has always been on the North Shore and Northern Beaches as well as the Hills and Forest districts, creating a 'bloc' on the northern side of Sydney Harbour. The last time the Labor party won an electorate wholly within any of these districts was the electorates of Manly, Wakehurst and Willoughby in the 1978 'Wranslide' election. The electoral districts of North Shore and the single Liberal held electorate of Vaucluse in the Eastern Suburbs are the most affluent areas in the state and have never been lost to the Labor party. The Liberals have consistently held the regional electorates of Albury, Bega and Wagga Wagga.

Nationals

The Nationals (formally the Country Party) are a party representing country issues and farmers and only generally seek to represent rural and regional electorates. Their strongest base within the state has always been the New England, Northern Tablelands, Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Riverina and the Central West. The Nationals biggest competitors are the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers and well as local independents from time to time. When there is no incumbent, it is not uncommon for the Liberals to run candidates against the Nationals creating three cornered contests in semi-rural electorates such as Cessnock, Monaro, Golbourn and Wagga Wagga.

Labor

Labor was traditionally strongest in the Inner West, Western Sydney and South Western Sydney however their status has diminished since the late 2000's in the Inner West with the rise of the left-wing Greens in the electorates of Balmain and Newtown. The continued success of the Liberals in Western Sydney has seen Labor unable to recover over the last decade electorates for which they normally held uninterrupted for multiple electoral cycles including Penrith, East Hills and Parramatta. Labor's significant majorities and continual hold-outs with its highest two-party preferred votes are in the electorates with the highest concentration of lower socioeconomic groups such as Mount Druitt, Blacktown and Canterbury. Labor are equally unchallenged in the electorates with known ethnic enclaves such as Lakemba, Cabramatta, Bankstown and Fairfield respectively.

Outside metropolitan Sydney, Labor have consistently recorded majorities in the regions of the Hunter and Central Coast with the Coalition holding only a single electorate in each without interruption, being: Upper Hunter and Terrigal. Labor generally perform well in the Illawarra and in the Far West mining town of Broken Hill.

Greens

The Greens have solidified support within the Inner West city region of metropolitan Sydney at the expense of Labor. There has been little to no opposition from the Liberals or their predecessors in seats where left-wing candidates have always won by substantial margins such as the current Balmain and Newtown and the former related seats such as Leichhardt, Phillip, Elizabeth, Rozelle and Port Jackson. With the loss of these reliable seats, this creates a harder task for Labor to form majority government into the future. The Greens have seen localised success in the Northern Rivers seat of Ballina which entirely encompasses the Byron Bay district.

'Blue Ribbon' and 'Hard Labor' electorates

The following lists current electorates where the opposing party (Liberal/National versus Labor/Greens) have never won each seat or its direct predecessor following a redistribution or since the abolition of proportional representation of the lower house in 1927:

Note: Labor and Greens have been grouped together as it is historically evident that the electorates of Newtown and Balmain would likely never be won by a centre-right candidate and were held by the Labor party for nearly 80 years.

Marginal seats

For governments to change hands, generally there is a quantity of marginal electorates that determine the result of the election which sustain the most amount of attention from the major parties. In New South Wales, most of these electorates are located in Western Sydney and surrounds and generally after redistribution by the New South Wales Electoral Commission they remain marginal or ± 5% of the previous margin. In the case of electorates that more than often side with the incoming or continuing government, known as a bellwether, the electorate of Monaro holds the record for all but one (1995) election since 1927 in having sided with the government of the day, the other common bellwethers being Oatley (formerly Georges River) and Ryde (formerly Gladesville and Fuller). Other electorates that often change hands between the major parties include: Drummoyne, Gosford, Maitland, Heathcote, Holsworthy and Wollondilly.

Federal politics

New South Wales has 48 seats in the Australian House of Representatives, the most of any state. As such, it is nearly impossible to win government without a strong base in New South Wales, while a decent showing in New South Wales can usually make up for a poor night elsewhere. Labor has never won an election without winning a majority in New South Wales, while the Liberal-National Coalition last won an election without a majority in New South Wales in 1961. [1]

The 1996 federal election was an example of how critical New South Wales is in federal elections. The Labor government only suffered a five percent swing to the Coalition nationwide, which is not normally enough in and of itself to cause a change of government. However, the election turned into a Coalition rout in large part due to Labor losing 13 of its 33 seats in New South Wales.

Party support by region

Liberals

As with the state Liberal strongholds, the federal results are similar in that the party draws most of its continuous support from the North Shore of Sydney Harbour to the Hawkesbury River. The Liberal Party of Australia have never lost the divisions of Berowra, Bradfield, Makellar, North Sydney and Warringah on the northern side of the harbour or the Eastern Suburbs division of Wentworth on the southern side to an opposing center-left or left-wing party endorsed candidate. Two of the safest divisions for the Liberals are Bradfield and the Hills district based division of Mitchell.

Labor

Unlike with state results, Labor has consistently maintained supremacy over the Greens in the Inner West and the Liberals through the bulk of the Western Sydney basin to the Blue Mountains. The only inner-metropolitan Sydney seat that changes between Labor and Liberal is the division of Reid (formerly Lowe) which is currently held by the Liberals as of 2013. Labor dominate the Hunter and Illawarra regions, as of 2019 holding every seat; the divisions of Gilmore and Paterson being the only historically winnable seats for the Liberals in each region. The Central Coast seats of Dobell and Division of Robertson swing between both parties.

Notable New South Wales political figures

See also

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1959 New South Wales state election

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1965 New South Wales state election

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