Back to NSW: What happens next?

The NSW government has been reelected on Saturday, and to some observers this came as a little surprise, baring in mind that Labor had momentum during the early stages of the campaign. It seemed unclear what impact federal politics would have on this particular state election. But, when election day came, it was just enough for the Premier to secure her first term in her own right. Now, of course, the more significant issue, intriguing politicians and observers alike, is what happens in May, when Australians go to the polls nationally. Since modern politics is geared toward permanent campaigning, something which makes governing a country not easier these days, one might be tempted to read too much into the situation, assuming that the NSW results will strengthen the Coalition come election day. Yet, caution is in order here. As I have pointed out

previously

on this blog, the impact of this particular election on federal politics will be fairly limited. This has not just to do with Labor’s political baggage in New South Wales, but also with the fact that even a narrow Coalition win would not change political parameters beyond expectations. Scraping to victory for a third consecutive term is somewhat unusual for the Coalition in the state and hasn’t happened since the 1970s. But the result throws up some additional problems for them, particularly as far as the

Nats

are concerned, losing ground to minor conservative parties, in particular to the

Shooters Fishers and Farmers party.

Such bleeding of support will in all likelihood put even more strain on the Coalition in the lead-up to the election, and it is more than doubtful that any pre-election budget, no matter how skillfully drafted, can stem the tide. One has to remember that this comes as an additional complication for the federal government, since the

Liberals

have no way of knowing whether any of their vulnerable seats either in NSW or beyond will be saved by any presumed momentum from Saturday’s results. Thus, given their own woes in Canberra, and the problems facing the Nationals which have become evident two days ago, my money is still on a Labor victory in two months.

The NSW election is discussed

here

with NSW reporter

Brigid Lanville .

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