The New South Wales 2019 state election saw Gladys Berejiklian’s Liberal government holding on to power, which might have surprised anyone who mainly hangs out with people under 40 in inner Sydney.
The youth vote against the Libs was thought to be strong, given the controversial pushes against music festivals and late-night culture over the last few months and years. But NSW is bigger than just Sydney, and frustration with all the major parties saw regional and rural voters chip away at a couple of their seats.
And Gladys’ government is still potentially a minority one, with one seat short of a majority – meaning she’ll need to negotiate with the cross-benchers to get anything done in the next three years.
With less than two months to go until the Federal election, everyone’s trying to work out how this affects Scott Morrison.
Nobody came out of this election looking good, though, and NSW is worse off for it.
Winners: The Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party
The SFF picked up two seats, Barwon and Murray, previously held by the Nats, with eye-watering swings of 33.5% and 21.8% respectively, as of Sunday morning. Which roughly translates to “So long, and thanks for killing all the fish.”
We can only hope that the Farmers part of their party name is where these new representatives will focus, to give rural and regional NSW a real voice.
Losers: The Labor party
With three months to turn things around after losing their leader to a groping scandal, NSW Labor still had a shot at this one given the negative sentiment against the Libs over everything from the lockouts and live music laws to that cheeky stadium demolition.
But new leader Michael Daley (recognise his name, even?) flushed a close race right down the loo with the revelation of extremely icky comments from a few years ago about “Asians with PhDs” takin’ all the jerbs, just a week out from the polls.
Winners: Women, apparently
Gladys is the first woman to be elected premier of NSW (not the first female premier, thanks very much, Libs). She’s the second woman in the country to lead her party to a state election win.
An unmarried woman politician who doesn’t have to do performative feminine housewifey things in order to make people feel more comfortable with her being in power? That’s some minor progress. But women winning power isn’t automatically “feminist” – they actually have to do good things for the women they represent too.
Whatever you think of the broader result, we now have Mark Latham set to sit in the NSW upper house til 2027.
That’s an eight-year term. That’s four Olympics from now. That’s either seven or three years past the end of Donald Trump’s term in the White House. That’s your twelve-year-old cousin’s entire adolescence. That’s the year Children Of Men is set.
It’s bad enough to have One Nation picking up votes at all, but nearly a decade of this party-hopping melted Beaker Funko Pop figurine, a man who ran on DNA testing Indigenous people, emboldened by the platform, megaphone and electoral legitimacy of a state senate position?