We are but weeks away from an election in New South Wales – polling day is on March 23 – and it will be eagerly watched. Not just for the outcome but for the implications for the looming federal election.
That’s according to Dr Andy Marks, a political scientist from Western Sydney University, who tells us on the podcast today that this state election outcome may give us some clues on how some global political themes are playing out here in Australia.
“It’s not just about state politics. Increasingly the Australian electoral cycles, federally and at the state level, are subject to changes in political dynamics internationally. We’re seeing the erosion of centrist politics around the world […] and that even affects humble New South Wales.”
He predicts a weakened Nationals Party will be facing a strong challenge from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and that One Nation’s Mark Latham is almost a sure bet to win a spot in the NSW upper house.
“I do think you’ll see a minority Coalition government returned but the really interesting play is what happens in the upper house. Currently, the Coalition have to deal with two to three independents or minor parties to get stuff over the line,” said Dr Marks.
“I think what we’ll see in the coming parliament is that that the ranks of cross-benchers will expand quite dramatically, up to seven to nine cross-benchers. So that makes negotiations pretty fraught.
"This is really going to be new territory,” he said. “We’ve got One Nation returning to the fold. Mark Latham, their number one ticket holder in the upper house, will get in. But potentially they’ll get two seats in the upper house. You’ll have an emboldened Shooters and Fishers Party.
"So you really have a really broad field and it’s going to mean negotiating the passage of bills will be pretty difficult.”
We also talked about:
why East Hills (which takes in suburbs like Panania, Condell Park, the Bankstown aerodrome, Padstow, Revesby and others) is the most marginal seat in NSW
how a plan to demolish and rebuild two stadiums turned into a political headache for NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian
why Michael Daley, who took over from Luke Foley as NSW Labor leader late last year, is only now just making his mark
how local issues in rural seats may end up deciding the fate of the state
what it all means as we head into the May federal election.
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Kindergarten by Unkle Ho, from Elefant Traks
ABC news report on 2GB interview
2GB interview clip.
Chris Pavlich/Dean Lewins(AAP)