Majority government in the balance as independents promise Labor supply

NSW election 2023

Full election results

Three key independents have guaranteed confidence and supply to the new Labor government, with its prospects of governing in majority left hanging in the balance on Monday evening after several close seat races narrowed in vote counting.

Labor has a secure hold on 45 seats and is ahead by small margins in two more – Ryde and Kiama – with almost 60 per cent of the statewide vote counted. A total of 47 seats is required for a majority.

Labor candidate for Kiama Katelin McInerney is currently leading independent Gareth Ward.

Alex Ellinghausen

Slow progress in counting remaining votes from Saturday’s state election could leave Labor waiting many days to learn if it can claim majority. At least eight seats were still too close to call when the vote count paused late on Monday.

In a significant development, influential independent MPs Alex Greenwich, Greg Piper and Joe McGirr confirmed they would guarantee confidence and supply to the new Minns government if needed.

“In respect of the decisive result of the election, and in the interest of stable government, the members for Sydney, Lake Macquarie, and Wagga Wagga have agreed to provide confidence and supply to the incoming government should it be required,” the trio said in a joint signed statement.

“We look forward to a strong and consultative working relationship with the new premier [Chris Minns] and his team.”

At 6pm on Monday Labor’s candidate for Ryde, Lyndal Howison, held a 240 vote lead over Liberal candidate Jordan Lane with about a quarter of the votes still to be counted.

In the battle for the South Coast seat of Kiama, Labor’s Katelin McInerney led independent Gareth Ward by 750 votes with just under 70 per cent of the total counted.

Ward, a former Liberal minister, will appear in court on Tuesday, where he is facing historic sexual assault charges that he denies.

The vote in Kiama means the Liberal Party no longer holds a coastal seat south of the Sutherland Shire, having lost Heathcote, Shellharbour and South Coast on Saturday, while Labor retained other southern seats of Keira, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Bega.

Labor candidate Lyndal Howison, pictured with Prime Minister Antony Albanese, holds a slim 240 lead in Ryde.

Dion Georgopoulos

One Liberal, not authorised to speak publicly, said the red wave meant the party had “completely lost its grip” on coastal seats south of Sydney.

“I don’t think anyone thought South Coast would swing as much as it did. It makes it very difficult when you lose those seats because they are so hard to get back.”

Labor trails by small margins in Miranda (71 votes), Goulburn (306 votes) and Holsworthy (340 votes) and all these seats remain in doubt.

The electorate of Terrigal on the Central Coast was called for Labor on Saturday night, but the party’s lead was erased during counting on Monday. The Liberal incumbent, Adam Crouch, was 87 votes ahead late on Monday with about 70 per cent of the total counted.

Soon after the count resumed on Monday the western Sydney seat of Winston Hills was called for the Liberals and incumbent Mark Taylor.

The north shore seat of Willoughby was held by Liberal incumbent Tim James, who emerged the victor of a neck-and-neck race with independent Larissa Penn in the high-profile electorate of former premier Gladys Berejiklian.

James now leads his independent challenger by more than 1400 votes on a two-candidate preferred basis with almost 70 per cent of votes counted. However, the party suffered a 19.85 per cent swing against it.

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