NSW election results to begin coming in as voting closes, counting starts

| 23.03,19. 05:42 PM |



NSW election results to begin coming in as voting closes, counting starts


ABC News

Voting has closed in the NSW election and counting has begun, with the result expected to come down to the wire and be determined by key regional seats.


Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Labor leader Michael Daley both voted early, and spent the day visiting marginal electorates.


Opinion polls have consistently pointed to a close result, with many suggesting the Coalition and Labor are deadlocked 50-50 on a two-party preferred basis.


ABC elections analyst Antony Green has said "unconventional races" in rural seats will decide the result.


The leaders have remained strictly on message for the last days of the campaign, following stumbles from both in the final televised debate this week.


Mr Daley failed to recall figures from his party's key education platform, while Ms Berejiklian mistakenly said there would be a toll on the M4 motorway.


Mr Daley placed the Sydney Football Stadium front and centre early in the campaign after a heated on-air discussion with broadcaster Alan Jones, in which he said he would sack Jones and the rest of the SCG Trust board.


The stadium issue dominated days of campaigning as demolition work began, following a legal bid to have it stopped.


The Government had, since last year, insisted it would knock down and rebuild the stadium, while Mr Daley made it an election issue by declaring the venue would instead be refurbished under a Labor government.


Cost of living also proved a critical consideration for voters, with government and opposition focus groups citing it frequently.


The Christchurch shootings prompted attention to shift to Labor's preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.


The Government released an attack ad featuring former prime minister John Howard, warning voters of the potential for his signature 1996 gun reforms to be watered down.


Mr Daley then declared he would no longer sit in Parliament if that happened.


Sydney's congestion problems forced transport into the spotlight and, while the Government long boasted it had the largest transport infrastructure program in Australia, no ribbons were cut before polling day.


Key promises included $6.4 billion from the Coalition for the Metro West project, while Labor pledged $8 billion to "fast track" that project from Parramatta to the CBD.


Sydney residents are now very familiar with the woes of the CBD light rail, which should open in 2020, more than a year late and $1 billion over budget.


Part of the WestConnex motorway will open this year and NorthConnex will open next year.


Mr Daley entered damage control earlier this week after a video emerged of a community meeting in September, at which he suggested young people were "fleeing" Sydney and "Asians with PhDs" were taking jobs.


Mr Daley this week declared he would stay on as Labor leader even if his party did not win tonight.


abc


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