NSW election 2023: Polls are CLOSED! Perrottet and Minns wait with

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Polling has now closed and the count is underway to determine the next Premier of New South Wales.

Millions of residents turned out across the state to place their votes, contending with both rain and sunshine at different stages throughout the day.

But there’s nine marginal seats in particular which will be hotly contested and could help win the election for either party. 

Both Dominic Perrottet and Chris Minns are now with their respective camps, waiting patiently for results to begin trickling in.

Labor’s Mr Minns remains the favourite as of 6pm, but the Coalition is quietly confident that Mr Perrottet has had a strong enough campaign to keep his job.

Experts believe the key to the election is in western and south western Sydney, with several marginal seats open to falling either way.

NSW election 2023: Polls are CLOSED! Perrottet and Minns wait with

Labor is the favourite to win the NSW election but it won’t be able to form a government without the Greens or independents, based on betting odds and expert predictions

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet casts his vote alongside wife Helen at Beecroft Public School in Sydney's north-west on election day

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet casts his vote alongside wife Helen at Beecroft Public School in Sydney’s north-west on election day

Labor's Mr Minns remains the favourite as of 6pm

Labor’s Mr Minns remains the favourite as of 6pm

The regions experienced particularly tough lockdown restrictions which could hamper Mr Perrottet’s efforts, but most of them have been held by the Liberal party for at least eight years. 

East Hills and Heathcote in Sydney’s south west and south are both held by Liberals with a minute margin, but are now likely to be stolen by Labor.

In Heathcote, sitting MP Lee Evans has $5 odds for re-election, compared to Labor’s $1.15.

And in East Hills, a recent redistribution of the area reduced the Liberal margin from 0.5 per cent to 0.1 per cent, and Labor is at $1.25 odds to win it. 

Former deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres has a 0.6 per cent margin in Penrith in western Sydney, but Labor is at $1.30 odds to win it. 

Parramatta and Riverstone are both held by the Liberal Party with margins of 6.5 per cent and 6.2 per cent. Labor is the favourite to win both seats.   

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Holsworthy is Liberal held with a six per cent margin, but experts are still predicting a tight race in the south-western Sydney seat, while Nationals hold a margin of just 0.5 per cent in the Upper Hunter. The Coalition is still the favourite at $1.55 odds compared with $2.30 for Labor.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns is seen outside of Panania Public School with local candidate Kylie Wilkinson (left) on election day

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns is seen outside of Panania Public School with local candidate Kylie Wilkinson (left) on election day

Labor leader Chris Minns kisses his wife Anna as they vote at Carlton South Public school during the NSW state election in Sydney

Labor leader Chris Minns kisses his wife Anna as they vote at Carlton South Public school during the NSW state election in Sydney

And nearby Leppington is an entirely new seat, expected to vote in favor of Labor.   

Golbourn holds a 3.1 per cent Liberal margin and the party is the favourite to retain this marginal seat in southern NSW, but odds are tight at $1.65 compared with $2.15 for Labor.

Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell has already predicted Labor to secure a majority government.

The premier was accompanied by his wife Helen to the Beecroft Public School polling booth in his seat of Epping, north-west Sydney, on Saturday morning to vote.

Mr Minns joined volunteers to hand out flyers at Panania Public School, in the inner south-west suburbs, as he prepared to cast his vote for his seat in Kogarah.

He’ll be anxious for the results to start rolling in for his seat, currently holding just a 0.1 per cent margin after a recent redistribution saw his holdings slashed.

Labor has held the electorate for 70 years and Mr Minns is confident today won’t be any different.

‘To the best of my understanding, I’m the only candidate running for the seat of Kogarah that actually lives in the Kogarah electorate,’ he said.

More than 1.5 million people had already cast their ballots when early voting closed on Friday night, representing around 28 per cent of the state's 5.5 million voters

More than 1.5 million people had already cast their ballots when early voting closed on Friday night, representing around 28 per cent of the state’s 5.5 million voters

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor leader Chris Minns have joined millions of residents to cast their votes at the state election

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor leader Chris Minns have joined millions of residents to cast their votes at the state election

‘So I’m going to leave it up to my neighbours and my friends and the people that I’ve grown up with in the St George region to make a verdict.’

Mr Minns would only be the fourth state Labor leader to win from Opposition since World War II – ending 12 years in the political wilderness for the ALP.

Earlier on Saturday, former prime minister Scott Morrison was seen handing out pamphlets at polling booths in the Sutherland Shire, while current PM Anthony Albanese took on Balmain.

Online gambling group Sportsbet predicts Labor will pick up the Sydney seats of East Hills, Parramatta, Penrith and Riverstone from the Liberal Party, plus the notionally Labor electorate of Heathcote.

That would leave Labor with 42 seats – five short of the magic 47 number needed for a majority in the 93-member lower house, as the Coalition was left with 41 seats.

Mr Minns would also be the first state Labor leader since 1995 to have won from Opposition when Labor was in power federally (he is pictured with Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese)

Mr Minns would also be the first state Labor leader since 1995 to have won from Opposition when Labor was in power federally (he is pictured with Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese)

Sydneysiders stand in queue at a polling station in Bondi, in Sydney's eastern suburbs

Sydneysiders stand in queue at a polling station in Bondi, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

This would make three Greens MPs the kingmakers, along with former gay marriage campaigner Alex Greenwich, regional independents Greg Piper and Joe McGirr, and former Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party members Helen Dalton, Phil Donato and Roy Butler.

But the NSW Electoral Commission says more than 1.5 million residents voted early across the state, with 127,653 postal votes returned as well. 

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Should Labor prevail, Mr Minns would be joining William McKell in 1941, Neville Wran in 1976 and Bob Carr in 1995 as the only New South Wales Labor leaders to have won from Opposition since World War II.

Mr Minns would also be the first state Labor leader since 1995 to have won from Opposition when Labor was in power federally.

This would make Mr Perrottet the first Liberal premier to lose an election since the late John Fahey, leaving him as the only living former Liberal premier to have been defeated.

A different premier has fronted every NSW election since 2007, with Mr Carr in 2003 the last state leader to contest consecutive elections.

Key seats that could decide NSW election

EAST HILLS: Liberal margin of 0.1 per cent in south-west Sydney electorate with Labor at $1.25 odds to win it, compared with $3.50 for the Coalition

PENRITH: Former Liberal deputy leader Stuart Ayres has a 0.6 per cent margin in far western Sydney with Labor at $1.30 odds to win it, compared with $3.25 for the Coalition

RIVERSTONE: Liberal margin of 6.2 per cent in north-west Sydney with Labor at $1.40 odds to win it, compared with $2.75 for the Coalition

PARRAMATTA: Retiring minister Geoff Lee leaves a Liberal margin of 6.5 per cent in western Sydney with Labor at $1.15 odds to win it, compared with $5.50 for the Coalition 

HEATHCOTE: Sitting Liberal MP Lee Evans is running for re-election  in outer southern Sydney seat where Labor now has a notional 1.7 per cent margin following a redistribution. Labor at $1.15 odds to win it compared with $5 for the Coalition

UPPER HUNTER: Nationals margin of just 0.5 per cent but Coalition still the favourite at $1.55 odds compared with $2.30 for Labor

GOULBURN: Liberal margin of 3.1 per cent but it’s still the favourite to retain this marginal seat in southern NSW, with odds of $1.65 compared with $2.15 for Labor

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