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Libs should avoid ‘margins’ after NSW election defeat

Federal Liberals are weighing in on their party’s defeat at the NSW election, urging it not to veer too far from the mainstream.

March 27, 2023
By Tess Ikonomou
27 March 2023

Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has warned his party against chasing the “margins” and lurching further to the extreme end of politics following the coalition’s loss at the NSW election.

NSW premier-elect Chris Minns led his party to a resounding victory in Saturday’s election, with a clear Labor majority.

Labor party now holds power in every state and territory in mainland Australia, with Tasmania the only Liberal-held state left in the nation.

On Labor’s victory, Senator Bragg said after 12 years in power, it was always going to be hard for his party to retain power and noted the heavy swings in western Sydney and the regions. 

“One of the most important lessons here is that we have to be a party that doesn’t go to the margins and that doesn’t seek to inject division into the mainstream,” he told ABC radio. 

“But the Liberal Party has held on to the bulk of its metro seats, on the north shore, in the eastern suburbs, parts of the inner west.

“These are the areas that were wiped out in the last federal election and I think that’s an important distinction.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese featured heavily in NSW Labor’s election campaign, while federal Liberal Leader Peter Dutton was notably absent. 

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said Labor’s success at the state election was due to its ability to bring people together on the major issues facing the nation, particularly on climate action.

“And trying to reject that politics of toxic tribalism of pitting people against each other which really has dominated the conservative playbook for the last 15 years or so,” he said.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland congratulated NSW premier-elect Chris Minns on his presidential-style campaign. 

“Chris Minns distinguished himself as someone who was focused on immediate cost of living relief, he’s someone who was focused on education, the future, and really about making life a bit better,” she told Sky News.

“The campaign said it all, we need a fresh start.”

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