On 26 March the people of NSW elected to change the government. Barry O’Farrell has been sworn in as Premier. Kristina Keneally has retired to the Labor backbench and John Robertson has been elevated to the Labor leadership.
The swing towards the Coalition was historic. More than 13 per cent of Labor supporters decided to change their vote.
The change of government and the size of the swing came as no surprise. Opinion polls had been foreshadowing this result consistently for some time.
Surprisingly however the Greens only managed to increase their vote by one per cent. For months the Greens had been tracking at nearly double their 2007 result. ACL was critical of a number of the Greens’ policies in the lead up to Election Day. As more and more people began to highlight the Greens’ radical policies, their vote started to decline.
Perhaps given their poor result, the Greens will now reconsider some of their more radical policies on issues like religious freedom, euthanasia, abortion, same-sex marriage, independent schools, pornography and Israel. This would certainly be a welcome development.
While counting in the Upper House is still underway, it would appear the Christian Democratic Party will hold the balance of power together with the Shooters and Fishers Party.
During the campaign, both Labor and the Coalition promised to maintain important protections for religious freedom under NSW law. We will be watching closely to ensure no attempts are made to diminish these protections in any way.
ACL is a staunchly non-party partisan organisation. We do not endorse political parties or candidates. However it would be remiss of me not to mention the defeat of Family First MP, Rev Dr Gordon Moyes at Saturday’s election.
Gordon has been a tireless campaigner for Christian values in the NSW Parliament and we are thankful for his nearly decade-long service in the Legislative Council.