Baird favourite as polls open

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird says he is not relying on polls showing a favourable outcome in today’s state election and will campaign until the polls close.

Polling booths have opened and will be running until 6:00pm.

Despite the recent experiences of first-term Coalition governments in Queensland and Victoria, polls show Mr Baird is on track to be returned comfortably.

The Premier said yesterday he had no regrets about the way he had run his campaign.

“I feel good, I feel as if I’m ready to go,” Mr Baird said.

“Clearly it’s been a long campaign, but this is probably the most important day I think in the state in a long, long time.

“It’s a critical decision and I ask everyone to carefully consider their vote.

Composite of Mike Baird and Luke Foley

Mike Baird (left) and Luke Foley. Photo: AAP

“There’s an opportunity to keep NSW moving or there’s an opportunity to see NSW go backwards to what we saw for 16 years.

Opposition leader Luke Foley said Labor was still in with a chance, however.

“I’m in this to win it,” Mr Foley said.

“The people of Queensland stopped the sale of their electricity network by electing a Labor government.

“I’m presenting the people of NSW with the same opportunity today.”

Labor expected to pick up seats

Labor is hoping to pick up between 10 and 15 seats today, but that would not be enough to unseat the incumbents.

However, Mr Foley said the polls were not a good guide in the Queensland and Victorian elections.

“This has been Labor at its best,” Mr Foley said.

“Don’t listen to those polls, it is a very tight election.”

A senior Liberal source told the ABC if the Coalition received between 44 to 45 per cent of the primary vote, that could give it nine seats in the Upper House, but not necessarily enough control to see an easy passage of plans to privatise the electricity network.

While the privatisation of the state’s poles and wires has dominated the campaign, both Mr Foley and Mr Baird spent the last day of campaigning spruiking major policies across Sydney.

Mr Baird even made a last-minute pitch in the form of a widely circulated text message on election eve that read: “My personal commitment to you and to NSW is to NEVER stop working for you, your family and community.”

The Opposition Leader broke into song on Sydney radio station 2Day FM, inventing an impromptu jingle: “I need that one thing – that’s your vote tomorrow. Vote Labor.”

He then headed to a childcare centre on the border of the Penrith and Blue Mountains electorates to highlight his pledge that all new schools would have childcare or after-school care facilities on site.

Mr Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian went to the Sydney suburb of Cherrybrook to announce that if the Government were re-elected, the Northwest Rail Link would join up with a second harbour rail crossing.

Undecided voters lean to minor parties

The latest Vote Compass survey indicated that undecided voters are leaning toward minor parties and education topped their concerns.

Of more than 60,200 people who took the survey, 9 per cent said they were still undecided on which party they would vote for.

The highest number of undecided voters (13 per cent) were aged between 18 and 34, and more men had made up their minds than women.

Undecided voters ranked education as topping their list of concerns, followed by cost of living, asset sales and health care.

More than a third of undecided voters (37 per cent) said they were leaning toward minor parties.

NSW Electoral Commissioner Colin Barry has advised voters that polling places are usually busier in the morning.

“Electors who wish to avoid queues or who would like to take more time with their voting are encouraged to visit polling places after 2:00pm when they are less busy,” Mr Barry said.

The election results will be published on the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) website from 7:00pm and will be updated continuously throughout the evening.

It is anticipated by the NSWEC that the result of approximately 75 per cent of enrolled voters will be on display by 11:00pm.

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