Minns sworn in as Labor hopes for NSW majority fade

Chris Minns sworn in as NSW's 47th premier

Chris Minns has been sworn in as NSW’s 47th premier, as Labor’s hopes for a majority government waning as counting continues in nail-biter electorates.

Labor needs 47 seats to have a lower house majority but was stuck on 45 late on Monday as the Coalition pushed ahead in eight of the seats still in doubt.

Liberal candidates leapfrogged Labor’s early leads in Goulburn, Terrigal, Winston Hills, Holsworthy and Miranda on Monday.

Labor’s lead in Kiama is also slipping away with the seat likely to fall to independent Gareth Ward on Tuesday, according to the ABC’s chief election analyst Antony Green.

“All the inside information I have says that Gareth Ward will win Kiama so Labor can’t reach a majority,” he tweeted.

Mr Ward, a former Liberal minister, was dumped from the party and suspended from parliament last year after being charged with historic sexual and indecent assault.

As counting continues in the tightly-contested race, Mr Ward, who denies any wrongdoing, will face Nowra District Court on Tuesday over the offences.

Another potential seat was shaved from Labor’s column late on Monday, as the party’s candidate for Balmain Philippa Scott conceded to new Greens MP Kobi Shetty.

Labor remains slightly ahead as counting continues in Ryde.

Mr Minns has become Labor’s first NSW premier in 12 years. He was sworn in by Governor Margaret Beazley on Tuesday morning alongside several women making up part of his cabinet, including Prue Car as Deputy Premier and Education Minister, Jo Haylen as Transport Minister and Penny Sharpe as Environment Minister.

The new government’s informal contact with department bosses, including Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter, started on Monday.

Treasurer-elect Daniel Mookhey said the government was keen to fully understand matters, including the northern NSW flood recovery and transport issues that have caused repeated delays on the state’s train network.

“Equally, we are looking forward to getting the briefing on Menindee – the fish kills is a big part of our immediate priority,” Mr Mookhey said on Monday.

Mr Minns spent two hours in a briefing with former premier Dominic Perrottet on Monday as the pair continued their friendly relationship.

Later, Mr Minns made a midnight visit to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital, where he met nurses and paramedics working the overnight shift.

Mr Minns also visited the children’s ward, leaving notes for children to give to their teachers, saying they did not have to do their homework because they were sick.

Work on Labor’s much-touted promise to institute a road toll cap could begin as soon as a roads minister is appointed.

After Mr Perrottet’s resignation as Liberal leader, former planning minister Anthony Roberts, former attorney-general Mark Speakman, and former trade minister Alister Henskens have emerged as leading contenders for the vacant Liberal Party leadership.

Moderates Matt Kean and James Griffin have bowed out of the race.

The incoming government has also been given a political boost with a trio of independents – Alex Greenwich, Greg Piper and Joe McGirr – who sit on the cross bench promising confidence and supply, if the party is not able to form a majority.

In the upper house, 21 of 42 seats were up for election. Early counts show Labor will win eight, the Coalition six, the Greens two, and one seat for One Nation.

Remaining votes and preference flows will decide the last four seats.

-with AAP

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