Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has warned his party against chasing the “margins” and teetering further towards the political extreme following the Coalition’s defeat in the New South Wales election.
New South Wales Premier-elect Chris Minns led his party to a resounding victory in Saturday’s election, with a clear Labor majority.
The Labor Party now holds power in all states and territories on mainland Australia, with Tasmania being the only remaining Liberal state in the nation.
On Labour’s victory, Senator Bragg said that after 12 years in power, it was always going to be difficult for his party to retain power and noted strong changes 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 fringes and that doesn’t seek to inject division into the mainstream,” he told ABC radio.
“But the Liberal Party has held on to most of its metro seats, on the north coast, in the eastern suburbs, parts of the western hinterland.
“These are the areas that were eliminated in the last federal election, and I think that’s an important distinction.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was heavily involved in the New South Wales Labor election campaign, while Federal Liberal leader Peter Dutton was conspicuously absent.
Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said Labour’s success in state elections was due to its ability to unite people on major issues facing the nation, particularly on climate action.
“And trying to push back against that toxic tribalism politics of pitting people against each other that has really dominated the conservative playbook for the last 15 years or so,” he said.
Nationals leader David Littleproud said the people of NSW had made up their minds.
“You have to respect that. You have to learn, you have to listen, you have to understand and you have to rebuild trust,” Senator Littleproud told the Nine Network.
“And, you know, I think one of the things we should take away from this election was the tone in which it was conducted, I think it just sets the standard that politics can be better than it is right now.” .
Senator Littleproud said he was proud that the Nationals had held on to all of their seats.
“But, you know, I think it was about time. I think that, after 12 years of government, people are getting tired and are looking for something new”.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland congratulated Minns on her presidential-style campaign.
“Chris Minns distinguished himself as someone who was focused on immediate cost of living relief, he is someone who was focused on education, the future and really making life a little bit better,” he told Sky News.
“The campaign said it all, we need a fresh start.”