'Super Saturday' of elections could be on the cards for NSW

Three senior Liberals resign

With the number of NSW state and local government elections to be held, there has been talk of a 'super Saturday' election day, most likely before Christmas.

The resignation of NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro brings the current tally to three NSW seats requiring a byelection.

Mr Barilaro's resignations follows Transport Minister Andrew Constance's resignation on Sunday, October 3 and Premier Gladys Berejiklian's shock resignation on Friday, October 1.

There is now talk within Liberal Party circles that this could mean a 'super Saturday' where the three seats are contested on the same day.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro resigns.

Additionally there is discussion that the seats could be contested on December 4, to coincide with the NSW local government elections which have been deferred twice because of the COVID pandemic.

If it could be achieved, it would make sense from both an economic and health perspective. Elections are an expensive process.

However meeting the December 4 deadline for the state byelections may take some wrangling between nominations from those wishing to contest the seat, party room selection procedures and providing sufficient time for electioneering.

Andrew Constance has held the NSW seat of Bega since 2003 and at the last NSW state election took it with a 5.9 per cent majority.

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There has been speculation around two names as potential nominees for the seat of Bega, Mitchell Nadin, who is a councillor with Bega Valley Shire Council and Liz Innes, currently mayor of Eurobodalla Council.

Timing will be the key issue with the NSW state election date to be announced by the Speaker after consultation with the the Electoral Commission.

There appears to be a strong desire to see the NSW state elections take place before Christmas, particularly as any delay would likely mean no elections until after the the holidays finish at the end of January 2022.

Mr Constance declared his intention to nominate for the federal seat of Gilmore and the move has been welcomed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

It is understood that the Gilmore discussions have been taking place for a while, but the recent events around Ms Berejiklian's resignation and Mr Constance's close working relationship with the Premier - and where that might leave him after her departure - helped to stack the odds in favour of nominating for Gilmore.

Factional politics play a major role but Ms Berejiklian was seen as someone who kept the factions in balance.

In his resignation speech Mr Barilaro said the Nationals didn't have factions.

"We just have freshwater or saltwater Nats, depending on whether you're inland or on the coast," he joked.

Nominations for the Gilmore seat close on November 19. If there are no other nominees, Mr Constance will be named but if there are, the Liberal party pre-selection process will take place.

This story 'Super Saturday' of elections could be on the cards for NSW first appeared on Bega District News.