In deciding not to contest the upcoming byelections in Newcastle and Charlestown, NSW Premier Mike Baird has badly misjudged his response to ongoing revelations of corruption within his party at the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Clearly the decision will save the party money ahead of next March's election, but to deprive voters of the opportunity to vent their anger smacks of cowardice.

The havoc wreaked by ICAC on the NSW Liberals, and in particular the removal of the popular and increasingly successful Barry O'Farrell, presents us with the unlikely scenario that NSW Labor could be competitive at the 2015 election.