Gladys Berejiklian nsw election
(Image:AAP/Dean Lewins)

A day before the close-run NSW election, local and national newspapers have thrown their support behind the Coalition.

Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph has made no secret of its preference for Premier Gladys Berejiklian to be returned for another term, especially after Labor leader Michael Daley’s stumbles during Wednesday’s Sky News leaders debate.

That support was confirmed today in an editorial that argued NSW was a national leader “due in large part to Berejiklian’s work as transport minister and treasurer”. It spends a good amount of time criticising Daley, saying his campaign was dependent on “showbiz over substance”, coming unstuck this week.

The Tele’s news reporting is backing up that view too. Today’s front page story about a Labor and Greens “unholy alliance” with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is headlined “GUN AND DUMBER”.

Meanwhile, the Tele’s online news stories have felt at home for the past two days, surrounded by a Liberal Party ad takeover on its homepage.

Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald has also endorsed the Coalition, but less stridently. Its front page today describes the “knife edge” election, with a pointer to its editorial supporting the Coalition.

In its editorial, the SMH reflects on a “long and uninspiring campaign”, before endorsing the Coalition for a third term.

“The case for endorsing [Berejiklian] arises not from anything she has done during the campaign. It is mostly a bit on continuity at a time when the state must complete the huge infrastructure projects started on her watch,” the paper said. The editorial warned readers against protest votes to minor parties: “The risk at this election is not which party wins but a minority government which puts voters at the mercy of minor parties.”

National newspapers have also endorsed a Coalition win. The Australian said the Coalition would keep the state safe and strong, also warning of the risk of a hung parliament:

The stark choice for NSW voters is between a sturdy, proven outfit led by a dour, workaholic and mostly competent technocrat and an untested team of political opportunists, punting on complacency and a single, second-order urban issue of stadiums to win votes in the bush.

The Australian Financial Review came out earliest, using its editorial yesterday to also support the Coalition, saying Labor does not have the vision the state needs:

Even where the Coalition has made mistakes — like a politically botched Sydney sports stadium redevelopment plan or a poorly-executed light rail project — neither the money nor the drive would have been there in the first place under Labor. Yet there is a real risk that the Coalition could find itself in minority government and dependent on minor party kingmakers after Saturday’s election — or even replaced by a Labor Party that has offered nothing. For a capable government to lose office in this way would be bad for the state and bad for Australia.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey