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The New South Wales Labor party in Australia has been the second to fall to the Liberals, with Premier Kristina Kineally suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Barry O’Farrell. Mr O’Farrell is the new Coalition premier – the Coalition made up of the Liberal party, and more country and rural based National party.
Unlike other countries the Liberal party of Australia is the more conservative political party, while the National party is the main political party in rural and regional areas of Australia.
Mr O’Farrell’s victory is the second blow dealt to the Labor party, with Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby being ousted at the end of last year by Coalition candidate Ted Bailieau.
The Labor party in NSW has been in power since 1995 but it’s popularity has been slowly declining since the retirement of long-serving Premier Bob Carr who held the post for a decade, longer then any other Premier.
After Bob Carr’s retirement the party was led to victory over the Coalition by Morris Iemma, in 2007. In 2008 Iemma stepped down as Premier after losing in party support and in the wake of a number of resignations in his government.
He was replaced by Nathan Rees, who was Premier from September 2008 to December 2009. During his brief tenure as Premier he re-shuffled the cabinet on four occasions, resulting in numerous portfolio changes for a variety of ministers.
As the result of this and other decisions Mr Rees lost the critical support of several in-party Labor factions, including behind-the-scenes heavyweight Joe Tripodi who he sacked as Finance Minister.
Mr. Rees was replaced by Kristina Kineally who led the Labor party so unsuccessfully to the recent election.
Of Australia’s six states and two territories, three are now run by the Liberal Party, including two with some of the countries largest populations, Victoria and New South Wales, with a Labor Prime Minister presiding.
Historically Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland have had larger political sway because these three states hold a large proportion of the Australian population. With two of those three under Liberal rule the political landscape of Australia looks set to become extremely politically interesting.