When NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her resignation yesterday, following a corruption inquiry into her by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, one of the first things we all thought was, “okay, so who TF is running the show now?” Y’know, besides the banging memes and when and why we haven’t had a similar inquiry into the federal government?
We’re expecting to hear each candidate officially announce their running over the coming days before the NSW Liberal party room comes to a decision on Tuesday. But, let’s have a look at who’s likely to take up the premier mantle.
Who will replace Gladys Berejiklian as the NSW Premier?
Well, by the time this article is published, there are two main candidates: Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Planning Minister Rob Stokes.
Candidate one: Treasurer Dominic Perrottet
Epping MP Dominic Perrottet is currently the NSW treasurer and the frontrunner to replace Berejiklian.
Speaking late on Friday after Berejiklian’s announcement, he said he would confide with his family and friends this weekend on “how I can best serve the people of NSW”.
Back in July, The Australian reported that he reject the lockdown extension at the time and felt that the state needed to learn to live with it.
He’s also a committed Catholic and against the decriminalisation of abortion (cool, cool, cool), but also pushed the federal government to bring back JobKeeper during this year’s major Sydney outbreak.
Side note: Does anyone else think it’s a bit odd that the person who’ll likely replace a former female Premier is someone who doesn’t *believe* women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies when they get pregnant?
Anyway, Perrottet is running with Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean as his deputy. Perrottet is the favoured candidate but also comes from the right-leaning side of the party while Kean represents the Centre-Tight, which could play into his favour and give him the mix of votes he needs.
NSW Police Minister David Elliot revealed last night that he’ll be giving “up to eight” votes to anyone but the right. Reportedly, he was supporting Perrottet until the right-wing faction of the party attempted to usurp Centre-Right councilors in metropolitan Sydney—big yikes.
However, a source close to Perrottet told The Daily Telegraph that they’re confident he will win even without those eight extra votes.
TLDR: it’s looking very likely.
Next in the candidacy order, Rob Stokes
Pittwater MP Rob Stokes is the second likely candidate to be the next NSW Premier. Stokes currently serves as Planning and Public Spaces Minister but was previously Education and Environment Minister.
Like Perrottet, he opposed a bill to legalise abortion in 2019 but has previously pushed back against NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro over koala protection laws, and called to revise negative gearing laws to make it easier to buy a house in Sydney.
So basically, he’s not as right-leaning as Perrottet and that could lead him to get votes from both conservative and moderate members of the party come Tuesday, including maybe Elliot’s alleged eight votes.
Plus, if these posts on his official Instagram tell me anything, it’s that he’s got huge meme potential.
TLDR: Don’t count him out just yet, he has a pretty good shot at winning, too.
Another potential candidate to replace Gladys Berejiklian as Premier? Andrew Constance
Bega MP Andrew Constance is the current Transport and Roads Minister and another NSW liberal politician who’s throwing his hat into the Premier ring.
It’s pretty unlikely he’ll win, to be honest, but if so, he’d be the first NSW Premier to come from somewhere not in Metropolitan Sydney.
TLDR: Not likely.
Don’t forget… Stuart Ayres
Stuart Ayres is currently the Jobs, Investment, Tourism, and Western Sydney Minister. Prior to that, he served as Police and Emergency Services Minister.
He’s in a long-term relationship with *checks notes* Federal Minister for Women and Foreign Affairs Marise Payne. Fortunately, unlike Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire, this one’s already known in the public eye, I guess?
TLDR: It’s looking very unlikely.
Either way, we’ll know exactly who the next Premier of NSW is on Tuesday.Image: Instagram [@robstokesmp] / Getty Images