Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Michael Daley have begun their final pitch to more than five million voters ahead of the NSW election as debate continues over stadiums and party preferences.
But it might be a little too late as more than one million people have already cast their votes ahead of Saturday’s poll, with pre-poll centres and online voting proving popular.
“There is a lot at stake tomorrow,” she told the ABC on Friday before visiting a school in Revesby with her two sisters.
“We’ve already done a lot but our job is far from done and we need to continue to take the state to the next level.”
Some pundits are predicting a hung parliament, given the large number of independent and minor party candidates in seats across the state.
The NSW Electoral Commission said almost 1,058,000 people had lodged their vote by Friday, the day before the election.
Nearly 824,000 votes were cast at 194 early voting centres while 172,000 people voted online or via telephone, more than 11,000 at mobile booths in nursing homes, aged care facilities and hospitals and 51,000 postal votes received.
After a series of Friday morning breakfast television and radio appearances, Ms Berejiklian planned to spend the day in the marginal seats of East Hills and Penrith in Sydney’s west while Mr Daley will head back to Allianz Stadium to continue his attack on the state government’s controversial redevelopment plan.
Mr Daley is desperately trying to get Labor’s campaign back on track after a horror week.
On Thursday he attempted to downplay his blunders during a televised leaders’ debate when he failed to recall how much funding his party had pledged for schools and TAFE.
Mr Berejiklian also made a few missteps, incorrectly announcing a toll on the M4 and over-egging the return on her government’s stadiums spend.
During tonight’s debate, I was asked about the M4 west of Parramatta. It is not part of Westconnex and will not be tolled.
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) March 20, 2019
With the latest polls suggesting a 50-50 split between the major parties, Ms Berejiklian admitted the coalition faces a challenge to win across the state.
But she said she was proud of her government’s record infrastructure spend and economic management.
Her plan to demolish and rebuild Allianz Stadium at a cost of $730 million has become a key issue during the campaign, with Labor vowing to halt demolition and refurbish the venue without using a single taxpayer dollar.
“If you think people in Sydney are angry about stadiums … go out to the regions – they are white-hot about it out there. They feel they’ve been left behind,” Mr Daley told the ABC on Friday.
The premier has ruled out any deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party to form a minority government, fearing they would want to water down gun laws.
The opposition leader said he has had no discussions with the Greens nor the Shooters, and will not do any conditional deals with the party.
“I will not accept anything that says, ‘I’ll support you for premier if you do this’,” he said.