NSW voters will elect the state's 57th Parliament on March 23. Candidates are vying for 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and 21 of the 42 seats in the Legislative Council (Upper House). So who are the major players?
The Premier and current leader of the Liberal-National Coalition government is Gladys Berejiklian, who took over the state’s top job after her old boss, Mike Baird, resigned in 2017.
Ms Berejiklian, who is the Member for the North Shore seat of Willoughby, is attempting to win a third term for the Coalition. If she pulls it off, it’ll be the first three-term Coalition government in NSW since the 1970s.
Earning that distinction will not be easy. Although the Coalition has a lead of 18 seats over Labor, Ms Berejiklian is entering the fray on the back foot.
Labor has pushed ahead in the polls as public opinion sours over the government's controversial decisions, mostly in the area of infrastructure.
Projects such as the CBD and South East Light Rail, as well as sections of WestConnex, have run over time and over budget - to the annoyance of those Sydneysiders who expressed very little enthusiasm for the projects in the first place.
Additionally, policies slated for the future such as the construction of a new stadium at Moore Park and the re-location of the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta, have been met with strong opposition.
How can she win?
Simply, at a time when many voters are feeling frustrated, Ms Berejiklian will have to extol the benefit of her government’s infrastructure programs and fiscal management in relation to population and cost of living pressures.
The leader of the Labor Opposition is Michael Daley, the MP for the southern Sydney suburb of Maroubra.
Mr Daley has the right to enter the fray confidently. Polling has placed Labor about two per cent ahead of the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis. However, his confidence should not be misplaced.
Labor’s advantage comes primarily from a general public malaise towards the current government, not necessarily enthusiasm for Mr Daley and the Labor Party.
Mr Daley has only been in the job since November, when he replaced Luke Foley, who resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.
To win a clear victory, Mr Daley will have to make a case for himself to an electorate that does not yet know him, And he'll have to promote policies that appease the public’s gripes with the current government.
As often is the case, the most consequential people in any election are those on the periphery of power.
John Barilaro is the Deputy Premier and Leader of the National Party, who's currently locked in battle against the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP).
The SFFP have had a seat in the NSW Upper House since 2006. Until three years ago, they were rarely heard of and did not have the word “farmers” in their party's name.
But in 2016, the newly named party contested and won a by-election in the rural seat of Orange - stealing it away from the National Party.
The by-election hinged on The Nationals' decision to support their Coalition partners in banning greyhound racing, an industry that is important to the economies of the bush.
This time, the SFFP are hoping to replicate what happened in Orange all over the state, including in Mr Barilaro’s seat of Monaro, which he holds by just 2.5 per cent.
With the usually stitched-up regional seats suddenly competitive, the entire state is now in play. Those at the top will be watching more than just Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.
It is currently unlikely that the Labor Party will be able to erase the Coalition’s margin in the Lower House, as they need to win 13 seats to do so. But if the SFFP manages to hold Orange and pick up one or two additional rural seats, they could emerge as the Kingmakers on the Crossbench. - Lachlan Moffett Gray