Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Mike Baird set to be next NSW Premier

Sydney Morning Herald State Political Editor Sean Nicholls says Gladys Berejiklian will withdraw from the Liberal leadership race on Thursday morning, leaving Mike Baird to become leader and NSW Premier unopposed.

PT2M57S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36suh 620 349

Treasurer Mike Baird is set to become NSW Premier this afternoon after he and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian confirmed they had reached an agreement whereby she would seek to become deputy Liberal leader.

Following a meeting at NSW Parliament on Thursday morning, the pair issued a joint statement a short time ago.

Urged to run: Mike Baird.

Mike Baird: set to be the next NSW Premier Photo: Michel O'Sullivan

"We are contesting the leadership and deputy leadership of the NSW Liberal Party, with Mike Baird to become leader," they said.

"We strongly encourage our colleagues to support this decision this afternoon."

Ms Berejiklian was understood to have had a slight edge over Mr Baird as counting of numbers continued overnight, but told him she would not run in the interests of party unity, given the prospect of a split partyroom vote.

Barry O'Farrell, pictured with NSW Transport Minister - and potential successor - Gladys Berejiklian.

Pulled out: Gladys Berejiklian decided against standing in the leadership ballot to replace Barry O'Farrell. Photo: Jeff de Pasquale

Liberal MPs will meet at 3pm on Thursday to decide their new leader after Barry O'Farrell's resignation on Wednesday.

Mr Baird is expected to have the support to carry any ballot that may occur and the focus will now shift to the deputy's Liberal leader's position.

Deputy Liberal leader Jillian Skinner has announced she will not recontest the position.

"Following discussions with my colleague Gladys Berejiklian, I have decided to step down as deputy leader of the NSW Liberal Party at this afternoon’s Party meeting," she said.

"I will be strongly supporting Gladys as my replacement - she is an enormously talented minister who is making a huge contribution to the NSW government.

"I commend both Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian for announcing their joint bid to contest the NSW Liberal Party leadership, thereby ensuring a seamless transition."

Community services minister Pru Goward, aligned with the centre right, had told colleagues she intended to run for the deputy leadership but has now pulled out.

"After discussions with my colleagues, including the Treasurer, Mike Baird, and the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, I have decided not to nominate for the position of Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in this afternoon's ballot," she said in a statement.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, however my primary focus is the unity of the NSW Liberal Party, and the delivery of a stable, competent government for the people of NSW.

"My commitment is to work closely with the leadership team elected this afternoon, to ensure the good work of the NSW Liberal and Nationals government continues."

"Yesterday was a terrible day for NSW," Ms Goward told reporters outside State Parliament earlier.

"We lost one of our best premiers and a man who had been able to turn this state around," she said.

"There are a lot of discussions going on today.

"There are a number of possible contenders and I'm not going to speculate on any of them except to say that I will be nominating for the deputy leadership at this stage," Ms Goward said before announcing she would not run.

It is understood Ms Berejiklian has told supporters she wishes to remain in the transport portfolio.

The position of Treasurer has yet to be settled upon, with some suggestions Mr Baird may retain the role as well as the Premier's job, given how close the change of leadership comes to the state budget on June 17.

The job could then be handed to Finance Minister Andrew Constance. Mr Constance was last night testing the numbers for his own leadership bid, but was convinced by senior members of his faction not to do so.

Earlier, Mr Baird said there was ''no one in this state who wouldn't want that job and that privilege''.

As Mr Baird entered the meeting at State Parliament with Ms Berejiklian on Thursday morning, he said maintaining unity within the Liberal Party was essential.

''It is important that we all come together. Clearly, unity has been a hallmark of what we have been about in past few years,'' Mr Baird told the Seven network.

''We want to maintain that unity. It's important for the state, it's important for government and [to] enable us achieve the best outcome.''

But he also hinted at his own ambitions, saying it would be a ''privilege'' to become the state's 44th premier.

With AAP