Labor has been returned to power in NSW for the first time in 12 years, leaving Tasmania with the only Coalition government in Australia.
The would-be premier Chris Minns was celebrating with the party faithful in his southern Sydney electorate of Kogarah on March 25 after just a nail-biting few hours of vote counting around the state.
Senior ALP figure Eamonn Fitzpatrick told ACM: "The people of NSW have shifted and there's a lot of people who are feeling much more relaxed this evening than they were this time in 2019 at the state election ... But, the celebrations are very, very short lived as the work starts again tomorrow."
Labor needed to pick up 10 seats to form a majority government, but as the adrenalin of a gruelling campaign wore off, they'd won 41 of the 93-member seats in the lower house by 8.30pm.
Penny Sharpe has confirmed she will be Environment Minister in the NSW Government and that Mr Minns had already established his leadership team.
Daniel Mookhey, who will be Treasurer in the new NSW Government, told ACM that Labor was definitive about a victory. "As a famous Labor person put it, for the true believers," he said. "It's also a real humbling experience from our perspective. And of course, we're not taking anything for granted and we are determined to deliver for the people in NSW."
The exiting government confirmed to ACM that the former Premier - since October 2021 - Dominic Perrottet had phoned Chris Minns at 9pm to concede.
Both Mr Perrottet and Mr Minns spoke about an election that had been marked by civility.
The former Premier praised the "genuine battle of ideas" in the election campaign and asked NSW to get behind the new Premier Chris Minns. "He will make a fine 47th Premier of NSW," he said. "I believe he will lead with the same decency of the same integrity that he has led with so far."
He took full blame for the NSW election loss. "As a result I will be standing down as the Parliamentary leader of the Liberal party," he said. "It is very clear we need a fresh start for the Liberal party."
Mr Minns, who in his seat of Kogarah saw one of the biggest swings in NSW for him said: "This election campaign, perhaps uniquely, was a model of respect and civility ... I think it can be a model for the way democracy is done."
He has not yet claimed a majority.
The election result means every state and federal government is led by the Labor Party in Australia except for Tasmania where Liberal Premier Jeremy Rockliff holds power.
Boy from the 'burbs
But a new era now begins.
Mr Minns was elected to NSW Parliament in 2015 and took over as opposition leader in June 2021 following two unsuccessful tilts at the top job.
The 43-year-old grew up in southern Sydney where his father was a school principal and his mother a solicitor.
His journey to NSW's highest political office began early when he joined Young Labor as a teenager.
He's been an assistant secretary for the NSW Labor Party and worked for former state Labor ministers, as well as overseeing the transport, corrections and water portfolios in opposition.
The only deviation from party work has been as an on-call firefighter and stay-at-home dad.
From the margins
In 2019 Mr Minns won Kogarah with just 51.77 per cent of the two party preferred vote. The Greens and One Nation each picked up more than six per cent of first preference votes.
But his margin narrowed to 0.1 per cent with changes to electorate boundaries, making Kogarah Labor's most marginal seat in the state.
In the 2023 election, the man who will be the state's 47th premier - reportedly relatively unknown in the lead up to polling day, even to local voters - is set to increase that margin.
He defeated the Liberal's Craig Chung, a former City of Sydney councillor.
Counting of votes will resume on Monday, March 27.