Chris Minns sworn in as NSW premier as Labor majority appears more unlikely after election

·4-min read
<span>Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP</span>
Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Labor is unlikely to form majority government in New South Wales, after three further seats were called for the Liberals on Tuesday.

The party is expected to lose in other tight races in the coming days. Failing to reach 47 seats could impact Chris Minns’s agenda, and he may need to work with crossbenchers to govern.

While election analysts, including the ABC’s Antony Green, said otherwise, the newly sworn-in premier remained confident he would be able to form a majority or fall just one seat shy.

“We have had fruitful discussions with the crossbench … consistent with the principle that we took into the election that we would not be horse-trading,” Minns said on Tuesday.

“That’s consistent with my promise at the election campaign that if we were in minority and minor parties and the crossbench were prepared to support Labor, we were happy to accept their support but we wouldn’t be doing any horse trading.”

Related: NSW election results: Labor sweats on possibility of minority government as jostle for Liberal leadership begins

Minns’s interim cabinet of eight ministers was sworn in on Tuesday morning.

Initial priorities for the government include addressing fish kills at Menindeeand transport issues including recent delays on Sydney’s rail network.

The premier and the new health minister, Ryan Park, visited Liverpool hospital on Tuesday afternoon to announce a surgical care taskforce that would look at the elective surgery waitlist.

Park also announced he would be visiting a hospital unannounced each week to get a handle on the situation on the ground, insisting he was “not interested in chastising” doctors and nurses doing the best they could.

Labor’s seat count remained at 45 on Tuesday, with 65% of the vote counted. The Coalition had claimed 31, including Drummoyne, Oatley and Pittwater.

Former Liberal turned independent Gareth Ward was just ahead of Labor in Kiama and Liberals candidates were ahead in Terrigal, Miranda, Holsworthy and Goulburn.

“All the inside information I have says that Gareth Ward will win Kiama so Labor can’t reach a majority,” the ABC’s chief election analyst, Antony Green, wrote on Twitter on Monday night.

Ward was a senior Liberal before he was dumped from the party and suspended from parliament last year after being charged with historical rape and indecent assault offences. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Re-elected independents Alex Greenwich, Joe McGirr and Greg Piper have confirmed they will offer confidence and supply to the new government in the case of minory government.

“[We] look forward to a strong and consultative working relationship with premier-elect Chris Minns and his team,” they said in a joint statement.

Greens MP Jenny Leong said the Greens would work with the crossbench and Labor to progress the party’s agenda of stronger rental and environmental policies.

“What’s very clear from this result – and the numbers are tightening day by day – is that it’s not a winner takes all [in] this parliament [and] what we’re looking at here is a historically large crossbench,” she said.

Related: Dominic Perrottet, Matt Kean and the lure of Canberra: what next for NSW power duo?

Balmain has been claimed by the Greens candidate, Kobi Shetty, after Labor’s Philippa Scott conceded on Monday.

Shetty said the win was historic for her party because if was the first time they had been able to hold on to a seat after the resignation of a Greens MP.

The Liberal leadership also remained unresolved on Tuesday. Former ministers Anthony Roberts, Mark Speakman and Alister Henskens remain in contention after Dominic Perrottet resigned as leader and former treasurer Matt Kean ruled himself out.

The re-elected Mulgoa MP, Tanya Davies, has nominated herself for the deputy Liberal leader spot.

She pointed to the swing away from her party in western Sydney as a sign they needed to do more for families and small businesses and govern with compassion.

“Therefore I have decided that I can offer the leadership and representation that the people of Western Sydney and NSW more broadly demand,” she said.

“Western Sydney is the engine room of the NSW economy and it is critical that the Liberal Party has a spokesperson that can truly champion its people and their aspirations.”

Last year Davies spoke at an anti-vaccination rally outside parliament house