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Who could replace Gladys Berejiklian as NSW Premier?

The father of six, who practised as a lawyer before entering Parliament, was the president of the NSW Young Liberals.

Rob Stokes
The Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes was elected to Parliament in 2007, and handed his first ministry in 2014.

The member for Pittwater was considered a frontrunner to replace his good friend Mike Baird as premier when he resigned in 2017, but was overseas when the decision was made to appoint Ms Berejiklian.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes.Credit:Rhett Wyman

The 46-year-old belongs to Ms Berejiklian’s moderate faction within the Liberal Party, and is a key ally of the Premier.

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Mr Stokes was at the forefront of the recent civil war that erupted within the Coalition over the government’s controversial koala planning policy.

Andrew Constance
Andrew Constance has endured a tumultuous 2020 in which he signalled his intention to resign after bushfires tore through his south coast electorate, before briefly throwing his hat in the ring to contest the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.

The 46-year-old Transport Minister has long held leadership aspirations and gained popularity during the Black Summer bushfires for openly criticising the Prime Minister’s handling of the crisis.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance.Credit:Louise Kennerley

However, his move to contest a federal byelection in May blindsided some colleagues and damaged his long standing relationship with Nationals leader John Barilaro, who was also expected to run.

That personal feud landed on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, prompting Mr Constance to pull out of the campaign before it had begun.

The member for Bega was Treasurer for just shy of a year, and has held the portfolio of Transport Minister since the January 2017 reshuffle.

Mark Speakman
The 60-year-old member for Cronulla was first elected to Parliament in 2011, and held the environment and heritage portfolio before he was appointed Attorney-General in 2017.

He is viewed as a safe pair of hands, having avoided controversy.

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Mr Speakman previously worked as a barrister and holds a master of law from Cambridge University.

In his maiden speech to NSW Parliament, Mr Speakman said his politics would be guided by the pillars of Menzian liberalism.

Matt Kean
The NSW Energy and Environment Minister and leader of the party’s moderate faction, Matt Kean’s numbers will likely have a substantial bearing on who the next premier could be.

While regarded by some colleagues as “the man in waiting,” others believe it is too early for the 39-year-old to take the reins.

Mr Kean was first elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Hornsby in 2011, and was first elevated to a ministerial position in 2017.

While Mr Kean is the leader of the moderates, he does not control the totality of its numbers.

Stuart Ayres
Stuart Ayes has enjoyed a relatively quick ascent of Macquarie Street since he was first elected in 2011 when Barry O’Farrell led the Liberal Party to a landslide victory.

The Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney is also the partner to federal senator and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne.

The 39-year-old member for Penrith is viewed as an outside chance of seizing the premiership.
Mr Ayres was also the minister for WestConnex and sport in the previous term of government.

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