Australia state premier falls in landslide

SYDNEY, March 26 (UPI) -- Australia's conservative Coalition crushed the incumbent Labor Party in the New South Wales state election Saturday.

Barry O'Farrell, elected premier, told ecstatic supporters in Sydney Saturday night, "This is the victory for everyone who wanted to make New South Wales number one again. We won't let you down."


The Australian Broadcasting Corp. projected the Coalition would win 70 seats and Labor, which ruled the state for 16 years, only 21. The vote swung almost 17 percent, and Labor lost dozens of longtime safe seats.

Defeated Premier Kristina Keneally kept her own seat but resigned the party leadership.

"Tonight we acknowledge and we accept the verdict of the New South Wales people," she said. "The community has spoken, and we accept it with humility and grace."

Another party leader, Luke Foley, said, "People lost all faith in our ability to govern and our integrity in government."

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