The Gladys Berejiklian-led Coalition government has made a raft of promises to voters in the past month, but will it make a difference to the result of what is anticipated to be a crucial battle for Orange at the polls next month?
A Charles Sturt University professor said it might, claiming swing voters would "compare promises made by both sides" before heading to the polls on March 23.
Chief among the Coalition's pledges to Orange was the controversial offer of $25 million in funding for a sports stadium and precinct in Orange should Nationals candidate Kate Hazelton topple incumbent Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Phil Donato, and Ms Berejiklian's government be returned to power.
Broader statewide promises include boosting the state’s Farm Innovation Fund from $650 million to $1 billion, $200 energy rebates for self-funded retirees, two separate $100 vouchers for the Active Kids program and an extension of the NSW Seniors Card program to all residents aged 60 years and above.
If they over-promise, there is a risk of not delivering and also the electorates will not believe them.Charles Sturt University's Associate Professor of Political Science Dominic O'Sullivan
Labor, too, has been making big promises, such as free TAFE education and the creation of more regional jobs.
CSU's Associate Professor of Political Science Dominic O'Sullivan said promises by political parties do make a difference for a small percentage of voters come election day, and there was nothing unusual about the volume of campaign pledges being offered by the NSW government.
"Political parties, however, are careful not to over-promise. If they over-promise, there is a risk of not delivering and also the electorates will not believe them," Professor O'Sullivan said.
"Political parties do fulfil most promises made by them, but sometimes circumstances do change and some promises are not kept."
Professor O'Sullivan was expecting a closely-contested election, but forecast the result could swing in either direction in the coming month.
Mr Donato said the Liberals and Nationals have a long history of over-promising in election campaigns and under-delivering when in government.
“They are the great pretenders of the bush," he said.
"Voters will see straight through their empty promises and pork-barrelling."
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