Mike Baird elected NSW premier unopposed
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has been elected unopposed as the incoming Premier and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian will be deputy leader of the NSW Liberal Party.
A meeting of senior Liberal Party figures is still underway at Parliament House.
Pru Goward pulls out of race to be deputy
NSW Community Services Minister Pru Goward has pulled out of the deputy leadership race.
Speaking outside NSW Parliament this morning, the Goulburn MP announced she would battle NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian for the position but in a statement released this afternoon Ms Goward confirmed she had decided to withdraw.
Ms Berejiklian and Treasurer Mike Baird, who will likely replace outgoing Premier Barry O'Farrell, are both aligned with the left faction of the party.
Resources Minister Anthony Roberts is expected to contest the deputy leadership with the blessing from the right.
Mike Baird still the most likely to replace Barry O'Farrell
MEDIA crews are gathering outside NSW Parliament House where last minute deals are being negotiated ahead of the 3pm leadership vote.
Treasurer Mike Baird is still the favourite to replace outgoing Premier Barry O'Farrell with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian likely to step into the role of deputy.
Up until late this morning, Ms Berejiklian was expected to contest the leadership but it is understood she has since agreed to settle for deputy, with the promise of Mr Baird's vote and that of his supporters.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner has confirmed she will vacate her current role as deputy leader.
Mr Baird was always expected to be Mr O'Farrell's successor should the Coalition be re-elected but the Premier's resignation over a $3,000 bottle of wine has forced the NSW Liberty Party into a situation no-one was prepared for.
While Liberal MPs appeared calm before cameras as they arrived at Parliament House throughout the morning, the mood behind closed doors is believed to be somewhat different.
Standing in Ms Berejiklian's way will be Resources Minister Anthony Roberts and Community Services Minister Pru Goward.
Well-liked by those close to her and widely believed to be the most competent for the role within parliament ranks, the storm of negative publicity surrounding the current state of the NSW child protection system will likely see Ms Goward ruled out.
Interestingly, Mr Roberts is also widely believed to be more popular with his party than any of his competitors but close watchers of parliament believe most MPs will vote for the Baid/Berejiklian partnership in an effort to maintain a united front.
Mr O'Farrell has been absent from public engagements since his resignation - he had been expected to greet the royal family at Sydney airport yesterday - but rather than go into hiding, the outgoing premier posed for pictures with his wife at a Sydney restaurant last night and tried to make light of the situation on Twitter this morning, posting a Selfie in a green and gold sporting blazer with the hash tag @nrl, #rugby league and the caption "a new career?"
He has maintained he cannot not remember receiving a vintage bottle on Penfold's Grange from AWA chief Nick Di Girolamo, despite being provided with a courier's receipt which confirms the wine was delivered to his home and handwritten note thanking the water boss for his gift.