Barry O'Farrell resigns: will Mike Baird be the next NSW premier?

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell resigns : LIVE BLOG

Barry O'Farrell resigns: Kiama MP 'absolutely devastated'

There are two contenders to take over from Barry O'Farrell as NSW Premier after his resignation, but Liberal party sources claim the numbers remain "very fluid".

Mr O'Farrell, who resigned on Wednesday morning after giving misleading evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, has called a Liberal party room meeting for next week.

At this early stage, Treasurer Mike Baird is being touted as the leading contender. A member of the left faction, Baird also enjoys the support of many in the right thanks to his position on privatisation of public assets.

Mike Baird: one of the favourites to replace Barry O'Farrell. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mike Baird: one of the favourites to replace Barry O'Farrell. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Baird represents Manly and is the son of Bruce Baird, who was a lower house federal MP in John Howard’s government.

But the question is whether Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian will run. Ms Berejiklian has always been touted as O'Farrell's favoured successor. It is understood she has told colleagues she has yet to make up her mind.

Gladys Berejiklian: thought to be Mr O'Farrell's preferred choice. Photo: Janie Barrett

Gladys Berejiklian: thought to be Mr O'Farrell's preferred choice. Photo: Janie Barrett

As a long time warrior of the left, there is a view the right could actively seek to destabilise her premiership.

However, another source dismissed this view. "The numbers are all over the place," the source said.

"The issue is what will provide stability for the government. This is not just factional. Everyone's going to be looking at what's best for the state".

SMH.COM.AU with AAP

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