The Liberals suffered the double indignity of losing the seat contested by their leader Bruce McDonald to an independent, and of being reduced to the same number of seats in parliament as their ostensible junior coalition partner. In fact it was the second election in a row in which the sitting Liberal leader had failed to be elected to Parliament after Peter Coleman in 1978. Both the Liberals and National Country Party finished with 14 seats.
The election marked another milestone for electoral reform in New South Wales. The allocation of preferences became optional, gerrymandering was eliminated Two further reforms were proposed—and passed—in referendums put to voters on the same day.
Changes to the process for setting electoral district boundaries took effect at this election: eliminating both partisan gerrymandering and the routine creation of smaller rural seats to boost the share of country representatives in parliament.