The state election is expected to be one of the most closely watched in the nation.

Here are a few things to watch.

More than 20 candidates are in the running to succeed retiring president Peter Costello.

The two main candidates, former prime minister and former prime ministers Paul Keating and Michael Howard, have been fighting for the same office for four years.

Costello’s popularity in the electorate has been waning over the past three years, especially in parts of Sydney.

His ratings have plummeted from an early 90 per cent to a low of 37 per cent, and he is not expected to win the majority.

Keating’s popularity has also been slipping, falling from 80 per cent in 2015 to a current rating of 44 per cent.

Howard is expected take about 80 per% of the vote in the vote on May 6.

A new federal government, led by Julia Gillard, is set to be sworn in on June 30, ending three decades of Labor rule and ending a political era in which politics and social issues dominated the news agenda.