A NSW Liberal MP says the coalition is "secretly hoping Malcolm Turnbull faces a crisis" in the next 12 months so federal issues don't affect the state government's chances of being re-elected in 2019.
Opinion polls suggest the Berejiklian government and Labor are neck-and-neck a year out from the NSW election on March 23 as Opposition Leader Luke Foley attacks the coalition's $2.5 billion stadiums spend.
Upper house Liberal MP Peter Phelps isn't worried about the stadiums spat; he says it won't cost the government a single vote, but is concerned the prime minister's on the nose.
Mr Phelps said many within the party are hoping for a circuit breaker, with the federal election to be called before the state poll.
"Secretly everyone in the coalition is hoping Malcolm faces some sort of crisis and goes in November or December this year so the aggravation against the federal Libs can be taken out and we don't wear some of the opprobrium come March," he told AAP.
"But from what I'm hearing, they're determined to stick on to the end and have a late April or early May federal election. Which is bad for us, but not fatal."
Labor is hoping the NSW government's plan to knock down and rebuild Allianz and ANZ stadiums will stoke enough resentment to see the ALP win power.
And while some coalition MPs have voiced their concern over the plan - both behind closed doors and publicly - Mr Phelps says "it doesn't really matter ... we're going to win".
"The people who are complaining about stadiums are the same sort of people who would never complain about arts funding," he said.
"It's Mr and Ms Killara who've got their season ticket to the Australian Opera."
Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants voters to allow her government to finish what it's started - specifically its staggering $190 billion infrastructure program.
"We have been playing catch-up and now we are at an exciting crossroads," Ms Berejiklian said in a speech on Friday.
The premier argues the government is "only just getting ahead of the game" and she's counting on voters putting the cost of rebuilding Allianz and ANZ stadiums in context.
Mr Foley has already kicked off a year-long campaign with a tour of the state in a big red bus emblazoned with his catch-cry: "Schools and hospitals before stadiums".
Along with Western Sydney, the ALP believes the 2019 election will be won in regional NSW.
"Labor wins government when it wins regional seats and we've got more focus on that than we've had for a very long time," a Labor MP told AAP this week.
"We detect a great level of dissatisfaction in the regions with the government. It's about priorities. There's a lot of money in the state and how that is spent ... that's the key contest."
Mr Phelps said the government was unified ahead of the 2019 poll with the Right of the party working "hand in glove" with Ms Berejiklian's moderates.
He says voters appreciate the premier's strong work ethic.
"Her idea of fun is going home and reading an economics textbook and she's extremely competent," he said.
Mr Foley has been attacked for being constantly forgettable, but he's doing everything he can to build his profile.
"I don't know what more you could do than travel the state on a giant red bus," a Labor MP told AAP.