The seat at the head of NSW Labor has been left vacant after Jodi McKay submitted a tearful resignation in the wake of Upper-Hunter’s disastrous midterm election.
Ms McKay had been the state’s opposition leader since 2019, but on Friday afternoon she revealed that some of her colleagues had “never accepted” her.
She had come under pressure after her party lost the Upper Hunter by-election and dropped out after a party crisis rally.
While she insisted she would win a leadership vote if it were held today, she chose to end her tenure as party leader.
These are the two men who will become the new opposition leader.
Chris Minns has made no secret of his leadership ambitions since he was elected to parliament in 2015.
He failed to secure leadership twice, losing to Michael Daley in 2018 and Jodi McKay in 2019.
Mr Minns confirmed on Monday that he would make a third bid for the top job, saying: “I want to be a Labor leader.”
Mr Minns said drastic change was needed for the party or it could become irrelevant.
“I think it’s time for us to turn the page and move on to a new generation of Labor leaders. I think we need fresh ideas and a different approach to politics,” he said.
Mr. Minns had been the Shadow Secretary of Transport and Water, but resigned from the front bench last week after a dirty file about him was distributed by the Deputy Labor Leader’s office.
His electorate of Kogarah, in southern Sydney, is now a marginal seat, at just 1.8 percent.
Before being elected in 2015, Mr Minns worked in Labor headquarters and was a political adviser.
He criticized NSW Labor after his resignation from the shadow cabinet, saying his “negative political” approach did not resonate with the public.
“I don’t think it’s the opposition’s job to oppose everything. I think it should provide solutions to the challenges facing the state,” he said.
Michael Daley, who led Labor to defeat in the 2019 NSW elections, on Sunday announced his bid to become an opposition leader for the second time.
Over the weekend, Mr Daley said that Ms McKay “should still be our leader”.
“I was very sad to see Jodi step down on Friday, it shouldn’t have come to this,” he said.
He took the top Labor job just five months before the last state election after previous leader Luke Foley resigned in disgrace.
While polls during the campaign had suggested a tight race between Mr Daley and NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian, the Labor leader had a disastrous last week of his campaign.
He was pilloried for saying that foreigners had taken local jobs.
The opposition took just one seat in government and Daley subsequently resigned, but said he would challenge future leadership ballots because he still wanted the top job.
A few days later, however, he decided not to throw in his hat.
“You learn from your mistakes and it makes no sense to deny that I made a few mistakes,” he said on Sunday.
“I’ve learned from my mistakes the hard way and I’ve thought about it more than you can imagine.
Mr Daley, a lawyer, has been a member of Maroubra since 2005 and previously held various ministries in the Rees and Keneally governments.