Daley seeks second chance at NSW job | The new Flinders
Former NSW opposition leader Michael Daley raised his hand for a second term as Labor leader, which likely sparked a party leadership vote.
Mr Daley succeeded Luke Foley as Labor leader at the end of 2018 and led the party to its defeat in the 2019 state election – making two decisive blunders in the final week of the campaign – before moving on in the backbench.
However, he told reporters on Sunday he would seek to return to the Labor leadership after Jodi McKay resigned on Friday.
After watching threats against the party leadership for six days, Ms McKay fell abruptly on her sword on Friday, leaving the most vacant post.
Mr. Daley has since expressed his view that Ms. McKay was treated unfairly and should never have been “kicked” out of management. He also said Labor members must have a say in the next leader of NSW.
He said the winner of any Labor leadership ballot must help the party “bury the hatchet” over Ms McKay’s departure and focus on the 2023 poll.
“(The members) are the owners of the party, not the apparatchiks,” Mr. Daley said.
“Please help me heal our party and win the government in 2023.”
Ms McKay said on Friday that she had not been asked to resign, but clarified that she was resigning under duress and accused the others of internal “destabilization”.
Privately and publicly, the allies say she was white as the leader of the opposition.
“If a poll were to take place today, I can tell you I would win,” McKay told reporters.
The leadership ambitions of the former Ghost Transport minister and Ms McKay’s rival in the 2019 ballot, Chris Minns, are no secret.
Mr. Minns has yet to formally run for leadership, but if he does, it will spark another leadership race with Mr. Daley.
Since 2013, Labor Party rules require caucus and grassroots members to vote to elect a leader if multiple people are arguing.
This would likely leave the party in turmoil for weeks, and without a leader when the Berejiklian government hands in its budget at the end of June.
Mr Daley said he had not spoken with Labor Party headquarters about the leadership.
However, Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said on Saturday he was not bothered by the Labor Party leadership dilemma in NSW.
The relevance of Upper Hunter’s partial electoral defeat last week has been greatly overestimated, he said, and he has supported Labor in fixing its problems.
The Upper Hunter Labor Party’s first preference vote fell from 29 percent to 21 percent.
Mr Daley was elected to parliament in 2005 as an MP for Maroubra and served on the NSW front bench before the Labor Party’s electoral defeat in 2011.
In the final week of the 2019 election campaign, he was filmed accusing Asian migrants of taking local jobs and also stumbled upon key figures of workers’ education policy during a debate televised live.
He said he had ruminated on his failures for a long time and was keen to make amends.
“We all make mistakes … I paid the price for mine (and) thought about it more than you can imagine,” said Mr. Daley, a lawyer by profession.
“I have spent four months in the job and want another chance to do it right.
“I intend to heal the party if I am the leader (and) looking after, as I always have, the ordinary people of NSW who have been forgotten.”
Adam Searle, who leads the opposition in the upper house, is the interim leader.
Australian Associated Press