SYDNEY — The weary New South Wales Labor Party will meet on June 4 for the first time since its leader Jodi McKay stepped down, sparking a drawn-out process to choose her successor.
Kogarah Member of Parliament Chris Minns and former leader Michael Daley are expected to put their names forward once nominations for the leadership open at the caucus meeting at 11am.
Daley, who represents the seat of Maroubra, says he already has the 15 signatures he needs to back his nomination.
His younger rival, Minns, is confident he’ll exceed the threshold and take over the leadership role.
More than 20 parliamentarians have already announced they’re backing Minns and his pledge to provide a more positive alternative to the decade-old coalition government.
Daley tweeted “Thank you, Jodi McKay for all you have done for us. I was saddened to see you resign on Friday. It should never have come to this. I am standing for leader because I am the only person who can unify our Party and stick up for the everyday people of NSW who rely on Labor.”
Those to join the chorus of support for Minns on June 3 included shadow education minister, Prue Car, shadow consumer protection minister Sonia Hornery and backbencher Julia Finn.
Health spokesman Ryan Park, natural resources spokesman Paul Scully and shadow finance minister Daniel Mookhey have also backed Minns, as have Walt Secord, Rose Jackson and Courtney Houssos.
Daley is keeping his cards close to his chest, with only Coogee MP Marjorie O’Neill publicly backing him so far.
Minns tweeted “I want to see more Australian made content and local apprentices on infrastructure projects. This means building infrastructure projects using Australian-made steel, concrete and construction materials. And building our trains, buses and ferries built right here in New South Wales.”
The party is staring down the barrel of a lengthy rank-and-file campaign and ballot if both men nominate and neither drops out before June 6 morning.
The race was sparked when McKay left the top job on May 28.
Her position had been under pressure after Labor’s disastrous showing in the Upper Hunter by-election the previous weekend.
She insisted she still had the support of a majority of the party room but that she was being destabilized by people who never accepted she’d won the 2019 vote that saw her installed as opposition leader.
McKay has not yet publicly backed a candidate.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Praveen Pramod Tewari)
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