News Jodi McKay won’t step down as NSW Opposition Leader despite byelection loss

Jodi McKay won’t step down as NSW Opposition Leader despite byelection loss

jodi mckay labor nsw
Earlier in the week, Jodi McKay said she would not be standing down as leader. Photo: ABC/Dan Himbrechts
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ABC News understands NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay won’t quit despite Labor’s byelection loss in the Upper Hunter.

Sources say contenders for her position could not rally the necessary numbers to challenge her.

One of the MPs touted to challenge for leadership, former leader Michael Daley, has told the ABC he stands by her as leader of the party.

“The Labor Party needs to stop talking about itself and start concentrating again on getting rid of this bad government,” Mr Daley said.

“Jodi’s the leader and she should be backed.”

Labor was hoping the 2.6 per cent margin in the Upper Hunter byelection was enough for the party to bridge, but their hopes were dashed less than four hours after polls closed.

Opposition Leader Jodi McKay with beaten Labor candidate Jeff Drayton. Photo: ABC News/Jake Lapham

On Sunday, Ms McKay addressed the loss and the rumours of an ousting.

“Unless as a party we start to reconnect with people and start to mean something to people, then we are going to keep being in this situation, so the changes we’ve made are a start but are they enough? No, they’re not,” she said.

“I believe that I have to be part of the solution.”

The Nationals candidate David Layzell received 31.2 per cent of votes, while Independents also saw a huge swing in their favour.

Labor candidate Jeff Drayton, a former coal miner who campaigned on a pro-coal platform, got just over 21 per cent of primary votes.

Labor saw about 4000 fewer votes than in the 2019 election.