Politics

McKay writes to unions over NSW poll leak

The NSW Labor opposition leader has written to two union leaders who purportedly leaked dire internal party polling.

But Jodi McKay admits her party must improve at “getting its messages out” as opposition parties struggle to break through amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms McKay on Monday said the two union officials – the Australian Workers’ Union’s Daniel Walton and Health Services Union’s Gerard Hayes – had “coward punched” her by leaking the Redbridge polling.

The polls predicted that Labor’s primary vote would be 23.9 per cent if an election was held now – an 8.4 per cent drop since the 2019 state election.

Ms McKay labelled Mr Walton and Mr Hayes “faceless men” who weren’t willing to accept the outcome of the party’s 2019 leadership ballot.

The opposition leader on Tuesday insisted she maintained the support of her cabinet and had written to Mr Walton and Mr Hayes about the poll leak.

“I said, please come and talk to me. Show me the survey and I’m really happy to discuss it,” Ms McKay told reporters.

Opposition parties across the country have struggled as voters endorse the status quo during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a Liberal wipeout in Western Australia last weekend.

The NSW government’s handling of the pandemic was also polled by Redbridge, with 72.9 per cent of people either satisfied or very satisfied.

Some 40.6 per cent of respondents credited Premier Gladys Berejiklian with the state’s success.

Ms McKay admitted Labor needed to work harder to improve its support and shine a light on the government’s failures.

“We need to do better at getting our messages out,” she said.

“Do we need to do better? Yes. Do we need to try and work through in this environment? Yes.”

The government on Tuesday used parliamentary question time to mock Ms McKay’s polling woes, with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet jesting the union movement supported his coalition government more than Labor.

“The leader of the opposition consciously uncoupled the union movement from the Labor party,” Mr Perrottet said.

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