Jodi McKay says she's staying on as NSW Labor leader after a "terrible" result in the Upper Hunter by-election.
"Today I confirm that I am the leader of the Labor Party, that no one has challenged me, no one has me to stand aside," she told reporters on Tuesday.
She dismissed as "absolutely factually incorrect" media reports that NSW Labor General Secretary Bob Nanva will ask Ms McKay to step aside to avoid a lengthy leadership battle.
Ms McKay said she waited 48 hours since she first addressed the media about Saturday's by-election result to give a challenger time to come forward.
She said on Sunday she was shocked by the Upper Hunter result which saw Labor's primary vote drop by seven per cent and the Nationals retain the seat.
But she wants to stay in the top job and help the party rebuild, she said.
That commitment means any challenger would likely need to initiate a time-consuming, bruising leadership vote involving the rank-and-file membership.
Since 2013, Labor Party rules require 60 per cent of caucus to vote to unseat an Opposition leader as well as a vote by the party's members.
Ms McKay's opponent in the 2019 battle was shadow transport minister Chris Minns.
Mr Minns is being touted as a possible leadership contender, along with former leader Michael Daley, Ryan Park and Paul Scully.
Ms McKay admitted on Tuesday she was struggling to get out her message that the government lacks integrity.
"Am I perhaps not as popular as (premier) Gladys Berejiklian? Yes," she said.
She said she did not have the advantage of leading the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though she backed in the premier's approach.
Ms McKay says the party need to undertake structural reform to win the 2023 election by connecting with others outside central Sydney.
"The question (is) what is the Labor party going forward? ... How do we win those seats that we need to win in Western Sydney, how do we connect in regional and rural NSW when we've always been seen as a party for the inner city?
"We have to be more than that and we have to make sure there is introspection," she said.
She named building relationships with multicultural and multi-faith communities and "working people" as part of her plan.
She named a recent mandatory disease-testing bill as the kind of policy Labor should embrace, she said. She described it as a policy the party might not have previously supported but which was important to essential workers.
Prominent Labor MP Penny Sharpe quit the frontbench after abstaining from the vote. She said it would foster stigma against those who've been infected with HIV and hepatitis.
Australian Associated Press