The resignation of Jodi McKay as opposition leader has exposed a strikingly familiar problem in the NSW Labor Party.
Since the 17-year leadership of Bob Carr ended in 2005, the ALP's top job has been a revolving chair.
Ms McKay's elevation to the leadership followed a long line of predecessors including Michael Daley, Luke Foley, John Robertson, Kristina Keneally and Nathan Rees.
Ms McKay gave the party a new face and image after a string of corruption scandals, but the loss of the Upper Hunter by-election swept that aside as the party's leadership merry-go-round fired up again.
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington spoke out on Friday about the party's woes. She took aim at a "self-indulgent division" in the Labor caucus.
"As a Hunter MP, I recall when Jodi first faced down foul forces within our own party. I've long admired Jodi's integrity, strength and resilience in the face of treachery. Today is no different. I join with Jodi in hoping the self-indulgent division within the Labor caucus will end," Ms Washington said.
It's clear that NSW Labor has major issues. But it can't be denied that the Liberals have had strong leaders in Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian over the past seven years.
Ms Berejiklian's successful handling of the pandemic and bushfires has left Labor struggling to cut through with voters.
Having survived a scandal over her relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire, Ms Berejiklian's hold on power is looking increasingly secure.
It leaves Labor in need of a charismatic, skilled and savvy leader to have any chance at the next election.
The question is, is there anyone in the ALP ranks capable of being that person?
Chris Minns, who has lost leadership tilts twice before, may go for three times lucky.
Michael Daley, a former leader who lost the 2019 election, may throw his hat in the ring again.
Ms McKay insisted that she stood down because "this is the only way that I know that I can unite our party".
But with the party apparently stricken by "foul forces", the prospect of unity any time soon may be too much to hope for.
Mr Daley, Mr Minns and their supporters will be hitting the phones to gauge support among colleagues. If a ballot is needed, more party divisions and bloodletting can be expected over the next month.
When the Berejiklian government delivers the budget on June 22, it will do so from a position of heightened power.
If there's any hope for Labor, it's that the next election is not due until March 2023. This means the party has time to recover and make a renewed effort to win over voters.
A week is a long time in politics, as Ms McKay knows. But there's plenty of weeks ahead for Labor to get its act together. For now, though, its prospects look pretty bleak.
IN THE NEWS:
- Jodi McKay resigns as NSW Labor leader
- The multi-million dollar home secured in four days
- Newcastle Junior Rugby League overturns suspension for Valentine Eleebana Under-10 and Under-11 teams
- Knights star Kalyn Ponga is in doubt for Origin I
- Newcastle, Cessnock mayors call for funding to relocate harness racing from Broadmeadow
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: