Kristine Keneally headed for a rout


“The result … is, of course, disappointing but it is one we expected,” the Premier said.

“The people of [Ms Paluzzano’s] electorate were … angry they had to be put into this situation where they had to go back to the polls. I knew when I took on this job it was absolutely tough … but you know, I’m also very tough.”

Despite Ms Keneally’s claims, internal Liberal polling had Labor’s primary vote in Penrith at 33 per cent after the resignation of Ms Paluzzano, with support falling to 24 per cent as ministers David Campbell, Ian Macdonald and Graham West resigned.

And Ms Keneally’s “net favourability” rating (the difference between her approval and disapproval rating) also fell from 20 to 15 in just three weeks. Focus group comments revealed voters for the first time were starting to blame her for the rot.

“She is probably a nice person, but not in charge; things just keep happening around her and all we get’s more excuses,” one voter told researchers. Another said: “[Ms Keneally] doesn’t really seem to be in charge of her party and is more and more distracted by the antics of the rest of [Labor]. How can you run a state like that!”

While Ms Keneally yesterday tried to play down the implications for the state poll in March, some within Labor fear it could be reduced to 15 to 20 seats in the 93-member Legislative Assembly.

One Labor MP said yesterday the problem was that “people think we’re crooks”.

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