Revelations about the level of corruption within Labor’s New South Wales branch may cost Kevin Rudd the election, as a public relations practitioner describes the fallout as “very damaging”.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) found that Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid acted corruptly over a mining licence tender, from which the Obeid family made millions.
Tim McPhail, director of Hill + Knowlton Strategies, said the amount of impact the findings will have on the federal election is anyone’s guess.
“Former Premier Nathan Rees is quoted today as saying that the ICAC hearings cost Labor two to three per cent of the primary vote, which could be the difference between winning and losing the upcoming federal election,” he told B&T.
Despite the end impact, Labor party strategists will have been “sweating” on the release of yesterday’s report, McPhail said before adding: “there is no doubt the whole sordid ordeal has been, and will continue to be, very damaging for the Labor brand in NSW”.
Rudd moved to distance himself from NSW Labor as soon as he took the top job and this will continue as the election, for which a date is still yet to be set, nears.
“Labor has been well aware its brand is particularly toxic in NSW and its campaign will continue to focus on brand ‘Rudd’,” McPhail said.
“Rudd has to campaign in western Sydney as it is the key battleground of the election, but there won’t be any happy snaps with NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson or his NSW team.”