Former NSW Premier to quit politics

Photo: Saeed Khan/Reuters

Former Liberal Party New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian has declined to run in next year’s federal election, ending her political career today.

The news comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent attempt to lure Berejiklian to federal politics failed as party leaders had hoped her high profile and popularity—especially after spearheading her state’s response to COVID-19—would return the electorate of Warringah back to the Liberal Party. Independent MP Zali Steggall won the seat in the last election defeating former-Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Berejiklian announced her decision to quit politics in October after she was subjected to an investigation by the NSW corruption watchdog. While publicly throwing his support behind Berejiklian’s candidacy, critics accuse Morrison’s actions of undermining the process and confidence of the NSW anti-corruption commission investigation.

It is expected that public trust and corruption will be major themes in the upcoming election. Failure to convince Berejiklian to run in the election will severely damage the Liberal Party’s chances of retaking the seat. It is likely that Stegall will remain minister for the electorate of Warringah after next year’s election as rival parties struggle to find suitable candidates to campaign in the short-term.

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