Mike Baird stops: What went wrong for once-popular NSW Premier
Tears well up as NSW Premier Mike Baird reveals his retirement at an interview at his Martin Location Office. Picture: Mark Evans
ONLY a year and a half back, NSW Premier Mike Baird was untouchable.He was taking pleasure in a prolonged
honeymoon period following his rise to the function of premier following his predecessor Barry O’Farrell’s sensational resignation in April of 2014 over a$3000 bottle of Grange.Since taking the state’s leading task, Mr Baird’s appeal had advanced an upward trajectory.With a satisfaction score of 63 percent, Mr Baird was three time more popular than his Labor opponent, Luke Foley, and even ahead of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who had just taken office and boosted the Liberal party’s popularity nationally.Mr Baird was even being promoted as a future Prime Minister, and speculation was swarming he was making inroads into Canberra.It looked like the young leader, a father-of-two and committed Christian, could do no incorrect. He was “Mr Nice Person”. In the early days Mike Baird was not like a routine Premier, he was a cool Premier. Picture: Damian Shaw Source: Supplied He was even praised for promoting for causes that put
him at odds with his federal colleagues, like doling out concessions to asylum seekers.He adopted a”daggy daddy“image on social networks,
and was awarded with a legion of young fans for live-tweeting an episode of The Bachelor while stuck at home with guy flu.But his tenure took a sharp turn.The Liberal Party
golden young boy’s stocks started to plunge and his approval ranking’s complimentary fall ended up being the biggest fall in complete satisfaction of any state premier in the history of Newspoll.Between December 2015 and September 2016, a series
of undesirable decisions saw Mr Baird’s fulfillment ranking fall by 46 points to 39 per cent.It was the sale of the state’s electrical power properties and his tough crackdown on the city’s night-life restricting alcohol intake and enforcing stringent lockouts in Sydney’s night spots.Where he had actually formerly been appreciated for making out of favor political leaders, Mr Baird’s conviction over the lockout laws, and the exclusion of particular
areas and venues, particularly the rewarding Star gambling establishment, saw him penalized by the public. Mike Baird was ridiculed for the lockout ban, and earnt the label Casino Mike.Source: Provided The lockout things injured Mr Baird, and forcing undesirable council amalgamations did too, however his
watershed moment was his backflip on the greyhound racing ban.Mr Baird had actually been commonly criticised for his kneejerkchoice to shut down the state’s greyhound
racing industry following the direct exposure of live-baiting and other dodgy practices in the game.He reacted to the findings quickly, but didn’t expect the backlash from the industry, and from within his own coalition government.When fury over the choice peaked, Mr Baird backed down, which proved even more damaging.The relocation didn’t satisfy anybody. Greyhound racing was allowed to continue with less races, heavy constraints and tougher animal welfare measures, it was hardly celebrated.Mr Baird’s critics were left to question his character as a conviction political leader. His credibility remained in shreds. Even his social media video game was off. Simply 2 months back, the loss of the Orange by-election loss, largely blamed on the backlash versus the coalition government’s greyhound plan, sealed Mr Baird’s fate as an unpopular premier and left commentators to question whether he could ever get better. Protesters holding banners as part of the March Against Baird rally in Sydney in March 2016. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP Source: AAP He pointed out personal concerns and a feeling that the time was right, rather than any political failures, as the factors behind his decision. “It was brutal, hard even,”he said.”There was difficult minutes all the way through it and you need to accept it. Ultimately, you have to deal with exactly what’s tossed at you and at the same time you also need to
make sure that you have the vision– exactly what it is you want to attain, what is it you thin that you require the state to accomplish, and where do you require to go?”As I show over the past Ten Years, and clearly the last six years in federal government, there are many things we battled for that are delivering huge benefits to the state and I’m very happy of those.
“On his legacy, Mr Baird said he encouraged individuals to look at his entire track record as a politician, rather than focusing on the six months of torment that preceded his resignation.”Look at the time not just over the previous 6 months, however over the previous 10 years, you know, it’s been a long journey,”he said.