Why Labor's NSW general secretary Kaila Murnain could be a future prime minister

Labor's next prime minister isn't even in Parliament yet if history is any guide.

That means Kaila Murnain, the first woman to be Labor's general secretary in New South Wales, could be the one to lead the ALP out of the electoral wilderness.

At just 32, she is almost seven years young than New Zealand's Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

Like the world's youngest female leader, Ms Murnain grew up in regional areas that are normally conservative voting and has been a party activist since she was a teenager. 

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If history is any guide, Labor's next prime minister isn't even in Parliament yet. That means Kaila Murnain (pictured with husband Tom Hollywood), the first woman to be Labor's general secretary in New South Wales, could be the one to lead the ALP out of the electoral wilderness

If history is any guide, Labor's next prime minister isn't even in Parliament yet. That means Kaila Murnain (pictured with husband Tom ), the first woman to be Labor's general secretary in New South Wales, could be the one to lead the ALP out of the electoral wilderness

When Labor lost the 1949, 1975 and 1996 elections, Australia's next Labor PM wasn't even in the House of Representatives, with Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd yet to win a lower house seat. 

Former Labor Party bosses in NSW have gone on to become senators and Right faction powerbrokers, with Graham Richardson and Mark Arbib serving as federal ministers, while Sam Dastyari was an Opposition frontbencher.

On the conservative side of politics, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was the Liberal Party's NSW director from 2000 to 2004, in his thirties, before he was elected in 2007 as the member for Cook in Sydney's Sutherland Shire. 

Veteran Labor strategist Bruce Hawker, who has worked for premiers and a prime minister, said Ms Murnain's role as Labor's first female general secretary in NSW, since 2016, spoke volumes about her ability.

'She's a very strong person and that's important as a leader,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.

At just 32, she is six years young than New Zealand's Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured with fiance Clarke Gayford). Like the world's youngest female leader, Ms Murnain grew up in regional areas that are normally conservative voting and has been a party activist since she was a teenager

At just 32, she is six years young than New Zealand's Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured with fiance Clarke Gayford). Like the world's youngest female leader, Ms Murnain grew up in regional areas that are normally conservative voting and has been a party activist since she was a teenager

'She runs a tight show which is also important and is very hands on - she doesn't sit back and allow everybody else to do the thinking for her, she's in there with her sleeves rolled up driving the agenda. They're all very positive things.' 

Like Ms Ardern, who grew up in the North Island towns of Morrinsville and Murrupara, Ms Murnain was also raised in the country, spending part of her childhood in the NSW central-west cotton-growing town of Narrabri.

Both women moved to a big city to further their political ambitions. 

Like two former Labor PMs - Mr Whitlam and Paul Keating - Ms Murnain hails from Labor's powerful Right faction and is based in Sydney.

She is also a political insider, which significantly increases her chances of winning preselection for a winnable seat.

Mr Rudd,

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