NSW Labor's McKay resigns: a timeline

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* Saturday, May 22 - Labor's first-preference vote in the Upper Hunter by-election, prompted by the resignation of Nationals MP Michael Johnsen due to sexual assault allegations, slides from 29 per cent to 21 per cent.

* Sunday, May 23 - Ms McKay says she is "devastated" by the result and expressed surprise that Upper Hunter constituents did not hear Labor's message. She said Labor needed to do some "soul-searching".

* Monday, May 24 - Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she feels "sorry" for Ms McKay amid leadership rumours as NSW politics is "tough".

* Tuesday, May 25 - Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord resigns from the front bench, saying a purported "dirt file" circulated to the media on Ms McKay's leadership rival Chris Minns was "absolutely disgusting". The file was allegedly circulated by the office of deputy leader Yasmin Catley.

* Tuesday, May 25 - Ms McKay insists she will not resign.

* Wednesday, May 26 - Mr Minns says he will also resign from his position as Labor transport spokesman due to the "dirt file", and argues NSW Labor has been too negative amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Wednesday, May 26 - Ms McKay again insists she has the support of the Labor caucus and will not resign, but admits she is less popular than Ms Berejiklian. She insists neither she nor Ms Catley knew about the "dirt file".

* Friday, May 28 - Ms McKay, expected to announce a front bench reshuffle, instead resigns as opposition leader, insisting she was never asked to resign and would have won a leadership ballot if called.