A young Liberal candidate, Freya Leach, has recently faced criticism for her fawning over NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet during his official campaign launch on Sunday.
Leach, who is 19 years old and the endorsed candidate for the Greens-held seat of Balmain, posted a cringeworthy TikTok video from the front row of the launch claiming that she was ‘obsessed’ with Perrottet. She later described him as ‘an ambitious, visionary and capable’ leader.
Leach has been using TikTok as a means to engage with her constituents and has been advocating for a ‘strong economy, world class healthcare, quality education and a clean environment’.
However, her videos have been described by some as ’embarrassing’ and ‘immature’.
This is not the first time that Leach has been in the spotlight. In late 2022, she was at the centre of a culture wars debate after she demanded an apology from Sydney University for using her name in a fictional scenario during a law exam.
The scenario involved a character who killed a man, had sex without disclosing her HIV-positive status and was ultimately murdered. Sydney University withdrew the paper to preserve ‘academic integrity’ and avoid further distress.
Some viewers noted that Leach’s use of TikTok was a great way to connect with younger voters, while others questioned whether engaging in TikTok trends was the best use of her time at this stage of the campaign. Despite criticism, Leach’s TikTok account appears to be her largest social media platform.
Leach’s content on Instagram and Facebook is far less trend-driven, focusing more on election commitments than memes and digs against the Labor party. It remains to be seen how her campaign will fare as the NSW election approaches.