Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long in a radio interview on Friday said Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos needs to “do a better job” on staving off Democratic-backed legislation.

But added things would be worse if Skelos wasn’t retaining some power in the Senate.

“I think he’s had his moments and I think he’s had his failings,” Long told Fred Dicker in a Talk-1300 interview. “He certainly didn’t do the right thing when it came to the SAFE Act, I wish I could SAFE differently.”

While the passage of the gun control measure last January angered conservatives, Skelos was staunchly opposed to a provision in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s women’s agenda that was aimed at codifying Roe v. Wade.

In fact, Skelos announced his opposition to the abortion component — in uncertain terms — at Long’s Conservative Party Political Action Conference last year, just after the passage of the gun control measure.

“Bottom line is things would be a lot worse if he wasn’t there,” Long said today. “He’s gotta do a better job than he has in the past.”

Republicans in the Senate share power with the four-member Independent Democratic Conference. Under the agreement, Skelos and IDC Leader Jeff Klein must jointly agree on bills that come to the floor for a vote.

The move allows Republicans to retain some power in the chamber despite being in a numerical minority.

Skelos is due to speak again at this year’s CPPAC on Monday evening.

Small, but influential, the Conservative Party ballot line is often a must-have for Republican candidates, especially those who run statewide.

Long, meanwhile, has shown little desire to get involved in Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino’s effort to oust Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.

Paladino, the Republican nominee for governor in 2010, has said he would seek the Conservative Party nomination for governor if the GOP candidate this year doesn’t back the ousters of Skelos and Kolb.

(Long and Paladino have their own history over the latter receiving the Conservative Party line in 2010 from then-candidate Rick Lazio).

“I told Carl that is not one of my fights,” Long said of the dump Skelos and Kolb effort. “That is an internal fight within the Republican Party.”