The National Secretary of that independent third party, the EPMU, is set to become Labour Party President, and then a Labour MP no later than 2011.
Personally I think this is a good move for Labour. Andrew Little will bring a proven organisational track record to the job, and will also be a very good MP for them. In fact if Labour lose in 2011 he could rise to a leadership position very very quickly.
It’s almost a pity the Electoral Finance Act will be just a bad memory by 2011, as we won’t get to see Andrew argue that he can be the Labour Party President and the National Secretary of the EPMU, yet the EPMU would still be eligible for third party status.
The challenge is to find a seat for Andrew. Andrew is far too smart to rely on being a List MP. Before Annette King became Deputy Leader, I would have said Rongotai. That may still happen. Annette will be 64 at the next election and could step down as Deputy in late 2010, having helped stabilise the Opposition.
If not Rongotai, then Hutt South is the logical other choice. Now Mallard will choose the timing of his own departure but he entered Parliament in 1984, and it is not impossible he’ll retire in 2011 unless Labour are looking to have a good chance of winning. Even if they do win though, Mallard will not be guaranteed to be a Minister with all the ambitious new MPs wanting promotion. He may also be too associated with the Clark era.
Hipkins and Robertson won’t be giving up their seats, and Ohariu will favour National if Dunne retires. Mana is a dark horse possibility for Little. Winnie Laban is a lovely person, but not well suited to Opposition. Will she want to do six or more years in Opposition, with no guarantee of a Ministerial role when they do make it back? Labour now has several Pacific Island MPs.
The other item of interest is who will suceed Little at EPMU in three years? Will it be a moderate like Andrew or is there an opportunity for a more radical leader?Tags: Andrew Little, Annette King, Election 2011, EPMU, Hutt South, Labour, Mana, Rongotai, Trevor Mallard, Winnie Laban