Fran O’Sullivan writes:
Shearer’s fortunes were not helped by the latest TV3 poll in which Labour slid 2.1 per cent to a 31 per cent rating. The results will inevitably increase tensions with the usual suspects calculating what leadership permutations might work if Labour continues its poll slump and its leader – now on to his third chief of staff – can’t lift his game.
The permutations of different leadership combinations: Deputy leader Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe, Andrew Little and Shane Jones all in the mix together with David Parker for the top trio of roles: leader, deputy leader and finance spokesman.
They all have important attributes.
But personally, I’ve never been able to understand why Labour MPs chucked Goff out so quickly after the 2011 election. He has always been an excellent performer and would have driven hard against Key over the past 18 months and made the dents Shearer couldn’t.
It probably gets up Labour’s nose to say so but there is no reason to throw out a seasoned performer (who is clearly light years better than many of his colleagues) simply because he has been in Parliament since his 30s.
Let’s face it, John Howard – who like Goff was a Cabinet minister – before becoming Leader of the Opposition then being rejected by colleagues, rose again to take the Australian Liberals through to win the 1996 election and reigned successfully as Australia’s Prime Minister for four terms before being thrown out of his own seat.
So Fran seems to be saying Labour should go back to Goff.
I think this is unlikely, but not impossible.
They key is that the caucus is shit scared of having a membership-wide vote, in case Cunliffe wins it. So Shearer will only go when a deal is worked out (if it can be) between Robertson, Little and Cunliffe.