At the start of the week, I would have put his chances of surviving at 80/20. Now they would be closer to 50/50.
I still have money on him seeing out 2013, as I don’t think they want to risk Cunliffe as Leader. However if those wanting a change do a Rudd type destabilisation, it may force the caucus to act.
The coverage of the whole “man-ban” issue has exposed the party’s fundamental flaws: its factions, the tensions between the caucus and the party, and the perception that the party is overly concerned with issues of identity.
Amid the leadership issues, there has been a serious debate internally in Labour this week about the wisdom of Maryan Street promoting her euthanasia private members’ bill.
Labour is terrified it will be drawn out of the ballot.
I hope it does. This law reform is badly needed and overdue.
Would the party go with the candidate that could get them closest to Government but risk further disunity in the party, Cunliffe?
Or would it risk going with the lower profile deputy, someone less likely to get them into the Government, someone with less public appeal (nothing to do with him being gay) but more likely to unify the party?
This is the Robertson dilemma. He might be ready but is the public?
Don’t rule out Little!
But replacing Shearer with either Cunliffe or Robertson would be as risky as the move was to put in Shearer.
In the event of failure, the party could be forced to contemplate a second leadership contest closer to the 2014 election with a wild card such as Shane Jones, Little or even back to Goff as leader were Robertson or Cunliffe unable to steer the party away from a disastrous result akin to Bill English’s in 2002 of just over 20 per cent. None of these scenarios is out of the question.
I think going back to Phil Goff is an excellent idea. Please do that.