The feedback I’m getting is that a number of MPs and unions who might have been expected to back Grant Robertson are holding off as to be blunt they don’t want to end up backing the guy who loses. They would prefer Robertson, but if Cunliffe looks too far ahead they will fall in behind Cunliffe.
This means the 12 semi-public meetings could be crucial. If one of the candidates dominates in the first couple, then the opportunistic MPs and unions will swing in behind them. They don’t want to back the loser as the fear is promotions and favours will be based on who you supported.
The 12 meetings are:
|1pm – 3pm||Levin||Horowhenua Events Centre, A&P Show Grounds Levin|
|6pm||Auckland||Western Springs College Hall|
|Monday 2/09/2013||6pm||Whangarei||Forum North, Whangarei|
|Tuesday 3/09/2013||Evening||Hawkes Bay||TBC|
|Wednesday 4/09/2013||7pm – 9pm||Tauranga||Wesley Centre 100 13th Ave Tauranga|
|Thursday 5/09/2013||7pm – 9pm||Hamilton||Te Rapa Racecourse Centennial Lounge, Hamilton|
|Saturday 7/09/2013||1pm – 3pm||Nelson||Victory Community Centre, 2 Totara St, Victory, Nelson.|
|Evening||Wellington||Wellington Girls High College TBA|
|Sunday 8/09/2013||3.30pm||Dunedin||Kings & Queens Performing Arts Centre, 270 Bay View Road, South Dunedin|
|Monday 9/09/2013||Evening||West Coast||Blackball / Greymouth|
|Tuesday 10/09/2013||7.30pm – 9.30pm||Christchurch||Christian Cullen Lounge, Addington Raceway, Christchurch|
Also of interest is the race for deputy. Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:
Labour leadership contest outsider Shane Jones says he will not try to chose a preferred deputy, but is certain the caucus will choose a woman to fill the role. …
“Without a doubt the Labour caucus will choose, in my view, a woman to be their deputy and I’ll just leave that with them,” he said.
That suggests that if Robertson does not win the leadership, he will lose the deputy spot. All or nothing!
Who are the women who might be in line for deputy.
- Jacinda Ardern – close to Robertson, who former staff colleague. But would Cunliffe or Jones choose her?
- Maryan Street – a powerful force in caucus, but maybe better behind the scenes?
- Nanaia Mahuta – a previous running mate for Cunliffe
- Sue Moroney – has lost five electorate races, but could end up deputy
- Darien Fenton – currently a whip, and could help deliver union votes
- Clare Curran – a South Islander, well connected in influential ICT industry
- Megan Woods – also a South Islander, would help get the vote out in Christchurch
- Ruth Dyson – probably seen as too much part of the past
- Moana Mackey – close to Cunliffe, a possibility if he wins and Mahuta too busy with family
- Carol Beaumont – pedigree union background