According to reports I’ve received, turnout in the members vote has increased and is now over 40%. Camp Cunliffe have implemented a large scale get out the vote operation phoning almost every Auckland member.
This makes it very hard for Robertson to win. One of his routes was through a low turnout, and that has gone. So the only other route would be through picking up extra votes in caucus, and I’m not sure there are enough uncommitted votes left.
In fact with Cunliffe looking much more likely of a win, it is quite possible that some MPs leaning Robertson will now vote Cunliffe. They’d do this for two reasons – one is to be on the winning team, and the other is so Cunliffe is seen to win all three sections, and doesn’t have stories about how he was foisted on the caucus.
NZ Labour do not reveal how each mp votes (unlike UK Labour which does), but as so many MPs are publicly committed to one camp, the overall voting result for the caucus will allow the camps to work out with a high degree of probability how each MP voted.
One wildcard in the members vote is Ikaroa-Rawhiti currently has 750 members due to the by-election contest. Now that is probably around 10% of the total for the country. If they vote in large proportions that will have an impact. However I suspect most joined just to vote for selecting a by-election candidate.
So with two days to go, I think it will be very very hard for Robertson to win. Cunliffe is not just the front runner now, but might win reasonably comfortably. Time will tell.