This is a challenge for Cunliffe as only 11 out of 34 MPs voted for him, with 23 out of 34 giving Robertson or Jones their first preference.
Some decisions are easy, such as keeping Robertson on as Deputy. Not only does it help unify the caucus, there are no obvious deputy contenders from Camp Cunliffe anyway. Remember only three out of 20 members of the Shadow Cabinet supported Cunliffe.
Robertson said Cunliffe had his “100 per cent loyalty as leader”.
“I am absolutely confident that caucus will back him . . . I do not expect that any member of caucus will undermine David Cunliffe . . . I believe it is essential that the Labour caucus draws a line under everything that has happened in the last few years.”
The translation of this is we will be more loyal to David Cunliffe than he was to David Shearer!
Anyway what are some of the challenges for Cunliffe in his reshuffle:
- What do you gives Jones as a portfolio, and do you make him number three or four or keep him at seven. Maybe he picks up Economic Development from Clark?
- Do you introduce a gender balanced front bench which would mean two extra women in the top eight, so Cosgrove and Twyford drop back to allow Street and either Mahuta or
MahoneyMoroney back on?
- Does he keep Hipkins as Chief Whip, or nominate Moana Mackey or Iain-Lees Galloway in his place?
- Who gets Education – Robertson or Hipkins?
- Does he keep Curran in the Shadow Cabinet, and if not does David Clark pick up Comms/ICT.
- Who gets his former Revenue portfolio? Again, possibly David Clark who could get Associate Finance also.
- What portfolio do you get David Shearer? Just Science and Innovation or also Foreign Affairs. If so, what does Goff get?
- How many of his supporters who are not currently in the Shadow Cabinet will get promoted to within it, and who does he drop out?