I heard from a reliable source last week that in the voting to date, James Shaw has a narrow lead for the Green Party male co-leadership.
The actual election takes places at their conference at the end of May, but the delegates from each electorate get instructed how to vote at their electorate AGMs, which have started.
I’ve commented on the four leaders here:
With no disrespect to Gareth or Vernon, but it appears to be a two horse race between Kevin and James.
The good thing for the Greens is both Kevin and James have considerable strengths, and both should be more successful than their predecessor. It’s a great thing for a party to have a positive choice of leadership candidates.
I’ve been helping James Shaw out with his campaign. Up until now its been impossible to tell how things are going, but now that the branches are voting we have a rough idea and I am cautiously optimistic. It’s going to be close but James could win. My reason for supporting him over Kevin Hague – who I have a huge amount of respect for – is pretty simple. The key role of a leader in a modern political party is to be the public face of that party, to front to the media and the public, and to win new voters. Maybe I’m just blinded by partisan bias, but I think James is going to be a lot better in that core role than the other candidates.
That doesn’t mean he’ll win. Kevin Hague also has a lot of great qualities, and they make him one of the most beloved guys inside the Green Party – which gives him a big advantage in a contest to become leader of it. But being the leader is about connecting with the public, not just the party’s own membership. The best thing for the future of the Green Party is to elect a leader who can grow it.
I agree with this analysis. Kevin is very respected and popular with the members – and with many other MPs. I regard Kevin as a good guy, who would be a good Minister of Health and a good co-leader for the Greens.
However the Greens seem to be stuck at a 10% vote ceiling. James Shaw does represent the best opportunity for the Greens to break through that 10% ceiling, and if I was a Green party member I’d vote for him.
If Shaw wins the male co-leadership and Julie-Anne Genter becomes (in time) female co-leader, then I think the Greens would have a real possibility of shaking off the past, and grow support and votes for the Greens.
But as I said, I think Kevin will do a solid job also. Again the Greens are fortunate to have a positive choice.