At the moment Labour have all their eggs in Andrew Little’s basket as the leader to take them ever towards the General Election in 2017. A while away admittedly but with the annual conference coming up in a few weeks’ time it’s about celebrating success and setting a strategic direction for the future. This will also be a time of reflection for Little it also marks the first year of Little as Labour’s leader.
As far as reflection goes there is little to celebrate. I’m sure there will be the rah-rah of empty vessels but the reality is that Little has spectacularly failed to get any traction in any of the polls in his tenure to date. The party itself is woefully behind on just 31 percent, hardly breaking any ground since the disastrous times of David Cunliffe.
They are up on their election result, but are polling worse than they were three years ago (were polling 33%). They’re under the 34% they lost office on and well off the 40% they need to govern with the Greens.
They simply haven’t made any progress in Little’s first year, none at all. It’s more than a weak signal Labour need to be aware of. After a year of listening and getting some major policies out such as the much vaunted ‘Future of Work’ there is still little to celebrate and you have to wonder if there’s any talk of whether Little should remain in the job. After all, he’s on the same miserable 8 per cent as preferred prime minister as when Cunliffe was apologising for being a man and Labour’s Trevor Mallard was crowing about bringing back the Moa but delivered a turkey.
Cunliffe a year ago was on 12% and Shearer three years ago also on 12%.
We need a strong and credible Left wing party to put up some decent opposition. Something more than just a machine to regurgitate the same old messages we are all sick of hearing. If not, voter boredom will be their biggest enemy. Let’s hope Little has a better second year or his third may be his last.
And then will it be Jacinida’s turn?