Stacey Kirk writes:
Against a new National leadership team in Bill English and Paula Bennett, Labour leader Andrew Little and veteran Annette King will forgo any arguments of tiredness that most Oppositions would expect to be able to level towards a third-term Government.
It should be pointed out, Ardern has taken the utmost care to never utter the words she wants the top job, or even the deputy, but no politician has ever sat four seats away from the top of the table and not taken count.
Conversely, it’s understood King has been none too subtle about her views Ardern is not up to her job.
King is not alone in that view in the Labour caucus. If the Deputy Leadership was an open vote in caucus, King would win around 25 to 28 of the 32 votes.
But the wishes of the Leader are often given a lot of deference in the selection of Deputy. If Little concludes he is unelectable, he may ask King to fall on her sword to bring Ardern in, hoping that she can increase the party vote for Labour. However he would run the risk of being upstaged by his own Deputy, as never a healthy situation if the main reason people are voting for a party is the Deputy Leader, not the Leader.