Cunliffe says Labour will win – but maybe not until 2017

February 25th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

In an interview with Radio New Zealand, David Cunliffe said:

“We all know the Government is going to change. It’s either going to change this time or next time. I think it’s more likely to change this time, and if it does, the question in front of New Zealanders is what is the composition of that new government going to be?”

To have the Leader of the Opposition basically say they may not win this election is in itself unusual.

But what makes it even more interesting is that for a couple of months there has been talk coming from some in Labour about how they are going for a two election strategy – to do well enough this time, to win in 2017. Others might call that a strategy to lose!

Even more interesting is that it seems some of the ABC club have worked out that this may be the strategy, and this is posing them a dilemma. They definitely want to win this time, and get into Government. But they are unconvinced they can. They think a loss is most likely.

The issue for them is if Labour loses, is it better if they lose narrowly or lose badly? Their concern is that the worst result would be a very narrow loss. Because then Cunliffe would remain leader for three more years (and then if they win in 2017, maybe six more beyond that).

The view that very reliable people have been putting around is that some in Labour have decided that while they want a win if a loss is inevitable then they want a big loss, rather than a narrow one. Why? Because then they can not just replace the leader, but convince the party to return the selection of the leader to the caucus. That could happen, if the leader forced on them by the activists and unions leads them to a worse result then even Goff got in 2011.

I wasn’t planning to blog at this stage on the maneuvering going on within Labour, but Cunliffe’s explicit mention of winning in 2017, if not 2014, suggests that he is aware of the issue, and he is also looking to shore up support for a two term strategy so he doesn’t get rolled if they narrowly lose in 2014.

The next couple of months will be essential for Labour. If the left doesn’t improve in the polls, then some MPs will decide a big loss is preferable to a narrow loss and the go slow will become a strike. However if the left do improve in the polls, then the scent of victory will keep them united.

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The ABCs are back

February 21st, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Duncan Garner talks on Radio Live about how the ABCs are back. He cites both a current and former Labour MP who have said that there is growing discontent over how Cunliffe has started the year.

Duncan was very clear that there is no challenge to Cunliffe’s leadership looming.Both sources were explicit on this. What has happened is that the the ABCs had gone into hibernation, but now they are talking to each other again.

The strategy that seems to be emerging is more a go slow. They think Labour can’t win, so they won’t bust their backs slogging away for a leader they don’t support. They’ll just wait for the loss, and then vacate the leadership after the election.

That’s what Garner has said a current and former Labour MP have said. And it is worth noting that Garner was one of the first to expose the maneuvers that were happening against David Shearer.

Labour dropping to 30% in yesterday’s Roy Morgan poll won’t help settle things down much either. The RM poll is very volatile, so eyes will be out for other polls in the next month or so.

Pete George has a transcript of what Garner said.

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Labour’s challenges

September 18th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

Three days in the water and Team Cunliffe has struck its first snag.

The snag is the abdication of deputy leader Grant Robertson. Labour’s new leader and the party’s MPs, including Mr Robertson, did their best yesterday to put a positive spin on the surprise development.

MPs were “joining together” and “putting the party first”, Mr Cunliffe said.

The new line-up featuring finance spokesman David Parker as deputy leader was the “strongest” that could be put forward, said Mr Robertson, who has replaced Trevor Mallard as shadow leader of the House. However, the reality is that the new leader has lost an opportunity to heal the wounds created by the internal feuding that has bedevilled the party since its 2008 election loss.

Whether Mr Robertson declined overtures from the Cunliffe camp, as the bush telegraph suggests, or Mr Cunliffe preferred Mr Parker as his deputy is beside the point. If Mr Cunliffe did not offer Mr Robertson the job he should have.

After a three-way primary contest for the leadership laid bare the divisions between MPs, and the divisions between MPs and the wider party, Labour not only needs to talk unity, it needs to display it. The best way to achieve that would have been for the two main contenders for the leadership – Mr Cunliffe and Mr Robertson – to present a united front to the world.

I understand that if Robertson had clearly stated a desire to be Deputy, Cunliffe would have appointed him. But he was hesitant and not keen – presumably to keep future options open.

That may be an indication Mr Robertson is fearful of becoming entangled in the wreckage should the Cunliffe experiment capsize.

It may also be an indication that Mr Robertson has not yet abandoned his own leadership ambitions.

Whatever the case, Mr Cunliffe has grounds for concern.

Remember that while the members vote for the leader, it is the caucus that has the sole job of sacking one.

Team Cunliffe has successfully rounded the first mark but one hull is lifting out of the water and there are signs some of his crew are thinking about abandoning ship. Anticipate developments.

The best tweet yesterday was about how a capsized Mallard was sighted in San Francisco Harbour :-)

The Herald editorial:

Grant Robertson’s decision to spurn the deputy leadership does not bode well for the Labour Party under its new leader. David Cunliffe had intimated his support for Mr Robertson in the clear hope of reconciling the caucus to the result of the party election.

Mr Robertson, preferred by 16 MPs to 11 for Mr Cunliffe and seven for Shane Jones, had given every impression in the campaign that whatever the result he was unlikely to rock the boat. Now he is making waves.

His decision is a declaration that he does not wish to work too closely with the new leader. Instead he will be Labour’s shadow leader of the House, a role that may let him range widely of his own accord.

The decision suggests he has not put his leadership ambition aside for the time being. If he was content to wait he would have continued in the deputy role, an ideal position for keeping your name to the fore and proving yourself capable in the leader’s absences. But an ambitious and honourable deputy is also supposed to give the leader unconditional support. That perhaps was the obstacle for Mr Robertson continuing in a job he has reputedly done well.

It is hard to interpret the decision as anything other than a lack of confidence, and a desire to keep future options open.

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How the caucus may have voted

September 17th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar
Cunliffe Jones Robertson
Ardern, Jacinda 3 2 1
Beaumont, Carol 1 3 2
Clark, David 2 3 1
Cosgrove, Clayton 3 1 2
Cunliffe, David 1 2 3
Curran, Clare 2 3 1
Dalziel, Lianne 1 3 2
Dyson, Ruth 2 3 1
Faafoi, Kris 3 2 1
Fenton, Darien 2 3 1
Goff, Phil 3 2 1
Hipkins, Chris 3 2 1
Huo, Raymond 2 3 1
Jones, Shane 2 1 3
King, Annette 3 2 1
Lees-Galloway, Iain 1 2 3
Little, Andrew 3 2 1
Mackey, Moana 1 2 3
Mahuta, Nanaia 1 2 3
Mallard, Trevor 3 2 1
Moroney, Sue 1 2 3
O’Connor, Damien 2 1 3
Parker, David 2 1 3
Prasad, Rajen 1 3 2
Robertson, Grant 3 2 1
Robertson, Ross 3 1 2
Shearer, David 2 1 3
Sio, Su’a William 1 2 3
Street, Maryan 2 3 1
Tirikatene, Rino 2 1 3
Twyford, Phil 2 3 1
Wall, Louisa 1 2 3
Whaitiri, Meka 1 2 3
Woods, Megan 2 3 1
1 11 7 16
2 13 16 5
3 10 11 13
34 34 34
Round 1 11 7 16
Round 2 16 18

Most Labour MPs preferences were known in advance of the vote. Patrick Gower has some info on some last minute changes including Parker being the 7th vote for Jones. Based on this, the above is the likely (but no way to know for sure as a secret ballot) voting preferences for the caucus.


Cunliffe wins

September 15th, 2013 at 2:49 pm by David Farrar

David Cunliife wins with 51.5% on the first preferences. Huge win.

Robertson narrowly won the caucus vote, Cunliffe got 60% of the members and 70% of the unions.

  • The caucus voted Robertson 47%, Jones 21%, Cunliffe 32%.
  • The members voted Robertson 27%, Jones 13%, Cunliffe 60%
  • The unions voted Robertson 17%, Jones 12%, Cunliffe 71%

This means Cunliffe got just 11 out of 34 votes in caucus, Jones got 7 and Robertson 16.





Guest Post: Winners and Losers

September 14th, 2013 at 7:29 pm by David Farrar

A guest post by Michael Lu:

Winner and Loser

By Michael Lu .

Whatever the final outcome of the Labour leadership’s contest, it is hard to say who is the loser amongst the three contestants – David Cunliffe,Grant Robertson and Shane Jones. If I have to determine whose the loser in this contest is, then it is probably the Labour Party itself.

The three contestants are now pulling out all the stops to try to woo the supporters, unions and caucus to support them in this leadership contest. All of them have released their policies in their leadership roadshow. Shane Jones has not  specified the financial commitments in his policy to woo the voters, whereas the other two candidates are more specific in what they can offer.

Amongst the three contestants, Shane Jones has little chance in winning the leadership contest. His participation is to assist him to increase his profile. He wants to seize this opportunity to address voters’ concerns and show his political astuteness. The recent roadshow has shown his ability to attract the supporters and raising his profile. In my opinion, Shane Jones is a winner. His increased popularity and his future political career are more likely to attract media and voter’s attention. The once ranked fifth minister in former Labour government with great leadership potential will struggle to be elected to be the leader due to his indiscretion and actions in the past. 

Many people have commended that both Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe are the front runners in this leadership contest.  The policies released by both of them have shown that they have put up sweeteners like living wage in order to attract more votes. Whoever the elected leader is, he will face pressure to honour these commitments and increase the popularity of Labour party amongst the voters.

In the leadership contest, I believe David Cunliffe has the upper hand in winning the leadership. He has been ranked third in the Labor Party heavyweights, highly educated at Harvard University and has been in politics for a number of years . His political view is more leaning towards left-wing voters which will appeal to the blue collar support. This will be a risk for David Cunliffe to unite the faction of party and supporters which has a more centre political view. It is important to note that in the last election, one of the contributing factors that Labour lost the election is the voters has lost confidence in the leader and hence has decided not to vote.

David Cunliffe, although popular at the grassroots level, seems to be unpopular and left out from the Labour caucus. His personality has made it difficult for colleagues to support him.  It is crucial for him to change his leadership style and make it conducive for his colleagues to vote and support him in order to win this contest. 

Under the MMP electoral system, both the Labour and the National need to find allies in order to form coalition government. It is important for any leaders to have good political relations with potential partners. In the past, Helen Clark was reluctant to form a coalition government with the Greens in order to avoid being overly containment policies. Helen Clark rarely ruled out any coalition deals in the public. David Cunliffe’s recent speech of ruling out giving the finance minister post to the Greens did not make much sense. If the Greens performs well in the next election and the Labour needs to surrender the post of finance minister for them to form the coalition government, the opponents will accuse David Cunliffe to be untrustworthy. If and when David Cunliffe becomes the leader, his focus is not only on uniting the party and also building the good relationship with political parties for Labour to form coalition government.

On the other hand, Grant Robertson is more likely to gain support from the caucus. His centre-left policy and good performance throughout his career is well known. However, it is difficult to predict his gay identity is seen to be favourable or disadvantage to lead the Labour in the upcoming election in 2014. New Zealanders considered themselves always open, egalitarian. An openly gay prime minister perhaps would make New Zealanders proud.

From another perspective, whoever loses this contest, this might not be a bad situation. Firstly, the new Labour leader will face lots of challenges from Russell Norman and Winston Peters whose outspoken style is always the focus of media. Secondly, the winner of this leader contest won’t make everybody happy. The losers will challenge the leadership again once there is an opportunity. Finally, the John Key led National Party has been in the government for two terms now and still leading in the latest polling. It is not an easy job for the Labour new leader to lead the party to take over the power from National in the upcoming election in 2014. Once the Labour loses the election, the new leader may be forced to step down. Therefore, whoever loses this Labour leadership contest; he is not to be a loser yet. If the Labour loses the upcoming election, he still has a chance to become the next Labour leader and has a better chance to defeat National in 2017.

 In the end, who is the real winner from the leadership contest, I am afraid that only time will tell.


Garner on the race

September 14th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Duncan Garner writes:

Cunliffe’s nose may just be ahead – but it’s not over: Robertson’s people won’t give up; they seriously dislike Cunliffe, they really do.

They really really do.

I have spoken to a number of Labour MPs in recent days who openly despise Cunliffe. The hatred and bile towards him has not subsided. It actually seems to have got stronger and louder in the final stretch of this race.

One senior MP in the Robertson camp described him to me over the weekend as “an insincere prat” who is “a fake that would be shown up bloody quickly”. Others have described him in similar terms. You get the point.

If Cunliffe wins, it will be fascinating to see what happens. There won’t be anything for several months as they get a poll bounce, but if things drop back then it could turn caustic.

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Final Vote Model update

September 14th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve done some tweaking of the model, assuming EPMU vote is not as strong for Robertson as previously, and also that Cunliffe does better in the members vote. The final model (not a prediction – this is more a learning exercise) is:

Modelled Labour Vote by Section      
Raw Vote Cunliffe Robertson Jones
Caucus 35.3% 47.1% 17.6%
Unions 51.9% 35.1% 13.0%
Members 45.9% 40.8% 13.3%
Weighted Vote Cunliffe Robertson Jones
Caucus 14.1% 18.8% 7.1%
Unions 10.4% 7.0% 2.6%
Members 18.4% 16.3% 5.3%
Total Vote 42.9% 42.2% 15.0%
Second Preferences Cunliffe Robertson  
Caucus 47.1% 52.9%  
Unions 60.2% 39.8%  
Members 53.6% 46.4%  
Final Weighted Vote Cunliffe Robertson  
Caucus 18.8% 21.2%  
Unions 12.0% 8.0%  
Members 21.4% 18.6%  
Total Final Vote 52.3% 47.7%  

What it doesn’t take account of is different turn-out by region for the members. I understand Camp Cunliffe had a 48 hour call bank running where they called almost every member likely to vote for him. An operation like that can make a big difference.

But to balance that is one MP is worth several hundred members.


The final pork barrel update

September 13th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar
  Cunliffe Jones Robertson
Raise taxes on rich pricks Yes No Yes
Living wage for all Govt staff and contractors Yes   Yes
Minimum wage $15/hr Yes   Yes
Full employment Yes   Yes
Living wage for all Yes    
Pacifica TV channel Yes Yes  
Regulate food prices Yes Yes Yes
A home for everyone     Yes
Taxi drivers to earn more Yes    
Increase tax rate on trusts Yes    
Subsidies for tree planting Yes    
Repeal all of National’s employment changes Yes   Yes
Expand ban on house purchases to Australians   Yes  
Extend Northern Rail Link to North Port Yes Yes  
Extend Part 6A from vulnerable workers to all workers Yes    
50% female quota for caucus Yes   Yes
Not block the “man ban” if party wants it Yes   Yes
Scrap Kapiti Expressway Yes    
Possibly buy back SOEs Yes    
Possibly keep Super age at 65, not 67 Yes    
Subsidies or “support” for wood processing     Yes
A second cable to the United States     Yes
Extend 2014 target for Treaty settlements to 2020     Yes
Make Police Commissioner apologise to Tuhoe     Yes
National awards within 100 days of election Yes    
Restore Napier to Gisborne rail line Yes   Yes
Tax incentives for regional businesses   Yes  
Change Reserve Bank focus from inflation to employment     Yes
Extend Training Incentive Allowance to beneficiaries     Yes
A living allowance for all students     Yes
Financial Transactions Tax     No
Allowances for post graduate students     Yes
Repeal VSM law     Yes
Relocate government services to Dunedin   Yes  
More compensation for Pike River families Yes    
Rent controls for Christchurch     Yes
Restrict migrant workers in Chch   Yes  
Support mining (at the West Coast meeting)   Yes Yes

Thankfully for the country, the pork fest finishes on Sunday, so no more damage can be promised!

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Cunliffe getting the members vote

September 13th, 2013 at 9:53 am by David Farrar

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.


Too close to call

September 12th, 2013 at 3:19 pm by David Farrar



As always, treat the non-caucus numbers as highly speculative. The caucus numbers are more solid, but MPs have been known to swap sides, or say one thing and do another.

My models have Robertson ahead in the caucus vote, and Cunliffe ahead in the union and members vote. When you weight them together I actually have Robertson narrowly leading. However with Cunliffe picking up more of the Jones caucus second preferences, my model has a narrow victory to Cunliffe on the final ballot – 51.1% to 48.9%.

So if the model is in the ballpark (and it may not be), then either Robertson or Cunliffe can win. And the fact neither camp is claiming they have it in the bag, suggests they also think it is close.

So how can the three candidates win. Here’s what I think


The easiest way for Robertson to win is to pick up additional caucus votes. In fact just one MP swapping to him will get him over the line on this model. If the six Jones voters split 3-3 instead of 4-2 to Cunliffe, then he squeaks in.

The other path to victory for Robertson is to do better on the membership vote. I’ve heard that the voting turnout to date is low, just 14% as of yesterday. A low turnout would I think advantage Robertson as I think his caucus supporters will be better at getting their local members to vote.


Cunliffe has multiple routes to victory. On this model he is more likely to win. If he picks up a couple more caucus votes he is home and hosed.

Another route to victory for Cunliffe is the EPMU. He has the support of the four smaller unions. The SFWU is allowing all members a vote so hard to change their outcome. The EPMU however has around 50 voting delegates only and they carry around 7% of the total vote. My model assumes most EPMU delegates will back Robertson as he has some support from senior officials such as Paul Tolich. However it is quite possible the EPMU may vote the same way as the other unions, and if so Cunliffe gets in easily.

The third route to victory for Cunliffe is winning the members vote not narrowly, but by say over a 10% margin. If after preferences Cunliffe gets over 55% of their vote, it should also clinch it for him. For that his team need to make sure the Auckland based members vote in strength. The fact  600 to 700 members turned up to the Wellington meeting suggests Wellington may have a higher vote turnout per capita/member.


There is no route to victory for Jones!

So my pick is a victory for Cunliffe. However Robertson can win if get more caucus votes, and there is a relatively low membership vote. But  against that Cunliffe has multiple routes to victory and only needs one of them. The advantage is his.


Trevett’s Labour Leadership Awards

September 12th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Some amusing awards from Claire Trevett:

The Artful Dodger award for picking pockets: 
David Cunliffe. Grant Robertson announced the living wage – five minutes later Cunliffe did too. Shane Jones announced Pasifika TV – five minutes later Cunliffe did too. Robertson made a joke about boy bands. It was Cunliffe’s by the next day. Shane Jones announced regional development measures including a rail link to Marsden Pt. The next day, Cunliffe announced a package suspiciously similar.

Is there any pledge DC hasn’t matched?

The John Banks award for greatest transmogrification: 
David Cunliffe for his leap from the business-friendly face of Labour to waving a bunch of “socialist red” roses around and singing paeans from the Workers’ Songbook.

John Wayne award for straight shooting: 
Grant Robertson for bluntly pointing out Shane Jones could not win, however successful he was in the polls. Shane Jones for saying of the Greens: “I am going to harvest and find my votes in Middle Earth – not flat earth. …

Merry Wives of Windsor award for playing hard to get: 
Andrew Little, Raymond Huo, David Parker. Each camp has tried to claim them, but they have continued to refuse to say whom they are backing.

Woody Allen Zelig award for best human chameleon: 
David Cunliffe. In 2011, he morphed into a character from bro’Town to fit into the audience at the flea markets. The sequel came at the Whangarei hustings meeting when he tried out his Maori styles, complete with the use of “eh” to end sentences.

Joni Mitchell award for best rendition of Both Sides Now: 
Su’a William Sio for signing Shane Jones’ nomination form, but supporting David Cunliffe.

Son of a Preacher Man award for best evangelical performance: 
David Cunliffe, who is the son of a preacher man, for his campaign launch and his vibrato a la Martin Luther King “this little town” soliloquy at Blackball. In fact, for his entire campaign.

I understand Martin Luther Cunliffe is now the term used by his opponents to deride him!

Where’s Wally? pantomime award: 
Robertson, for telling Seven Sharp his partner Alf was too busy to be at the pub for the interview just before the camera caught Alf at another table. He’s behind you, Grant!

I suspect that episode may come back to haunt Grant, unless he is claiming that Alf was there without his knowledge!

Shane Jones award for out Jones-ing Jonesy: 
Patrick Gower, 3News: “It’s gonna be Cunliffe’s butchery in the caucus room next Tuesday if he gets the job.”

The blood bath may not be immediate, but could be awesome.

Hellers’ award for biggest pork barrel: 
All three.

Which makes taxpayers the loser no matter who wins!

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Modelling the Labour Members vote

September 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Okay, I’ve now done a very speculative model of how the Labour membership vote may go. Please do not take this as a prediction. What I’m trying to do is identify the factors that could influence the vote and see what that might look like. There are so many assumptions involved, that it can not be regarded as any sort of prediction.

The first thing one has to do is work out the relative membership in each electorate. Sadly (but understandably) Labour won’t tell me, so what I have done is make assumptions based on the total party and electorate vote each electorate got at the 2011 election, and proportion them out on the basis of total votes over 9,000 (which is basically your weakest electorate). If someone wants to supply me with actual membership numbers happy to update the assumptions!



I’ve assumed 7,000 members (so average per electorate is 100), but that doesn’t matter, what matters is the relative size of each electorate (assuming they all have same voting turnout).

Next one has to assume how they will vote. Now this is like reading tea leaves, and not much more scientific. But can make some assumptions. Here is what I did:

 Cunliffe  Jones  Robertson Cunliffe  Robertson
Other 45.0% 22.0% 33.0% 57.7% 42.3%
Auckland 65.0% 14.0% 21.0% 75.6% 24.4%
Wellington 24.9% 12.1% 63.0% 28.3% 71.7%
Christchurch 31.6% 15.4% 53.0% 37.3% 62.7%
Dunedin 31.6% 15.4% 53.0% 37.3% 62.7%
Maori 27.7% 52.0% 20.3% 57.7% 42.3%

So for most electorates, I assumed Cunliffe 45%, Robertson 33% and Jones 22%, based on general acknowledgement that Cunliffe has more support from members.

But in Auckland I give Cunliffe a 20% boost, in Wellington Robertson a 30% boost and a 20% boost for Robertson in Christchurch and Dunedin. And Jones gets a 30% boost in the Maori electorates.

Then there is one further adjustment. If the electorate has an MP who is a supporter of one candidate, that gives that candidate an additional 30% boost. That is based on the reality that the local MP will have significant influence on their members. This is not like the UK where the number of voters was hundreds of thousands. In each electorate it may be a few dozen only and the MP will have influence. Some MPs such as Goff and Mallard probably have more influence over their electorates than a new MP, but I’m assuming a 30% endorsement factor for each.

So what that does give us as a model for each electorate.



Now what do you get when you multiply each vote by their assumed strength.

  • Cunliffe 45.4%
  • Jones 13.1%
  • Robertson 41.5%

And if you assumes Jones second preferences flow the same as other’s first preferences:

  • Cunliffe 53.0%
  • Robertson 47.0%

I’ll reveal tomorrow the updated model for each section (caucus, unions and members) and what the overall model is projecting for the total vote.



Jones lashes Curran

September 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

One News reported:

MP Shane Jones has opened fire on one of his caucus colleagues as the Labour leadership roadshow is about to wrap up in Christchurch.

Mr Jones, one of three contenders for the leadership, has told ONE News that in a Labour Party he leads, Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran would be so far on the outer she would be sitting with independent MP Brendan Horan.

That’s a massively harsh statement to make in public, and it gives you some idea how toxic some relationships are within the Labour caucus.

“Either the moon in Dunedin was in the wrong phase or she’s casting around for a new job,” he told ONE News.

They had been doing a fairly good of pretending to be civil for the first week, but it is all unwinding now.

“What happens in David Cunliffe’s camp or Grant Robertson’s camp ought not to be fed via the Twitter, then exponentially spread up and down New Zealand, only to confirm that the Labour caucus is unfit to govern,” Mr Jones said.

So Shane thinks Labour is unfit to govern! Oh the next question time will be fun!

But the quotes are even more damning in this Stuff article about why Cunliffe stood down Jenny Michie:

“I’ve looked closely at that issue, I’ve made a decision to stand a person down from my campaign team just because I think maintaining the appropriate perceptions that we are a united party and a united caucus is really important,” he said.

Can you believe this. Cunliffe has said that it is only a perception that Labour is united, and that his actions are just about maintaining that perception!

The actual comments Michie made were, in my view, not in any way inappropriate. The question and answer was:

Rachel Okay, Grant Robertson Jennie says that he wants to be judged on his ability, not his sexuality. How do you think the socially conservatives might view Grant Robertson you know in the year 2013?

Jennie That’s right, I think it’s not a big a deal as it used to be. You know we now have gay marriage, and it actually went through without that much of a fuss, and the sky hasn’t fallen. Having said that I think we’d be naïve to imagine that there would be no resistance to a gay Prime Minister at this point. I think some people might have a problem with it, but I certainly wouldn’t.

Michie was asked a direct question. She did not bring the issue up. She was sacked for just telling the obvious truth – that of course some people would have a problem with a gay PM. Should she have lied and said that no-one would? She made clear she didn’t think it would be a big deal, but while same sex marriage passed with strong support, it did not have anywhere near unanimous support, and you’d have no credibility as a commentator if you denied that some people may have an issue.

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Bob Jones endorses Robertson

September 10th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Bob Jones writes in the NZ Herald:

I don’t know David Cunliffe but his parliamentary colleagues and the Press Gallery do and virtually to a man and a woman can’t stand him. By contrast Grant Robertson is enormously liked by everyone. That alone should decide Labour’s leadership, for as John Key demonstrates, likeability is a considerable electoral bonus. …

Throughout his career, everyone Abbott’s worked with, going back to university days, liked him enormously and remained staunchly loyal. Conversely, it took only a few months throughout his career for everyone around Rudd to detest him with a deep loathing.

This was the killer line for Abbott in one of the debates, where he said if you wanted to know about my character then ask my colleagues, and if you want to know about Mr Rudd’s, ask his colleagues.

I think Sir Bob over-states the case though. Rudd was hated by almost all of his colleagues. The antipathy towards Cunliffe is more measured and by a smaller proportion of his colleagues.

So, returning to Labour’s leadership contest, I believe Robertson is the standout choice for, as he attracts such warmth and respect from his caucus colleagues, inevitably he will from the wider electorate in the high-profile leader’s position, and will better achieve a united caucus than Cunliffe. …

If anyone can stir this apathetic lot it would more likely be the affable, rugby-playing Robertson.

All of this points up the foolishness of Labour’s candidate and leader selection mechanism. It stands in stark contrast to National’s democratic model in which the electorates choose their candidates and caucus their leader.

A strong endorsement for Robertson from Sir Bob, however not sure it will help him with the members vote!

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The battle getting heated

September 10th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins at Stuff writes:

The numbers are being done daily, the lead changes depending which camp you talk to, and the gloves are well and truly off in the Labour leadership race.

Warring between David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson supporters spilled into the public arena yesterday, after MP Clare Curran accused Cunliffe supporters of using Mr Robertson’s sexuality as a mark against him. She singled out “Leftwingers” in the party and accused them of “dog whistle” politics for suggesting New Zealand was not ready for a gay prime minister.

Very disappointing if some Labour members are doing that.

However Grant did himself no favours by hiding his partner from the camera in the pub, and denying he was even there, when he was. That shows he himself does think it is a factor.

Some feathers within the party have been ruffled, meanwhile, by Robertson supporters pushing the line there will be an exodus of the party’s rising stars if Mr Cunliffe wins – seen as an attempt to exert pressure on the outcome.

On a different front, the picture over second preferences of the third candidate, Shane Jones, is getting increasingly murky after Mr Cunliffe believed he had been promised them, and Mr Jones denied that.

However, there are rumours that some of Mr Jones’ supporters are openly encouraging his backers to give their second preference to Mr Cunliffe, despite those denials.

In other words, the fog of war has well and truly descended over the Labour leadership race and you can no longer be sure who is telling the truth.

I think there is no doubt Robertson will win a plurality of the Labour caucus votes over Cunliffe. But by my reckoning they do not have a majority and how the six or so Jones voters assign their second preferences will be important. I have two thirds of them going for Cunliffe at the moment leaving it 18 – 16 Robertson-Cunliffe after preferences.

According to some MPs, for instance, the numbers in the caucus remain rock solid behind Mr Robertson at a “solid 18, and probably 20″. Others suggest some of those previously rock solid numbers have crossed to either Mr Jones or Mr Cunliffe.

Still others suggest that the second preferences of Mr Jones’ supporters will swing the caucus vote Mr Cunliffe’s way.

The unions, meanwhile, are split, although a number of small ones have endorsed Mr Cunliffe.

All four of the smaller unions have endorsed Cunliffe. They only make up a third of the union vote. However I am assuming the SWFU members will favour Cunliffe, while most EPMU delegates will vote Robertson. Overall though Cunliffe should win the union vote. My current spreadsheet (which is highly speculative) has Cunliffe get 48%, Robertson 39% and Jones 13%, and then Cunliffe 56% to Robertson 44%.

If you combine that with the caucus vote then Robertson has 30.1% overall and Cunliffe 29.9%. Whomever wins the members vote should win overall unless Robertson can pick up more than 18 votes in caucus.

What it all adds up to is a party as divided over the leadership as ever – and as the election across the Tasman proved, that is not a place where Labour wants to be at the end of this race.

Some Camp Robertson people refer to David Cunliffe as David Ruddliffe :-)

UPDATE: Things are going from warm to boiling. Duncan Garner writes:

Cunliffe’s nose may just be ahead – but it’s not over: Robertson’s people won’t give up; they seriously dislike Cunliffe, they really do.

They really really do.

I have spoken to a number of Labour MPs in recent days who openly despise Cunliffe. The hatred and bile towards him has not subsided. It actually seems to have got stronger and louder in the final stretch of this race.

One senior MP in the Robertson camp described him to me over the weekend as “an insincere prat” who is “a fake that would be shown up bloody quickly”. Others have described him in similar terms. You get the point.

So what does this mean if Cunliffe wins:

If Cunliffe wins, he will win with just a third of the caucus support. That is unprecedented in NZ politics. Leaders always enjoy the support of at least 50% of their caucus. It’s how politics works.

It means that 20 odd MPs in a caucus of 34 will have voted against Cunliffe becoming leader. Astonishing isn’t it? How sustainable is that?

Grab the popcorn – it ain’t over yet.

The theory I’m now hearing is they give Cunliffe six to nine months if he wins, and if things implode then they roll him and Jones is put up as leader unopposed for the election. Assuming he doesn’t win, then you get Robertson take over after the election. Machiavelli would be proud!

UPDATE: Cunliffe has stood Jenny Michie down from his campaign team for her cements on The Nation. They seemed pretty innocuous to me.


Who’s supporting who

September 10th, 2013 at 9:20 am by David Farrar

I’ve been compiling a list of pledges and endorsements for each of the three Labour candidates. Welcome any additions or corrections. The state of play this morning is:

David Cunliffe endorsements

  1. Chris Trotter
  2. John Tamihere
  3. Brian Edwards
  4. Mike Williams
  5. Jenny Michie
  6. David Farrar
  7. Gordon Campbell
  8. Fran O’Sullivan
  9. Cactus Kate
  10. Otago Daily Times
  11. Manawatu Standard
  12. Greg Presland
  13. Morgan Godfery
  14. John Minto
  15. Mike Lee
  16. Taranaki Daily News
  17. Brian Rudman
  18. Anjum Rahman
  19. John Armstrong
  20. Martyn Bradbury
  21. Selwyn Manning
  22. Rod Oram
  23. Scott Yorke
  24. Colin Espiner
  25. Keith Locke

Shane Jones endorsements

  1. Sonny Tau
  2. Stuart Nash
  3. Kelvin Davis
  4. Guyon Espiner
  5. Willie Jackson
  6. Cameron Slater
  7. Dover Samuels
  8. Hone Harawira
  9. Labour’s Te Kaunihera Māori

Grant Robertson endorsements

  1. Michael Cullen
  2. Matthew Hooton
  3. Vernon Small
  4. Titewhai Harawira
  5. Andrew Geddis
  6. Rebecca Matthews
  7. Sir Bob Jones

Again please let me know of any additions or changes as I plan to keep updating and republishing this page.


The Labour pork barrel update

September 9th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The aspiring Prime Ministers have been busy with their promises since my last update. In fact I hear on the grapevine that their promises have even started to alarm some of their colleagues, including David Parker who would have to produce an alternate budget that could find it all!

  Cunliffe Jones Robertson
Raise taxes on rich pricks Yes No Yes
Living wage for all Govt staff and contractors Yes   Yes
Minimum wage $15/hr Yes   Yes
Full employment Yes   Yes
Living wage for all Yes    
Pacifica TV channel Yes Yes  
Regulate food prices   Yes  
A home for everyone     Yes
Taxi drivers to earn more Yes    
Increase tax rate on trusts Yes    
Subsidies for tree planting Yes    
Repeal all of National’s employment changes Yes   Yes
Expand ban on house purchases to Australians   Yes  
Extend Northern Rail Link to North Port Yes Yes  
Extend Part 6A from vulnerable workers to all workers Yes    
50% female quota for caucus Yes   Yes
Not block the “man ban” if party wants it Yes   Yes
Scrap Kapiti Expressway Yes    
Possibly buy back SOEs Yes    
Possibly keep Super age at 65, not 67 Yes    
Subsidies or “support” for wood processing     Yes
A second cable to the United States     Yes
Extend 2014 target for Treaty settlements to 2020     Yes
Make Police Commissioner apologise to Tuhoe     Yes
National awards within 100 days of election Yes    
Restore Napier to Gisborne rail line Yes   Yes
Tax incentives for regional businesses   Yes  
Change Reserve Bank focus from inflation to employment     Yes
Extend Training Incentive Allowance to beneficiaries     Yes
A living allowance for all students     Yes
Financial Transactions Tax     No
Allowances for post graduate students     Yes
Repeal VSM law     Yes
Relocate government services to Dunedin   Yes  

If you spot or hear a pork promise, let me know so I can keep the list updated!


Edwards on Jones

September 9th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Brian Edwards blogs:

Shane Jones is one of only two people I have ever hung up on. Trevor Mallard is the other. I don’t take well to being bullied or abused.

Now that’s a good opening line!

I do Mallard an injustice by mentioning him in the same context as Jones. I have considerable respect for Trevor and nothing but contempt for Jones.

If I ever had doubts that such contempt was deserved, they would have vanished over the past couple of weeks in the face of his numerous appearances on television. This is not a man the Labour Party can ever afford to have as its Leader. This is not a man the country can ever afford to have as its Prime Minister. He would almost certainly bring shame to both offices.

Little chance Shane will be Leader or PM. But he could well end up Deputy if that is the price of his support for second preferences.

Here’s Jones on his Dalmatian forefathers: ‘I tell you what, a lot of them were fairly lusty individuals, because they didn’t always marry those Maori wahines they applied their biological gum-spears to.’ (Penis reference. Espiner laughs.)

Jones again, following his call to David Cunliffe: ‘What the hell is a soft piece. Doing things in a soft fashion has never really been a failing of mine’ (Penis reference presumably boasting his ability to sustain an erection. Espiner finds this very funny.)

And here’s Jones, in a speech referring to what he intended to do to John Key:  ‘I’m going to tie a bungy cord around a sensitive spot and then I’m going to get those callipers and cut them, and then the mercenary of capitalism can suffer what he deserves – a dead cat bounce.” (Reference to castrating John Key)

And Jones on Labour’s proposed ‘man ban’: ‘… the overwhelming response [in his electorate] is the public doesn’t want the country run by geldings.’ (Reference to women as castrated male horses.)

Brian is right to point out that Shane does seem rather obsessed with certain appendages.

He definitely has mass appeal, but he is also a bit of a walking time bomb.

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Union update for Labour vote

September 6th, 2013 at 7:31 pm by David Farrar

I understand that three of the six unions have now endorsed David Cunliffe for the Labour leadership, and in fact have asked delegates to rank Jones 2nd and Robertson 3rd.

The DWU were previously known to have endorsed Cunliffe. I understand RMTU have also. I do not know if the 3rd union is MUNZ or MWU – I have assumed MUNZ as they are stronger in Auckland.

The updated table based on vote assumptions (and they are assumptions) are:

Round 1 Cunliffe Jones Robertson Union % Cunliffe Jones Robertson
EPMU 25% 10% 65% 41.0% 10.3% 4.1% 26.7%
SFWU 55% 15% 30% 24.8% 13.6% 3.7% 7.4%
MWU 40% 20% 40% 17.0% 6.8% 3.4% 6.8%
DWU 70% 15% 15% 7.8% 5.5% 1.2% 1.2%
RMTU 70% 15% 15% 6.4% 4.5% 1.0% 1.0%
MUNZ 60% 20% 20% 3.0% 1.8% 0.6% 0.6%
Union Total 42.4% 14.0% 43.6%
Election Total 8.5% 2.8% 8.7%
Round 2 Cunliffe Jones Robertson Union % Cunliffe Jones Robertson
EPMU 28% 72% 41.0% 11.4% 29.6%
SFWU 65% 35% 24.8% 16.0% 8.8%
MWU 50% 50% 17.0% 8.5% 8.5%
DWU 82% 18% 7.8% 6.4% 1.4%
RMTU 82% 18% 6.4% 5.3% 1.1%
MUNZ 75% 25% 3.0% 2.3% 0.8%
Union Total 49.9% 50.1%
Election Total 10.0% 10.0%

The EPMU has such greater voting strength that their (presumed) support for Robertson balances out the smaller unions support for Cunliffe. If Robertson does not in fact get most EPMU votes, then Cunliffe will win the union vote.

I’ve not heard reports of shifts in the caucus vote, apart from uncertainty over Huo. If so, then the members vote will be all important. I hope to have a stab at how that may go early next week.

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An apt summary

September 6th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

Cunliffe has had a dramatic, but possibly short-lived, transformation into a middle-class Che Guevara. He has decried the dirty freemarket, the crony capitalists, and the neo-liberal agenda and promised world domination to the unions and jobs and lucre for all. 

This leadership contest is like Christmas and Easter rolled into one for the unions. Anything they ask for, they receive. National’s changes abolished – done. A living wage for all – done. Part 6A extended to all industries – done. National Awards back from the 1970s – done.

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Who will survive if Robertson doesn’t win?

September 6th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Growing speculation about who will survive in the Labour Leader’s Office if Grant Robertson doesn’t win. I’ve heard the two other candidates are talking openly of a clean out. Jones, because he doesn’t think they’re up to it, and Cunliffe because he sees them as Robertson loyalists.

Likewise a Robertson win is unlikely to see much change in the shadow cabinet except Cunliffe promoted to front bench. However a Cunliffe win could see a very major shakeup. Most of his supporters are mid ranked or unranked.

Having worked in a party leader’s office during several coups, it is far from fun to have your job security so unknown.


The Press on English

September 6th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Press editorial:

But perhaps it should not have been because widespread respect for English, following his steady, careful performance as minister of finance through the worst financial crisis of the past 80 years, has been growing. A complimentary remark by a respected American economist on English’s performance at a conference in Sydney recently, was not untypical and it prompted a highly regarded New Zealand economist, Matt Nolan, to comment: “This is not the first time I’ve heard people overseas sing Bill English’s praises [it is probably in double-digits now] . . . we have a finance minister who understands the issues and tries to communicate them clearly.”

English came to office with an economy that had already been in recession for almost a year, when the global financial crisis hit. He had a measure of luck – there was no housing bust and although there were nervous moments, the New Zealand banking system did not buckle. But English responded to the crisis pragmatically and skilfully, avoiding severe retrenchment but focusing determinedly on reducing government debt and balancing the budget. Contrary to opposition propaganda, the government did not bring with it any dogma or hidden agenda.

A shock could, of course, upset things. The balance of payments deficit and overseas debt continue to be relatively high and to cause concern. But English’s overarching goal of getting the Government’s books in order, which looked hopelessly remote five years ago, now seems achievable, if only by a whisker, next year.

No surprise that I agree. Bill English has had the most challenging circumstances of any Finance Minister, and done very well. On top of that he is pushing a micro-reform agenda across Government that is making a difference.

While David Shearer was ultimately brought down as leader of the Labour Party by his woeful public communication, the role of weak, ill-thought-out policy in his downfall has probably been underestimated.

It is a factor the three contenders for the Labour leadership – Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones – do not seem to have cottoned on to. In the beauty-contest meetings held so far, they appear mostly to have been diverted by essentially trivial issues such as the so-called “man-ban” or by seeing how far they can go in outbidding each other in implausible left-wingery.

The Labour leadership contenders have, in some areas, moved to the left of the Greens. That takes some doing!

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Labour effectively pledging a minimum wage of $18.40

September 5th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

David Cunliffe writes at The Standard:

I’d like to thank Lynn and the authors of the Standard for this opportunity to contribute a post here, where Labour members and the broader left come together online. The Standard is certainly one of the most respected political blogs and I am a regular reader.

I’ve always wondered if David is also an author :-)

I will introduce a living wage for all employees of Government agencies – and I will extend this policy over time to any business that seeks to win Government contracts.

This pledge goes further than what we had before. This is not saying if you are doing work for the Government, the staff doing that work must be paid the Anglican Church mandated living wage. It it saying that any business that has (or seeks) any contract with the Government must pay $18.40 (for now) an hour.

Now the Government is a massive chunk of the NZ economy. There are few businesses who wouldn’t have at least one contract with a government agency. So if you own a copy centre, and you win the contract to do the copying for say the NZ Transport Agency, then you have to pay all your staff $18.40 an hour or more – even the 16 year old copy assistant.

So the way Cunliffe (and I presume Robertson) have worded their pledge, is in fact a de facto minimum wage for all. The destruction of jobs that will follow would be massive.

Some may argue that it will only apply to those working for the Government through the contractor. But I can’t see that happening. Say you are a cleaning company. Could you pay staff $15 an hour when they clean the ANZ but $18.40 an hour when they clean the Reserve Bank? Of course not. No employment contract would allow you to pay people based on who your clients are. It would inevitably mean you would have to pay all your staff whatever figure Rev Charles Waldegrave proclaims every year to be the new living wage!!

The Herald editorial makes the point:

Everyone agrees that New Zealand needs to lift its incomes overall, to match Australian rates if possible. But the Labour Party seems to think that this can be done at the stroke of its pen. Mr Robertson in particular, is talking as though an economy is simply a job-creation scheme and all that a government needs to do is make its priority “people”.

He is surely insulting the intelligence of Labour Party audiences, most of whom appear to have been around a good deal longer than Mr Robertson and can remember when the economy was largely a job-creation scheme.

Promising to lift wages by stroke of a pen, and that there will be no impact on jobs, is a cruel hoax. If it was that easy, everyone would do it.

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How the unions may vote for Labour leadership

September 5th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I blogged yesterday on how the caucus looks to be voting on the Labour leadership. That was realatively easy to do, as that involves just 34 people, many of whom have publicly declared their intentions.

Based on feedback and some tweaks at the end of the day I had it Robertson 47%, Cunliffe 35% and Jones 18%, Of the total electoral college vote that would be 19%, 14% and 7% respectively. If you reallocate Jones then 21% Robertson to 19% Cunliffe. However that may change. The senior MPs are still strongly backing Robertson and may get some of the swinging MPs to fall behind them.

Now we have the union vote. First is how much does each union get. I estimated last week that the voting strengths were:

  1. EPMU (Engineering etc) 36,987 members, 41.5% of union vote, 8.3% of total vote
  2. SFWU (Service Food etc) 22,351 members, 25.1% of union vote, 5.0% of total vote
  3. MWU (Meat) 15,313 members, 17.2% of union vote, 3.4% of total vote
  4. DWU (Dairy) 7,000 members, 7.9% of union vote, 1.6% of total vote
  5. RMTU (Rail) 4,747 members 5.3% of union vote, 1.1% of total vote
  6. MUNZ (Maritime) 2,635 members, 3.0% of union vote, 0.6% of total vote

I asked the unions for details of what share of the vote they are, and how many delegates they have. The only union which has replied was the RMTU which kindly confirmed they have 26 voting delegates and affiliate on 3,000 members which makes them 6.44% of the union vote and 1.3% of the total vote. This suggests the total affiliate membership is 46,584.

As we don’t have precise numbers for the others , I’ll apportion out and so this gives us

EMPU – 41% of union vote, 8.2% of total vote, approx 60 delegates

The EPMU National Executive has not endorsed anyone but some EPMU figures such as Paul Tolich are very pro Robertson. Tolich failed to get an EPMU endorsement formally, but that does not mean there is not massive lobbying going on of the 60 or so delegates.

I’d guess that Robertson could get 65%, Cunliffe 25% and Jones 10%.

SWFU – 24.8% of union vote, 5.0% of total vote, any member can vote

Because they are allowing all members to vote, the influence of hierarchy is less. Cunliffe and Robertson are both playing to their members with their living wage promises. Those who are not involved in Labour but attend a meeting will probably find both equally good.

Cunliffe has some SWFU people on his team and a strong Auckland base so I’d go Cunliffe 55%, Robertson 30%, Jones 15%

MWU – 17.0% of union vote, 3.4% of total vote, approx 54 delegates

 This one is very hard to pick. Their members are more provincial than urban, so Jones would do better with them. I’m sticking them down as Jones 34%, Cunliffe 33%, Robertson 33%.

DWU – 7.8% of union vote, 1.6% of total vote, approx 70 delegates

 Like MWU hard to pick, and also provincial and rural based which Jones may appeal more to. The General Secretary is Chris Flatt, a former Labour Party General Secrtary. On the basis he will have some influence and the Labour Head Office is more pro Robertson, I’d go Robertson 40%, Jones 35%, Cunliffe 25%.

UPDATE: Their Exec has endorsed Cunliffe, so now assuming 70% vote Cunliffe.

RMTU – 6.4% of union vote, 1.3% of total vote, 30 delegates

 Head office is in Wellington that may help Robertson a bit. Lots of provincial members. Say Robertson 40%, Cunliffe 35%, Jones 25%

MUNZ – 3.0% of union vote, 0.6% of total vote, approx 30 delegates

Their strongest branch is in Auckland and that should favour Cunliffe. Say Cunliffe 60%, Robertson 20%, Jones 20%

So how would this all come together.

Round 1 Cunliffe Jones Robertson Union % Cunliffe Jones Robertson
EPMU 25% 10% 65% 41.0% 10.3% 4.1% 26.7%
SFWU 55% 15% 30% 24.8% 13.6% 3.7% 7.4%
MWU 33% 34% 33% 17.0% 5.6% 5.8% 5.6%
DWU 70% 15% 15% 7.8% 5.5% 1.2% 1.2%
RMTU 35% 25% 40% 6.4% 2.2% 1.6% 2.6%
MUNZ 60% 20% 20% 3.0% 1.8% 0.6% 0.6%
Union Total 39.0% 17.0% 44.0%
Election Total 7.8% 3.4% 8.8%
Round 2 Cunliffe Jones Robertson Union % Cunliffe Jones Robertson
EPMU 28% 72% 41.0% 11.4% 29.6%
SFWU 65% 35% 24.8% 16.0% 8.8%
MWU 50% 50% 17.0% 8.5% 8.5%
DWU 82% 18% 7.8% 6.4% 1.4%
RMTU 47% 53% 6.4% 3.0% 3.4%
MUNZ 75% 25% 3.0% 2.3% 0.8%
Union Total 47.6% 52.4%
Election Total 9.5% 10.5%

Now again this is quite speculative, and I welcome feedback from people closer to the action into how they think the union delegates (or members) will vote.

What does this show us if we add it to the caucus vote.

Round 1 – Robertson 27.6%, Cunliffe 21.9%, Jones 10.5%

Round 2 – Robertson 31.7%, Cunliffe 28.3%

You need 50% to win. So it means Cunliffe has to pick up  22% of the 40% of the members vote and Robertson needs 18% of the 40%. More simply if the above estimates are in the right ballpark, then Cunliffe needs just over 54% of the members vote to win and Robertson needs almost 46%.

On Friday I’ll have a stab at how the members may vote. Their local MPs will have a fairly big influence on many members, along with their geography.

UPDATE: Herald has said the DWU Executive have recommended to their delegates they vote for Cunliffe. I’ve updated the table on assumption 70% vote Cunliffe.

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