Well we are in the last few days of the contest for co-leader of the Green Party, who has a Y chromosome. Incidentally do they test the candidates for eligibility or just take their word for it?
I watched the four candidates on Agenda, as Joe Hendren did.
I agree with the NZ Herald that Mike Ward is effectively out of the race. A nice guy, but no longer a leader.
Dave Clendon has handled himself okay, and if Nandor was not in the contest I suspect he would poll close to Russel Norman in a two way race. But with two “front-runners” he has never made the impact needed to be considered on his merits.
So that leaves Nandor and Russel. Now I’ll take a punt here and say that I think Nandor should be elected, but predict Russel will.
The reasons I think the Greens should go with Nandor, is that he is the safest option for them, and when on 5.3% you don’t want to risk losing 0.4%. Nandor has noticeably picked up his game since losing his seat, and then returning as Rod Donald’s replacement. He has the skills and resources that come from being an MP, and also for my money has the right strategy on emphasising the environmental brand over the social justice brand (where other parties compete).
This is not to say Russel Norman will do a bad job if elected. He seems very articulate and competent and importantly has good working relationships with other key players. However if he is made Leader he will struggle a bit with not being in Parliament, while one of the failed contenders is. He may get over-shadowed by Nandor even if he is elected Leader.
So why do I think Russel Norman is more likely than Nandor to win? Because the Greens are using STV (as they should) to elect the co-leader.
Nandor is well known after seven years as an MP to the Green party faithful who vote. They would have made a decision on whether to see him as leader or not and will rank him either first or last.
So I think Nandor will have the most votes on the first ballot, but unless he gets a majority, then Ward and Clendon will drop out and almost all of their votes will go to Norman, with Norman beating Nandor on the final ballot.
Now bear in mind I am not exactly a Green Party insider, so I may be totally wrong and they will declare Mike Ward leader by consensus!
I await the announcement with interest. Anyone know when it is due at the weekend?