And the winner is David ……. Shearer

And news just broken that the 34 Labour MPs have elected as the 13th Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. Grant Robertson is his Deputy Leader.

Commiserations go out to David Cunliffe, who ran a strong campaign. I hope Shearer retains him in Finance (or better).

I think this is a good decision for Labour. Shearer gives them an opportunity to make a clean break from their past. The challenge will be for that break to be substantive, not just symbolic, so I await his announcement of shadow cabinet and portfolios with interest.

If I was advising Shearer, I would have him read up on the leadership style of Michael Joseph Savage when Opposition Leader. Savage did not spend all his time attacking the Government and blaming them for everything from the weather to global crises, but went up and down NZ speaking of his vision for a better New Zealand.

I think David Shearer is a very decent man. I probably won’t agree with most of his policies (but possibly more than I have with Labour in the past), but I think and hope he will run a clean campaign to be Prime Minister and give New Zealanders a good choice.

UPDATE: Chris Hipkins has been elected Senior Whip, which I suggested was likely a few days ago. Darien Fenton is the Junior Whip. I presume Ross Robertson will be their nominee for Assistant Speaker.

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