Labour’s new front bench

The details are here.

I’m somewhat amazed that Jacinda has been put ahead of David Cunliffe into Spot No 4. Good God, if she had actually won back Auckland Central, I can only imagine they would have made her Governor-General.

Don’t let anyone think I don’t rate Jacinda’s abilities. From before she entered Parliament I was sure she would be front bench some day, and maybe deputy leader or higher. I’m just not sure what has been achieved in her first term, that would have you at No 4. When you compare what National’s No 4 Steven Joyce has achieved both outside and inside Parliament, it seems a mismatch.

Nevertheless it is a huge opportunity for Jacinda. If she performs well, she will be a strong contender for Deputy Leader, when Grant becomes Leader.

It is interesting that while the lineup is fresh in terms of MP experience, three of the most senior members are all former Prime Ministerial staffers for Helen Clark – the deputy leader, the No 4 and the chief whip.

Cunliffe against Joyce in Economic Development is a good choice. Should be some spirited jousts.

Cosgrove gets SOEs and Trade. Will be nice to have a Trade Spokesperson who sounds like they think it is a good thing.

The addition of Jones into the front bench is smart, but as usual his portfolios are lightweight. Will we see more than a press release a month from him?

Mahuta in Education is interesting as she will be up against Parata.

Interesting reversal of fortune for Sue Moroney. She had been given the heavyweight education portfolio and was the third highest ranked (effective) list candidate. But now she is out of the shadow cabinet entirely.

The biggest winners:

  1. Jacinda Ardern +15
  2. Nanaia Mahuta +12
  3. Chris Hipkins +8
  4. Shane Jones +7
  5. Phil Twyford +6
  6. William Sio +6
  7. Clare Curran +5
  8. Darien Fenton +4

The biggest losers:

  • Ruth Dyson from 7 to unranked
  • Parekura Horomia from 11 to unranked
  • Sue Moroney from 13 to unranked
  • Moana Mackey from 18 to unranked

’s Shadow Cabinet vs National’s Cabinet is:

  • 13 elect mps and 7 list mps vs 14 elect mps and 6 list mps
  • 13 men and 7 women vs 14 men and 6 women
  • 16 European, 2 Maori, 0 Asian, 2 Pacific vs 18 European and 2 Maori
  • 2 in 30s, 6 in 40s, 11 in 50s, 1 in 60s vs 9 in 40s, 10 in 50s, 1 in 60s
  • 70% North Island vs 70% North Island
  • entered Prlt on average 10.8 years ago vs 10.3 years ago

Not a huge difference between the demographics of the Shadow Cabinet and Cabinet. For the front benches:

  • 4 elect mps and 4 list mps vs 5 elect mps and 4 list mps
  • 6 men and 2 women vs 6 men and 3 women
  • 6 European, 2 Maori vs 7 European and 2 Maori
  • 1 in 30s, 4 in 40s, 3 in 50s, 1 in 60s vs 3 in 40s, 6 in 50s
  • 75% North Island vs 78% North Island
  • entered Prlt on average 7.8 years ago vs 10 years ago

Also fairly similar in terms of demographics. This is quite a change from the last Parliament where Labour were much older and been around much longer, plus had many more women in their top ranks.

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