Labour caucus vote closer than I thought

Over the last couple of days I’ve been chatting to a number of Labour people about how they think MPs will vote in the leadership contest. I started this thinking it would show Robertson well ahead, with over two thirds support. But it looks like the caucus is much closer than that. I’ve specifically been asking about second preferences also, to try and work out what may happen with any reallocated preferences.

Most of the data is based on publicly known preferences or history. Some of it is based on educated guesses such as their geographic location, who their friends in caucus are etc. Some MPs have not yet decided, so for them it is predicting where they are likely to go. So what I’m saying is that while much of the data is solid, some is speculation. It is not claiming to be a guarantee of how the vote will go. It is an good stab at how things are shaping up. I will update it as more data comes to hand.

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 1 2 3
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 3 1
Prasad, Rajen 1 3 2
Robertson, Grant 3 2 1
Robertson, Ross 2 1 3
Shearer, David 3 1 2
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 12 6 16
2 12 17 5
3 10 11 13
34 34 34
Round 1 12 6 16
Round 2 16 18
Caucus % 47% 53%
Total % 19% 21%

As I said, I was surprised that things appear to be so close between Cunliffe and Robertson. If this is how the vote turns out in caucus, then I would say Cunliffe is looking very solid to win overall as most think he will get a majority of the members and unions.

The above is, again, not based just on my views, but on others who are closer to the action. Here’s some of the rationales:

  • Ardern – Robertson’s likely Deputy Leader
  • Beaumont – publicly supporting Cunliffe
  • Clark – likely to vote with old guard, as doing well with them
  • Cosgrove – Anyone but Cunliffe
  • Cunliffe – Jones his second choice over Robertson, and may (quietly) ask Jones to be Deputy
  • Curran – very hard to pick. Cunliffe has helped her with ICT portfolio when she was new MP, so may lean to him, but is close to more people in Robertson camp. Assuming Robertson for now. Has now declared she is voting Robertson in a letter to members.
  • Dalziel – publicly backed Cunliffe
  • Dyson – publicly backing Robertson
  • Faafoi – seen drinking with Robertson on Seven Sharp, likely to vote as Goff does
  • Fenton – probably backing Cunliffe as most union MPs are. Am told she is in Camp Robertson, tends to go where Annette King goes.
  • Goff – Cunliffe last as partly blames him for election loss
  • Hipkins – has little future under Cunliffe
  • Huo – very hard to pick. Prob leaning Cunliffe as Auckland based. Also Chinese community (but not Hup himself) quite conservative on sexuality issues
  • Jones – of course him as first choice. Cunliffe as second choice, as more likely to do well with him
  • King – Anyone but Cunliffe
  • Lees-Galloway – publicly backing Robertson Cunliffe
  • Little – A key vote. His chance of future leadership is better with Cunliffe or Jones than Robertson. But sources now say much more likely Robertson.
  • Mackey – publicly backing Cunliffe
  • Mahuta – publicly backing Cunliffe
  • Mallard – will probably retire if Cunliffe wins
  • Moroney – probably go with Cunliffe as most unionists are
  • O’Connor – Jones, then Cunliffe rather than the gaggle
  • Parker – Not declaring but likely to vote Robertson as most of front bench are. But could go elsewhere if guaranteed he keeps Finance
  • Prasad – was thought to be organising for Cunliffe at last year’s conference
  • Robertson – the surprise is he probably will rank Jones over Cunliffe for his second preference. There is considerable antipathy between Camp Robertson and Cunliffe, so Jones is the second choice for many
  • Ross Robertson – likely to vote for Jones as the least left wing one
  • Shearer – likely to vote Jones I understand as the only one of the three that didn’t stab him in the back
  • Sio – publicly backing Cunliffe
  • Street – Jones clearly last choice!
  • Tirikatene – publicly backing Jones
  • Twyford – a swinging voter. Is in with old guard and likely to do better with Robertson. But does he vote against a fellow West Auckland MP? Probably will go with Robertson
  • Wall – close to Cunliffe
  • Whaitiri – a surprise here, but I am told she is leaning Cunliffe
  • Woods – publicly backing Robertson

Again, fell free to e-mail me with any corrections or updates. Sources will, as always, be protected.

UPDATE: A Labour person messages:

Fenton giving Cunliffe first preference? I don’t think so…

 Ditto, Andrew Little (although, I’m not so certain about that)
Where Andrew Little goes will be interesting. Of course we may never know, as we only get told the overall results of the caucus ballot – not how each MP votes. In the UK Labour Party leadership election they actually published how each MP and MEP voted!
UPDATE2: A second Labourite says Fenton is backing Robertson, so have moved her to his column. That makes it 15 Robertson, 13 Cunliffe, Jones 6.
UPDATE3: Two sources (from different camps) say Little is far more likely Robertson than Cunliffe, so have shifted him. That makes it 16 to 12 to 6.
Also have heard that both Huo and Goff may be leaning towards Jones as first preference. That would be very significant if that happens. Also that O’Connor may have Robertson as his second preference after Jones. I tend to update the table upon double  verification so let me know if you have further info.
UPDATE4: I understand that Tirikatene’s second preference after Jones is Cunliffe so that moves it back to 18 Robertson and 16 Cunliffe. Knife edge!
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