The former (and maybe future) Labour leader has said a number of pretty silly things in the last 24 hours. Let’s start with my favourite, reported by NBR:
JC: Hold on a sec. You are a leader, and you are a bright man. Why didn’t they vote for you?
DC: I think at the end of the day, people wanted stability. They wanted prosperity.
Indeed they did want prosperity and stability. As a former National staffer I’d like to thank David Cunliffe for making the job of National research staff much easier for the first question time of the new Parliament. They now have their work done for them.
Next favourite is this:
But the worst moment came when Cunliffe claimed he was the leadership candidate National most feared facing in 2017.
Yes he said that John Key was scared of facing off against him again. Truly.
Today, Cunliffe said he “always intended to step down” but there were several routes. That’s in contrast to his comments this time last week, when he repeatedly told media it was not his intention to stand down.
He always intended to step down, yet last week said explicitly he would not step down. And Labour wonders why it got 24%.
“I am seeking a new mandate from the membership, the affiliate and the caucus,” he said today, “because I believe there is value to the party not only in having a contest but having the kind of battle-hardened leadership that you need to take this fight to John Key.”
If that is the test, they should make Trevor Mallard leader.
Voters had shown that his level of preferred PM ratings were around about the same as Helen Clark in 1996, he said. “And on many measures a little better than Phil Goff in 2011.”
Helen Clark just before the 1996 election was 17% Preferred PM (ONCB). But worth noting she was effectively competing with other opposition leaders as Peters had 15% and Anderton 11%. Also Bolger himself was at just 23% Preferred PM, so Clark was only 6% behind Bolger.
Just before the 2011 election, Goff was 15% Preferred PM. And of course he resigned for such a bad result.
The final ONCB poll before the 2014 election had Cunliffe at 12% Preferred PM. Behind Goff and Clark. And 31% behind Key.
But these pols were pre-election. What I’d love to see is a media poll now on Preferred PM. I suspect David Cunliffe is now well below the 12% he was on 17 September.