Willie for leader?

Bryce Edwards writes:

Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper who could take over the Labour leadership to defeat a national government.

The idea of Willie Jackson as leader of the Labour Party might seem far-fetched. After all, the former Alliance MP is probably the most leftwing in Labour’s caucus and often still comes across as the shock-jock talkback radio host and union leader he used to be. He’s bellicose and mongrel in his style, reflecting that he’s the only Labour MP without a university degree.

Yet maybe that’s precisely what Labour needs right now – someone quite different to the usual “Professional Managerial Class” candidate running the party in the continued mode of the Helen Clark faction that has been in control of Labour for the last few decades. The technocrats have possibly had their day.

It’s an interesting idea. I’d assume that Jackson has a lower ceiling than Hipkins in terms of potential vote for Labour, but he would also have a higher floor.

So changing Hipkins for Jackson would not make sense if Labour is polling in the mid 30s, but if they poll in the mid to low 20s, then Jackson could become a better bet for them.

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