I haven’t been following it that closely. I thought the contest would be ‘bad for Labour’ – seems I was totally wrong (so far). The party now has three MPs who are better known than Shearer ever was.
The Herald lists the caucus vote:
Jacinda Ardern, Maryan Street, Phil Twyford, Trevor Mallard, Megan Woods, Kris Faafoi, Darien Fenton, Clare Curran, Chris Hipkins, Annette King, Phil Goff. Likely: Ruth Dyson, Clayton Cosgrove, David Clark, Raymond Huo, David Parker
Moana Mackey, Lianne Dalziel, Nanaia Mahuta, Louisa Wall, Iain Lees-Galloway, Sue Moroney, Carol Beaumont, Su’a William Sio, Likely: Rajen Prasad.
Rino Tirikatene. Likely: Damien O’Connor, Ross Robertson, David Shearer.
Andrew Little, Meka Whaitiri.
I think Cunliffe will probably win this. Not because I want him to, particularly, but I think the polls will favor him over Robertson and that will be persuadable to some members of caucus and other influential voices within the party. So lets say he does win and rewards his supporters with front bench roles. That is not a very formidable line-up to take the party into election year. I’m pretty sure the only one with Ministerial experience is Dalziel, who is leaving.
As usual the Calvinball rules of New Zealand political journalism are in effect: Labour candidates need to provide precise costs for all their proposed policies. The actual government never needs to explain how much anything they do will cost. How much have Paula Bennett’s totally ineffectual benefit reforms cost the taxpayer? She announced the other day that it wasn’t worth adding it up.
Oddest thing about this leadership contest: TV3′s endorsement of one of the candidates. In some ways it makes sense: Jones is friends with the journalists who are promoting him and running negative campaigns against his opponents (it would all be an outrageous breach of ethics if their mate had any chance of winning). But portraying Jones as a street-fighting man of the common people when he’s a Harvard educated former corporate chairman who talks like he’s swallowed a thesaurus and ends every sentence with ‘etcetera’ elevates it all into absurdity, and its hard to get wound up about it.