Labour leadership contender David Cunliffe says the party cannot risk a “false start” by choosing the wrong leader in the contest.
He’s taken aim at his rival David Shearer’s lack of experience, saying that while his opponent might be ready for the job later, he himself is “ready now”.
“I am ready now. I have a hard head and I can communicate. I’m experienced in Parliament, I’ve been a minister and sat on the front bench. I’m ready to go and I don’t think Labour can afford to have a false start.”
Changing leader again a year out from now wouldn’t be that big a deal (Key replaced Brash a year after the 05 election). So Labour can afford to have a false start. But this will probably only happen if Cunliffe is elected leader. Like he says, he’s ready to go. If he can’t move the polls in a year then it’s probably not going to happen. But if Shearer wins the leadership contest then they’ll probably have to stick with him on the hope that he’ll get better with experience.
On that note, Brian Edwards – the communications maestro behind, uh, Phil Goff – has announced that Shearer’s lack of media savvy makes him unelectable. The ability to answer questions without saying anything meaningful is held in high regard by media elites like Edwards, but I’m not sure it’s actually that attractive to voters.