I was talking with Phil Goff, along with Mike Williams this morning, about the leadership issue within Labour.
During the conversation he intimated that he wished that there had been a leadership contest for him, that things within the party may have gone a whole lot better had there been a contest and a resolution instead of his being anointed by Helen Clark and then a unanimous caucus resolution.
The discussion then moved on to the process for Labour now.
Goff was adamant that there would be a contest and caucus will not present a stitch up to the members. He believes a contest is vital mainly as a means to unite the party.
Mike Williams agrees.
So it would seem that we are going to see a challenge, some robust debate and ultimately a balloting of the members in order to find the next leader of the Labour party.
Given the announced candidates thus far and the fact the membership will be involved I suspect that we will see David Cunliffe selected as Labour’s leader.
Andrew Little is talking up his chances but if the scoffing of senior Labour MPs is anything to go by he hasn’t a chance at all. Their considered opinion is that if you can’t win an electorate seat then you don’t deserve to be there.
Focus will quickly move to who will be deputy. That could get interesting. I know for sure who it won’t be…and that is Chris Hipkins…who must be feeling extremely nervous right now.
Trevor Mallard, another who should be nervous of a Cunliffe led labour party probably did enough in the knifing of Shearer to avoid serious repercussions. It really depends on how much revenge Cunliffe will seek.