Stuart Nash has rightly been focussing on retaining Napier and cementing the seat as his base.
However with the ructions in Labour, and despite stating he wasn’t entering the race for the poisoned chalice of Labour’s leadership, there are rumours swirling around that he is preparing to enter the race.
Predictably it is Andrea Vance peddling the gossip, which if I am correct in guessing came from someone who rang me yesterday to ask if I¬†was close to Nash and could confirm the rumours. I didn’t call him, but I see the gossip is now being peddled by Vance.
The race to be Labour’s leader may no longer be a two-way contest, with Stuart Nash said to be seriously considering a tilt at the top job.
The newly elected Napier MP is biding his time to see if former union boss Andrew Little will throw his hat in the ring. Little’s political future hangs in the balance until tomorrow, when the official election results are declared.
If Little, a former EPMU president, did make it back to Parliament on the list, and decided to enter the primary contest to choose the leader, Nash would not run, a source said.
Nash had earlier ruled it out, saying it was too soon for him.
An insider said he backed away as the caucus waited to see if David Cunliffe would resign and leave Grant Robertson to run unchallenged.
“[He] didn’t want to be the one to trigger a leadership battle that the party had no appetite for.”
But sources say he is reconsidering as the rivalry between Cunliffe and Robertson has turned increasingly bitter. “This is the last thing our party needs, two people going hammer and tongs at each other. It will just turn off New Zealand,” one source said.
Nash is being lobbied hard by Maori and Pasifika members of the party, who believe neither of the two declared contenders can unite the divided factions.
A wildcard option, Nash, 47, represents a break from the rivalries that have torn the party apart in the last three years.
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