Grant Robertson has retired hurt
In the hurricane of media that accompanied Andrew Little’s elevation – inevitable with any new leader – it would be easy to overlook runner-up Grant Robertson sitting stunned in the eye of the storm.
Yet Little’s next steps now become crucial. Handling Robertson and the party’s “second power base” will be a key issue for Little as he puts his new team together.
In the immediate aftermath of Little’s win Robertson understandably expressed disappointment.
He had, after all, won 56 per cent of the caucus, 55 per cent of the party membership and it was only Little’s status with the affiliated unions (and perhaps an echo of the gay-shy stance of some unionists evident during the 2013 run-off) that thwarted his second bid for leader.
But he expected the union vote to go against him, and Little’s three-to-one advantage with the handful of private sector unions affiliated to Labour was in line with feedback both camps had received.
What must have surprised Robertson’s camp was the unexpectedly low vote from his fellow MPs. His lieutenants were expecting him to clean up by about 21-11 on a two-man preferred basis, with most if not all David Parker’s second preferences going his way.
We’ve seen the photos. Â Grant and Cindy were devastated. Â But now comes the hard part. Â Because of Grant’s lower than expected support in caucus, he may not end up as deputy leader. Â Read more »