The precedence for coups just before elections

With Phil Goff’s approval ratings somewhere near absolute zero Labour MPs worried about having a job after the election are thinking about rolling Phil Goff to get someone who might lift their poll numbers. It won’t be the first time a Labour Party has rolled their leader just before an election.

In 1990 Mike Moore became Prime Minister on the 4th of September. The election was the 2nd of November. That election was a fantastic birthday present for me and I well remember the party afterwards

Mike got a hiding but that was not really Mikes doing, he took one for the team and nearly came back to win in 1993, when no one expected him to get anywhere near Jim Bolger. In a 99 seat house Bolger only had 50 MPs, so Labour had to lend Bolger Peter Tapsell to be the speaker. This was a pretty reasonable effort after National had a majority of 38 in 1990, and there was silly talk of the death of the Labour Party.

In Australia the faceless men axed Kevin Rudd with characteristic speed when they worked out they would lose the next election. Gillard took over on 24th of June 2010, and had an election on 21st of August. Labour just managed to hold power in a minority government, which was a big improvement on what Rudd was expected to do for them.

So if the polls tank further for Goff a change could come at any stage up until the end of September. It is common knowledge that the coup was bottled after Goff mishandled the Darren Hughes Underpants Stealing Situation, and the very nasty tactics from the Goffice caused massive internal issues. Seedy stories in the Sunday Star Times about an opponent’s rooting is never a good look.

Will Phil be gone this weekend? Or will he or Labour’s caucus wait for another pasting in the TVNZ poll first?

They could gamble that TVNZ’s poll will show the opposite of Roy Morgan and 3News, or knife him and declare the poll as obsolete because changes have been made. If TVNZ’s poll is bad for Goff, then it will show the CGT hasn’t helped. If they roll him, and it’s bad for Goff then they can blame the poll result on Goff rather than the CGT. If it’s good for Goff and they roll him this weekend, they can say it was the CGT, and not Goff that caused the lift.

Big choices, big gambles for Labour. Have they got the nuts for it? My understanding is that the coup team is waiting on advance notice of the TVNZ poll on when to make the move.


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  • There should be another Morgan poll out on Thursday or Friday. And whatever happened to the Sunday Star-Times’ Horizon poll?

  • gazzaw

    When is the TVNZ poll?

    • They are in the field now, should be finished tonight. Expect it on the weekend, Sunday night

  • adolffiinkensein

    Maybe they don’t have any money for internal polling.
    They should get in touch with Dr Brash. He knows some really good pollsters who can get you the results you need in advance of publication.

    • The best results that money can buy, eh Adolf?

  • abjv

    Methinks they’ve mis-timed it. Methinks they want a poll result on the CGT leak before they’ve actually announced the policy. If the numbers don’t go up (or only up just a fraction) then knife Goff, and announce the CTG as with all their policies is ‘under review’ by the new leadership for a few weeks, and give themselves a way out from underneath a half-thought policy.

    If it goes up more than the margin of error, then announce the CGT detail, and Phil survives another week to wait for the next poll.

    But it must be very close to Faa Goff.

  • cadwallader

    If Key had called the election, when I think he ought to have, in May there’d already be a new Labour leader. Here we are, confronted by indecision from Labour and the need for Key to prolong his soft cock stance until a belated second term. Once back in Key can start to implement what he was elected to do. He can kick-off by reading the Nat constitution.

    Goof is now barely twitching. If he was a sick dog he’d be buried by now.

  • Question Time about to start; should be fun!

  • alex Masterley

    umr are still out there polling awat.
    The wife got called last night, but they lost interest when she said she voted for national.

  • axeman

    abjv. Technically I think that is Fa’a Goff.

    Still means the same thing. Go bye bye now

  • dt12

    Keep spinning whale. This must be the 50th time that you have claimed a coup is imminent based on your ‘secret’ tipoffs, followed by…. noting. Who gave the tipoff, a medication bottle?

    Sure, spin away, spread the story enough and it might gain its own momentum and come true, thats your plan. But it is getting a bit old.

  • thor42

    I agree with cadwallader. F**king election should have been in May. That way, there’d be naff-all effect on the govt WHEN the ABs choke at the World Cup. But Key, in his infinite f**king stupidity, calls the election in *November*, when everyone will be in a sour f**king mood after the World Cup. Does the bastard WANT to win or not?

    • cadwallader

      You’ve got it thor. The ABs factor is greater than we may imagine. I really think Key fucked up on this.

  • ltchop

    All Blacks choke … hello Winston – spent and interesting weekend with friends from the Central NI heartland Hawkes Bay/ Manuwatu/Wairarapa – ‘dyed in the wool’ National voters – they have had a gutsful of Key – they are waiting for Winston’s return …. 30 or 40 people may not be muck of a straw poll – but I coming from Auckland I was amazed the depth of feeling ….