Labour’s new direction – 43 days to go


The 3News/Reid Research poll last night delivered a blunt message to the labour party caucus as they head into their retreat in Napier this morning.

The Labour Party’s internal troubles have seen it drop again in the latest 3 News/Reid Research poll, with Prime Minister John Key and National clear winners and able to govern alone.

Labour’s so-called “man-ban” got leader David Shearer plenty of attention, for all the wrong reasons.

And it’s got Labour going the wrong way on this poll – down, a drop of 2.1 percent.

“It’s a wake up call for us,” says Mr Shearer. “People want us to be focussed on them and not on Labour Party internal matters.”

“The Labour Party is focussed on the Labour Party and National is focussed on the country,” says Mr Key.

There have been questions about Mr Shearer’s leadership. One Labour MP told 3 News Mr Shearer has until spring, two months, to improve the polls or he could be gone by the end of year.  

Both the Roy Morgan poll and now the 3News poll have delivered broadly similar results. Despite all the beltway attacks on John Key and National they remain high in the polls and at the same time Labour is sliding away into the twenties.

Labour MPs will start counting heads soon as the polling numbers approach 30 and slide lower. Every percentage point cost them seats. Some of them won’t be coming back after next years election and the caucus will be much, much smaller.

Do they follow the lead of the Labor party in Australia and knife their leader and set about having a very public spill because of their new rules? Or do they suck it up in the hope that David Shearer will get some cut through?

I’m not sure anyone in caucus has the courage to ask David Shearer to fall on his sword, and they certainly lack the courage to try and run him through. Because they are still in the 30s David Shearer may still be safe, but only just.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.