Could caucus stitch up the ballot?

The short answer is yes, they could.

The real tricky aspect though is to avoid the membership going feral.

Lianne Dalziel suggests that this could be what is planned.

Labour MP Lianne Dalziel would not comment on who she thought would be the next leader, but believed the party would unite behind someone quickly, doing a deal rather than enduring a contested and potentially bloody leadership process.

“There are a lot of people who would like to see the matter resolved quickly, very quickly. The idea of uniting behind a new leadership team would be seen as very positive.”

This is sensible, politically. In a perfect world that should have been worked out before the fed Shearer to the fishes. But what is done is done. 

The key thing now is to present a solution that doesn’t send the membership feral. The only solution that will do that is selecting a single person as leader nominee, and that person is David Cunliffe.

As I said this would be sensible politically.  Are Labour REALLY going to spend 4-5 weeks very publicly dominating the news cycle with a nasty internal presidential race while National pushes through an asset sale?

National could also use this time to adopt Jami-lee Ross’ bill and include it with Simon Bridges’ employment relations amendments knowing that Labour couldn’t put up a fight to save themselves as they cut each other to death.

The pragmatic thing to do would be to cut a deal, but pragmatism and sensible behaviour is not something seen from within Labour for some years.

Chris Hipkins and Trevor Mallard for a start will opposed to this move…both of them stand to lose a considerable amount if Cunliffe is returned as leader.

Let’s see what happens. Either way David Shearer’s blood is unlikely to the only blood spilled.


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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.