Voters want David Cunliffe to stay – win or lose

The NZ Herald spends money on some really odd things.  Like asking people if they want David Cunliffe replaced after the election.

David Cunliffe has been backed to stay on as Labour leader even if his party fails to form the next government, according to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey.

But it could be a case of better the devil you know – with almost two-thirds of people having no clue who could replace him. Of 750 voters, 44.6 per cent said Cunliffe should stay on regardless of the result of next Saturday’s election.

Oh they don’t know who would replace him?  That’s pretty obvious really.  Grant Robertson has been shedding weight like he’s expecting to be in the headlines in a week or so.  Word deep from with Labour is that everything that is wrong with the Labour Party will be buried with Cunliffe’s (political) corpse.

The worst possible outcome for Labour is for the left bloc to win this election.  The ABC faction has been tremendously patient, swallowing container loads of rats – and they expect it to pay off soon.  

In Auckland yesterday, Cunliffe would not comment on any post-election plans if Labour lost. But he was pleased more poll respondents said he should stay on rather than not seek re-election.

“That’s a good thing, but the party is bigger than all of us and I’m here doing a job for the party as best I can, and with a team I’m very proud of.”

The poll showed 32.4 per cent said he should resign and not contest the leadership while 13.9 believed he should resign but still contest the leadership.

Cunliffe has previously said he wanted to stay on as leader if Labour did not win next weekend. “I think you can tell that I enjoy the job and I think we’ve done a fair fist of it, but beyond that I’m not commenting,” he said yesterday.

“All my energies and all my focus is on winning this election. I believe we can win, I believe we will win, and I’m not going to be giving any thought to after the election until after election night.”

When asked if Labour lost and Cunliffe decided he did not want to be leader again, 64.1 per cent said they either did not know who would be the best person, or refused to answer the question.

University of Otago politics lecturer Dr Bryce Edwards said Cunliffe would struggle to stay if Labour’s vote fell below 25 per cent.

I believe there is a poll on the way that is looking at a Labour results that’s getting awfully close to starting with a one.  Bill English is currently sticking pins in a Cunliffe doll so he can once and for all shed the record of being the Biggest Loser.

David Cunliffe will be expertly shivved come Sunday the 21st.   The only question is if he’ll be allowed to do it with some dignity intact or if he’s going to be publicly sacrificed in a messy on-going battle between Labour’s internal factions as they wrestle for control.


– Derek Cheng, Cherie Howie, NZ Herald

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