Could Jacinda and Twyford save Labour

With less than 1500 members Labour is trouble. Unlike the equally parlous labour movement there aren’t a lot of parties with which they can merge and others on the left would really rather Labour died so they can get on with leading the socialist rebellion.

Duncan Garner wonders whether Phil Twyford and Jacinda Ardern can save Labour.

Would Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford be a better leadership team? Both are from Auckland. Both have performed well this year. Both know the issues. But sources tell me this won’t happen.

The caucus is resigned to heading into the election with Little at the helm. There is a growing acceptance within that Little won’t lead them to victory.

My sources also tell me Little has failed to raise any money and that’s crucial. Also, who can even tell what Labour really stands for any more.

Not just Andrew Little, but also Nigel Haworth, who told the recent regional conference in Whanganui that he hadn’t raised a single cent. Labour supporters should be asking both Little and Haworth about fundraising, especially after their promises of a year ago.  

I’m not sure how Garner can honestly say Jacinda Ardern is doing well, she has been missing in action, when she does enter the fray it is usually with something stupid to say. As for Phil Twyford, he is just a race-baiting fool. Sure he got headlines, but for all the wrong reasons.

Yes they claim they will sort out the housing woes, apparently, with a major scheme to build 100,000 homes across 10 years. Sounds great. Is it possible? Who knows.

Little’s claim to sort the housing crisis out within the first term doesn’t ring true.

No amount of wand- waving can sort Auckland’s housing issues within three years. It’s impossible.

Labour used to stand for a capital gains tax, then they dropped it. Yet this week they have talked once again about new taxes and targeting property investors and speculators. Does that mean a capital gains tax again? Possibly. But not for the 2017 election.

How can you trust Labour, they won’t explicitly confirm anything, instead asking us to trust in an un-named working group to come up with solutions. The flip side of that is Labour is telling us they have no idea what to do, so will ask some experts. Well, why don’t those experts stand instead of Labour. At least voters know National has a plan.

Labour needs to settle on five crucial policies and target the voters with them. Bill English had 72 policies in his woeful 2002 election campaign. Labour needs to look at that as a lesson.

I don’t think Labour can settle on one policy…oh wait…spending $1.2 billion on subsidising rich kids into university…that’s one plan…never mind it is 80% of projected increased spending for next year.

Both John Key and Andrew Little’s numbers are going backwards. But Key is still in power and still holds the advantage. Little needs to be growing his numbers in the face of the PM’s slow slide.

And crucially, Labour needs to present itself as a government-in-waiting. It is a long, long way from that.

Yes it is.

And that means there is only one winner here: Winston Peters.

Peters is a comfortable second behind John Key as preferred prime minister. That makes him the leader of the Opposition doesn’t it?

His party is increasingly popular as it taps into the discontent around immigration and the lack of regional growth.

All signs point to Peters as the deal-maker next election.

And after seeing him prop up National in 1996, there’s nothing that suggests he won’t do it again.

Winston Peters knows how to count. Two parties in government is better than three or more. National plus Winston is higher than Labour plus Winston plus the Greens plus the Maori party plus Peter Dunne.

So can Twyford and Jacinda save Labour? ….sadly no…unless they believe in political euthanasia.


– Fairfax


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  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    No they will not save Labour, with both of them at the helm the disconnect with working kiwis will still remain – the talent pool is just so small within the Labour MPs that the future leader may well come from outside the house

  • Dave

    In answer to the headline…..


    But please go ahead Labour, toss Angry Andy out, Appoint Jaz and Phil (sound like DJ’s) as Co leaders, and then 2 co-deputies to be fair, and see how you go. Whilst I doubt both co-leaders popularity would add up to Mr Angry’s 7%, they should surpass his soon to be 5%.

    Perhaps they should approach Hagar to lead Labour, he has more success in the media than Andy.

  • Disinfectant

    For there to be a coalition with Winston Peters as leader of New Zealand First, John Key would need to step aside.

    But by then Winston might have fallen off his trolley.

    Then it has to be asked who in NZ First would John Key work with.

    Or would a new leader of National work with Winston or some other leader of NZ First.

    Who are the heir apparents?

    • Crowgirl

      If Shane Jones gets parachuted into NZF he would work with National.

    • zotaccore

      If the silly car mechanic, or was it cook, Ron Mark takes over, it would be the demise of NZF – he’s an idiot and his performance in the House clearly demonstrates that. There is no party without Lord Winston.

  • Korau

    Grant Robertson has also done the numbers.

    “Labour MP Grant Robertson has “categorically” ruled out challenging his party leader before next year’s election.”

    He’s decided that to take over now will make him just another failed leader, so according to the NewShub headline he will be Little’s underpants.

    “Grant Robertson gives Labour leader support”

    • SFB

      I suspect they are reigned to the fact they will be in opposition again.

      • Nige.

        Robertson is getting out. The others are surrounded by people who tell them that they have nothing to worry about.

  • Whafe

    In the end, honesty will have to prevail within the Labour Party. It cannot come back to the forefront of politics in NZ. The more they try, the worse they look and become…

    You cannot gain an edge with no strategy at all and on top no ability to execute… A poorer strategy dare I say executed well will smash nil strategy at all…

    The MSM cannot stomach the fact that Labour is NOT RELEVANT to pretty much anyone in NZ. If they MSM got honest also, they would put Labour out of its misery and force it to start again. This would be better than trying to win the Americas Cup in a sunken titanic… Totally impossible…

    Honesty over the Labour membership is needed also, if it is 1,500, that instantly means shut up shop, closed, bankrupt, nada, gone burger……

  • rua kenana

    I can think of NO Labour policy that isn’t bettered by one or more of the other parties.
    Seems it’s past time for Labour to disband and reform itself as a genuine politically centred social democratic party with a new name, policies attractive to most present-day NZers, and the dead wood including McCarten shown the door ASAP.

  • Jimmie

    Well they don’t really need a brain surgeon to work out what has happened.

    After their worst defeat for many years in 2014, Labour decide to elect their most unelectable MP, who barely scraped into Parliament bu the skin of his union certified teeth, and they then wonder why their party and popularity is both dysfunctional and waning.

    I don’t think that Labour can survive for another 3-4 years in the electoral wilderness.

    The finances will destroy them.

    With little or no income coming in how will they achieve the following:

    – Pay for Goff’s by-election?
    – Pay for the 2017 election?
    – Continue to pay for ongoing expenses – property costs and salaries etc. for HQ staff?
    – Ongoing Polling?

    If I looked into a crystal ball I reckon I can see the following coming to pass as some point:

    – A policy heading into 2017 of Taxpayer funded Political Parties.
    – After another electoral loss in 2017, a formation of a new centre left party – resulting in bitter fighting between Labour leftovers and people wanting to leave Labour behind.
    – If Labour achieve a lower result than 2014 (highly likely if the economy does well and Key campaigns on tax cuts) then that will be curtains for them – the unions will desert them, the factions will desert them, and all that will be left are empty buildings and a dispirit, demoralized, group of MP’s with the haunted look of sheep who have escaped from the abattoir.
    – Also, the one eyed outfit known as The Standard will collapse as Mr Prentice decides that he is wasting his time keeping the site going as all it achieves is allowing the last 23 online activists their daily splutterings about neo lib/climate catastrophe/Evil Key to do so.

  • Rick H

    If Labour between them can’t come up with any ideas; but instead need to hire others to give them ideas . .
    Why are they still there? they should all have resigned a long time ago.
    WE should not have to pay these losers millions a year to do nothing but try and undermine our chosen Government.

  • kayaker

    Honestly, Garner has it all wrong. MSM and the like seem to think the answer actually lies in the current crop. He’s wrong. They need somebody completely different. Somebody who doesn’t even exist in the LP yet.

  • Pete

    Winston may be able to count but his grumpy and ineffective response to the budget indicates more than counting skills are necessary. Richard Harman says the budget in complex and strategic in the long term. I Am yet to be convinced any of the opposition parties, and that includes Mr Dunne as an opposition member ( he is not a party) understand the longer view. The collective opposition responses were not worth what we are paying for them with little to nothing constructive offered.

  • Nechtan

    “100,000 homes across 10 years. Sounds great. Is it possible? ”
    No its not………….27 houses a day every day for 10 years.

    • Nermal

      I’m not so sure. After all, all Angry Andy had to do to solve other problems was to declare a crisis, and all of a sudden the problem disappeared. Maybe it will happen again.

    • Sticktotheknitting

      Perhaps the houses will be made of cardboard. Tell ‘im he’s dreaming.

  • Dumrse

    Unless their surname is Miracle, then I doubt they can save anything.

  • Big_Al

    The Labour Party in its current form are totally useless and disfunctional. They are throwing out all these new “Policies” without any research or afterthought.
    Q: How will this one work. A: “Don’t know”
    Q: What will it cost. A: “Dont know”
    Q: How will you pay for it. “Dont know”
    And they still have’nt figured out why nothing is’nt working for them. Go Figure..

  • MarcWills

    Well they’ve managed to alienate all their potential major donors (rich-pricks, pharmaceuticals, big business, lawyers who operate trust funds [most], tourism industry leaders, real estate companies, landlords, Chinese name sounding people, anyone who can think for themselves), so that leaves … um, students, teachers, homeless, beneficiaries and other such wealthy contributors. Oh, …wait.

    • Uncle Bully

      don’t forget the criminals…..

  • JC

    I’m not so sure Twyford will be very popular in the Party now that he’s advocating extending the RUB.. it seems at variance with P Goff generally and Grant Robertsons views tonight.

    The fact he’s in agreement with the Nats over housing is likely to be a career killer without a sea change in Labour to actually produce realistic policy.


  • Zanyzane

    Jacinda is clueless and Twyford is a self professed racist. Sure does not give Labour much of a chance.