Brian Edwards Media

Yond Cunliffe has a lean and hungry look!

SNPA/ Ross Setford

SNPA/ Ross Setford

I note the many reasoned calls for unity in the Labour Party once the new Leader has been selected. I’ll happily add my name to that list, but the odds on a harmonious outcome seem to me slim.

It’s a matter of simple mathematics. The largest group in the current Caucus is the ‘Anyone But Cunliffe’ group, including no doubt most Robertson supporters and a few Jones supporters.

If David Cunliffe wins the leadership, this large group will, to put it mildly, be extremely miffed. Faced with the near impossibility of mounting a challenge to a newly elected Leader, making Cunliffe’s life as difficult as possible for the next 14 months might just seem an attractive option. True, the resultant disharmony and internal division would almost certainly mean losing the 2014 election, but the upside of that is that, having led the party to defeat, Cunliffe would be gone. So strongly is this group opposed to the Member for New Lynn, that they might just see three more years in the wilderness as worth it.  

In this hara kiri scenario the party members and trade unionists who had been responsible for Cunliffe winning the leadership in the face of Caucus opposition, would also be extremely miffed that their man was not receiving unqualified loyalty and support from Caucus. Such would be the level of dissent that the Labour movement could implode, inviting the possibility of John Key becoming only the country’s fourth  four-term Prime Minister. We’ll call this ‘the apocalypse scenario’.

The next matter to be taken into account is the election of a Deputy Leader. Caucus retains that power and, in the event of Cunliffe winning the leadership, the most likely person to be appointed Deputy must surely be Grant Robertson. Commentators, including me, have described this as ‘the dream team’, but the reality is that, though Robertson may not be an actual member of the ABC group, it is primarily from that group that his Caucus support comes. How long then before those supporters start whispering treachery in his ear?

Then there’s the possibility that Robertson, not Cunliffe, will become Leader on Sunday. That can scarcely be seen as a recipe for unity or harmony between the factions either. Caucus will have thwarted the will of the party and the unions. If Robertson were sensible he would follow Lyndon Johnson’s adage, later adopted by Helen Clark, that it was better to have your opponents inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in. He would persuade his supporters accordingly. But would the ABC group sleep easy in their beds with Cunliffe as Robertson’s Deputy? I very much doubt it. Yond Cunliffe has a lean and hungry look!

And what are the chances of unity if Cunliffe is denied both the Leadership and the Deputy Leadership? Not great, I would have thought.

Lest you think I’ve forgotten him, I’m working on the assumption that there’s no way Shane Jones can become Leader of the Labour Party. The ABCers can be unreasonable, but they’re surely not mad.

I see meanwhile that my friend, the former Labour Party President Mike Williams, has endorsed David Cunliffe. I find that significant. Mike is perhaps the canniest and most experienced observer of party politics in this country. He rarely backs the wrong horse.

My personal endorsement of Cunliffe dates back to December 2011 when I wrote a post: Shearer or Cunliffe? Why I’ve changed my mind. There are a dozen more posts in similar vein, endorsing Cunliffe as the only possible Labour Leader to evict John Key and return the party to office. Whether the party has learned anything since cutting off its nose to spite its face by opting for the lovely but unelectable David Shearer and rejecting the maybe-not-quite-so-lovely but highly electable David Cunliffe, remains a moot point.

I really do hope they have. I hope this is one post which will turn out to have been utter nonsense and I have to apologise to the many talented and really neat people in the Labour Caucus whom I’ve defamed.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

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  1. Steady comrade steady! I do not believe our princes and princesses (of the party) in caucus are immune to real politic. I confidently predict that the caucus vote will reflect the reality of Davo Cunliffes overwhelming support in the wider progressive community. Remember we are, after all, on the same side. Another three years of this lazy, selfish and self serving government will wipe out the gains of the last “steady as she goes” Labour one. We all know that to play personality politics at this juncture in NZ’s history would be a betrayal of all that we hold dear. Together we are stronger than if we are alone. That is the underlining principle of the Labour Project. Simply put, to behave in any other way and to let personal dislike govern our judgement would be unconscionable. If our chosen few truly believe that disunity is death then Davo will gain a majority in all three houses of the Labour family.

    Oh and by the way rather than “hope springs eternal in the human breast” I long ago copyrighted “hope breathes eternal in the heart of the optimist.” Feel free to use it. I give you permission.

    • As one whose hope has been dwindling under an onslaught of this ‘trust us, we know what we’re doing’ government (I don’t, and you don’t), I’ll take an injection of hope however it comes…

  2. ‘I really do hope they have. I hope this is one post which will turn out to have been utter nonsense and I have to apologise to the many talented and really neat people in the Labour Caucus whom I’ve defamed.’

    Amen to that Brian ! I’m an admirer of yours but this post is one of the worst examples of negativity that I’ve seen for some time.

    If this beautiful country is to be rid of the horrors of the Key government, then let us all stress and work for unity of purpose. Your post presents an example of the very opposite.

    • Oh give the brother a break! We are all allowed the occasional “long dark tea time of the soul.” Particularly us Celts. Don’t worry this one’s gonna work out all right…

  3. I’ve already made my prediction in several places. Cunliffe will be elected. If Robertson is made deputy there will be secret internal warfare. If he is not there will be open internal warfare. The socialists cannot help themselves.

    So I pretty much agree with BE – except he finds this pessimistic and I find it optimistic for the future.

    • Yep.

      Like when Brian writes, “Such would be the level of dissent that the Labour movement could implode, inviting the possibility of John Key becoming only the country’s second four-term Prime Minister. We’ll call this ‘the apocalypse scenario’”

      …I’m reminded how the Apocalypse finishes up…

      Revelation 21: 4-5

      “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

      5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.””

      Although as much of an admirer of Key that I am, I may be slightly exaggerating the man’s talents, and the extent of National’s manifesto

    • Who are the ‘socialists’ in the Labour Party? They used to have some in the thirties but they’re long gone – unless you think the word is just a generalised term of abuse Alan, as many on the right always have

      • 3.2.1

        There are plenty of socialists still in the Labour Party, Tony, as evidenced by their continued efforts to bribe voters with other people’s money.

      • Not that I necessarily agree (nor disagree) with Alan Wilkinson’s liberal use of the label, “socialist”, but maybe you need to do some research to bring yourself up-to-date, tony…

        ” The Labour Party accepts the following democratic (take, note, tony) socialist principles –

…• The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular non-renewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations (which no doubt raises the question for Alan, “why they can’t be sold for the financial benefit of ‘all’, so that they can be ‘managed’ in the interests of the private owners, and also for the earning of profits which will also be taxed for the benefit of ‘all’?”).

        …• Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured (which no doubt raises the questions in Alan Wilkinson’s mind, as it does in mine, “why does it have to be either ‘co-operation’, or competition, when it may be ‘both-and’ as it is in much of business already, and also, “if you have to choose between the two, which has the better track-record of producing wealth for ‘all’?”)

        …• All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people (which no doubt raises the questions for Alan Wilkinson, “which ‘people’?”, and “who decides what is a ‘conflict of interest’?”) are always more important than property (and Alan would no doubt point out ‘property’ is invariably also owned by ‘people’) and the state must ensure a (here is what Alan is on about, tony) just distribution of wealth”.

        Trust that helps clarify the terms that are being used.

  4. I think I might hang out on this page for awhile – well until I lose interest or Brian kicks me off… Mr Wilkinson, oh Alan! I really don’t think it is the “socialists” that can’t help themselves I think it is the right wing nut jobs like you! Secret internal warfare? Really!

    Next you will be telling me the Illuminati took over Adolf’s bases in Antarctica (you know the ones that launched the attack on the World Trade Centre) and are now offering the facility as a base of operations for ensuring the rise of Osama’s Caliphate – all done via an IPO arranged by the Vatican Bank!

    Ha ha ha! We are coming for you, cracker! Go hide under your bed.

    • Are you calling Brian a right wing nut job too? Since he agrees with my likely scenarios?

      And, no thanks, I don’t go for any of your favourite conspiracy theories. I guess they do save you from making any logical case though.

      • Do you call your comments logical Alan? Strange man…..


          I would prefer to call them accurate, Tom. Most of my comments are a mixture of facts, logic and judgment.

          I know that’s pretty unusual in socialist circles where mere direct abuse and playing the man is sine qua non.

  5. Superb post about the fears for the party’s future thanks to a faction of caucus who seem, in not backing the best man (Cunliffe), to have no idea how to make Labour electable.

    Far more positive than Chris Trotter who seems to be saying the same thing far more negatively and more often…

    With friends “from the left” like Trotter, who needs enemies from the right?

  6. Be: Get away with your pessimism, I have great faith in the Three Amigos, since they are acutely aware that unity is the essence for Labour’s success.

    Stay strong and continue to advocate Labour’s policies on jobs ,wages, affordable housing, and greater competition in the food industry.

    Labour caucus members need to be clear that they are elected to carry out Labour policies not waste time on personal ideologies.

  7. My fear is that should Cunliffe not get elected the Labour Party will lose him.

    Whichever the outcome, some very frank and honest communication is called for between ABC club, Grant and David. Maybe a top mediator/trainer? No they would turn that down. Far better to be right than to be united or humble or frank or loved.. Oh, the human condition. I fear for it sometimes.

    At least we haven’t got too long to wait now.

  8. …I’m working on the assumption that there’s no way Shane Jones can become Leader of the Labour Party. The ABCers can be unreasonable, but they’re surely not mad.

    I think we all agree that is a reasonable assumption, Brian. And your comment about ABCers not being mad is basically why I am a bit more optimistic than you. I don’t follow Labour’s internal politics closely, but I’d be surprised if the ABCers couldn’t come to terms with Cunliffe as leader. I guess that Labour will manage unity in the run up to the election to give Cunliffe a genuine shot at leading the party to a victory. And if they lose that, they get rid of him, and probably go to Robertson. They’d have to be mad to go the path of the ‘apocalypse scenario’.

  9. The Labour caucus want a leader that the rest of the country, do not.

    This is a caucus who are so blinkered, blinded and cloistered; whose only purpose is one of individual self-preservation. The very same caucus who, in all their collective wisdom and prescience, put up an untested greenhorn to be their leader. A less-than-full term’ MP who ‘distinguished’ himself by being, well, ‘indistinguishable’ on the back benches.

    You can permutate the leadership possibilities all day long, but the resulting outcome of the calculus is unchanged: the Labour Party is an amalgam of ‘D’s:
    Disunity, Disarray, Disorganised, Dispirited, Disillusioned, Dissolute, Disharmony, Disengaged, Dysfunctional, Disparate as well as Desperate.

    Caucus retains that power and, in the event of Cunliffe winning the leadership, the most likely person to be appointed Deputy must surely be Grant Robertson. Commentators, including me, have described this as ‘the dream team’
    The “dream team”!? I can hear the National Party’s caucus’s raucous laughter-and-guffawing from here. Unalloyed hilarity! With or without Shane Jones in the leadership mix.

    The Labour caucus is inept as it is irredeemably hopeless. The lingering progeny spawned from nine ruinous years of Aunty Helen’s overweening vanity.

  10. Call me a cynical old beast if you will, but there is an argument, of course, (well, a conspiracy theory) that those highly-ambitious/indubitably-careerist young things – Ardern, Hipkins and Robertson himself – callously set-up Shearer, knowing full well he didn’t even remotely have what it takes. Under this scenario, Robertson then takes the leadership in 2013 – and, as far as he’s concerned, wins the 2014 Election: end of plan.

    For Ardern and Hipkins, however, this is just Phase One. They gamble that Robertson’s as equally unelectable as Shearer, loses in 2014 and then, Voila !!!, Phase Two – the Party in early 2015 falls straight into the lap of two now relatively-experienced young talents representing fresh generational renewal: the said Young Master Hipkins and Young Ms Ardern.

    I commented a few weeks ago that the ABCs were having trouble firing-up the chemical interactions between their individual braincells, but maybe the problem with some of the younger ABCs is that they’re, in fact, just a little TOO cunning.

    • Oh that this dream could come true!

      Cunliffe is our version of Kevin Rudd. Shane Jones is a misogynist and spouts rhetoric with little substance. Robertson may be all right, but I never really heard much of him before this.

      In contrast, Adern and Hipkins are often commenting on issues to do with their portfolios. They are well educated and informed, and I am particularly impressed with how quickly Hipkins has got to grips with the big concerns of the education portfolio. Both are articulate and come across well on TV, which unfortunately is necessary nowadays. They are both tough enough to not be rattled when someone tries to talk over them. They would be a dream team, in my opinion.

  11. I wouldn’t be that pessimistic, at least if Cunliffe wins on Friday. Even divisions that might seem bitter seem to vanish fairly quickly when it is of mutual benefit for them to do so (think Bolger-Peters or Clark-Anderton). Remember that there was considerable resistance within caucus to David Lange leading Labour when Muldoon was at his prime, until it became increasingly apparent that he was the only viable match against Muldoon (much as Cunliffe is the only viable match against Key), and resistance in caucus to Lange largely dissipated. And I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of self-interest either; if Cunliffe wins then I’m sure that at least some of the ABC brigade are pragmatic enough to realize that repositioning themselves over the coming months will greatly help their chances of being part of a possible Labour-led cabinet late next year.

    I do however share Brian’s pessimism if Cunliffe does not win. This will widely be seen as reflecting badly on caucus, will engender widespread cynicism, and will ensure Labour more years on the opposition benches.

  12. If your prognosis is right Brian then for me that simply underlines one of the main reasons why I have not voted for the Labour Party for a long time (although I vote for Robertson as my local member for personal reasons). Labour is not to be trusted because they are self obsessed and play silly political games which irritate the electorate. Perhaps the thought of a third or even fourth National government will concentrate their minds for once.

    Incidently – there have been a number of four term or even more Prime Ministers in our political history although you have to go back a fair way to find them. William Massey, for one and most prominently Rickard Seddon. So John Key wouldn’t be the second. The astonishing thing is that the most recent example was Keith Holyoake who was one of our silliest ever Prime Ministers – a complete jackass

    • Appreciate the correction, Tony. So if John Key did win a fourth term, how many predecessors would he have?

      • John Key would be number four. The previous as noted were Richard Seddon (Liberal i.e. Labour forerunner 1892-1906); William Massey (Reform i.e. National forerunner 1912- 1925 as I recall, he died in office and was replaced by Gordon Coates); and Keith Holyoake (National 1960-1972). Mind you in the nineteen sixties we were more prosperous and secure economically than we’ve ever been and so, as the Aussies say, a blind shearer’s dog could have gone on winning elections. But even Holyoake was astonished that he won the 1969 election.

    • Absolute rubbish Mr Simpson. Holyoake was certainly not a complete jackass.

      I heard Holyoake described by Henry Lang, who was head of Treasury during the latter part of the Holyoake era, and a senior official during the rest of Holyoake’s term, as being the smartest man in New Zealand. He may not have had much in the way of a formal education but he was very very clever.
      He was also very clever in the way that he handled the Vietnam War. He didn’t believe we should be there and that there was no way to be successful in the war. However he did not wish to come out in direct opposition to the US as that would only hurt New Zealand’s interests.
      He therefore sent some (a few) troops who had all joined the New Zealand armed forces solely to go to Vietnam. No regulars were ordered to go and certainly no conscripts.
      He then encouraged demonstrations against the war so that he could tell the US Government that, although he would like to help them, it was politically impossible.

      • Holyoake also did a good job of developing the political skills of Rob Muldoon, who was, in response tony simpson’s comment above, probably THE crucial factor in National’s 1969 election win.

        In doing so, Holyoake effectively cut off his deputy, Jack Marshall, at the knees. Holyoake was a pragmatist who found little to like about Marshall, both personally, and in terms of political philosophy and method.

        It is one thing winning more than one election in a row, it is quite another ensuring the legacy of a like-minded and politically successful successor.

      • Being an effective political operator doesn’t mean that you aren’t a jackass in your personal life. Someone who played rugby with him before the War told me once that when he got drunk all he wanted to do was get up on a chair and sing to people. As a politician he was a very successful failed opera singer. I also knew his son in law personally and so was privy to his private life. I met him regularly in my role as a radio journalist and producer in the sixties and early seventies and was in a position to observe him closely.

        The suggestion that he encouraged demonstrations against the Vietnam war as a foil against New Zealand involvement by way of an alibi to fend off United States demands we join in is absurd. That he may have used them to that end would have been par for the course for Holyoake but demonstrators didn’t need any encouragement from him. I know because I was there at the time. At one election meeting I attended in the Wellington town hall the barracking was so loud that even with the mike turned up to feedback levels Holyoake couldn’t make himself heard against the anti Vietnam people.

        To suggest that he mentored Muldoon into the leadership of the National Party is equally absurd. Holyoake thought Muldoon was a vulgar little guttersnipe (he may have been a jackass but there was nothing the matter with his judgement of people) and only gave him Ministerial rank as Treasury Under Secretary in charge of the introduction of decimal currency to head off a caucus revolt by a group of younger and up and coming MPs. He was then stuck with Muldoon as Minister of Finance when the incumbent Harry Lake died unexpectedly and he had to promote him into the job. Holyoake’s preference for leader was Jack Marshall but the latter carelessly lost the ’72 election and Muldoon shafted him.

        • “Holyoake thought Muldoon was a vulgar little guttersnipe…Holyoake’s preference for leader was Jack Marshall but the latter carelessly lost the ’72 election and Muldoon shafted him”.

          Hmmm. That wasn’t how the 1971 National Party Conference, where Marshall was sulking over Holyoake’s failure to step down, played out.

          What are your sources for this? I’m prepared to give you a certain degree of deference due to your previous profession, but much of what you assert seems a mixture of wishful thinking and jaundice clouding your perception of events and actual facts. Over to you…

          How about you start with Gustafson’s biography of Muldoon, rather than gossip, hearsay, and, “I also knew his son in law personally and so was privy to his private life”? Or are you talking of Ken Comber, the “slayer” of the turbulent Irishman when National held on to the Miramar electorate against the tide in 1972?

          • No – I’m not talking about Ken Comber and I have already read Gustafson’s biography of Muldoon quite a long time ago and don’t feel the need to do it again. As I said in my original comment, I was a close witness to political events during the period in question so I don’t have to rely on hearsay or gossip

        • …although on closer inspection, Ken Comber held Wellington Central for National in 1972. Bill Young won Miramar against the esteemed Labour candidate…

          • Thanks Kimbo for confirming that. I also thought Comber had won Wellington Central not Miramar but I didn’t have any way of confirming that as fact so I said nothing until I could check it out. Now I won’t have to

  13. You wrote,

    “If Robertson were sensible he would follow Lyndon Johnson’s adage, later adopted by Helen Clark, that it was better to have your opponents inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

    You may not be aware of the third option, which may well come to pass if Cunliffe gets the nod, which is that of having your opponents inside the tent, pissing in.

  14. Wasn’t LBJ thrown under the bus by the “best and the brightest” once Vietnam started to go pear-shaped? Certainly RFK used his position inside the tent to continually piss in it.

  15. Can anyone, Brian perhaps, give a short explanation of why exactly Cunliffe is so disliked by certain factions within the Labour party?

    It is something I have never fully understood. How is it possible that they would rather condemn us all to a further three years of the Nats than see him as leader of the party?

    What on earth can he have done to them?

    • I don’t know the answer to that, Gary. He is simultaneously admired and distrusted. Judy and I have known him for years and never found anything untrustworthy about him. Maybe it’s his naked ambition – that lean and hungry look!

  16. There is another scenario. Cunliffe will be the Leader, Labour will blow Key & Co out of the water at the next election. Which Current Labour MP would rock that boat, even behind the scenes?

  17. Toby Manhire with some perspective on the leadership contest so far.

    It was going to be a dirty fight, foretold everyone from the hyperventilating pundits of the right to the Waldorf and Statler sages of the left, who were so entertainingly flummoxed by the sight of a proper leadership contest in defiance of their demands for a tidy stitch-up. But the bloodsport never came about. Lawn bowls, more like.

  18. if it does come to pass that abc starts to rumble in the event of cunliff winning the leadership battle then it is beholding to head office to remind the ABCs that that re selection takes place prior to the 2014 election and that the may find the NOT WANTED stamp firmly printed on their application for re selection. however this all could have been avoided if head office had put forward a far better mix of voting percentages, 10% to caucus and unions alike and 80% to members.

  19. One of the things that’s struck me over the past two weeks is the how the ‘primaries’ have seemingly created a bit of a bond between the 3 Amigos. All three have displayed leadership qualities that may work well in their favour in creating unity in caucus. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Shane Jones give Clare Curran a clip round the ears. And Robertson didn’t giver her any support other than ‘she’s entitled to her opinions’ on the ‘Nation’ today.

    Hipkins has impressed with his ‘DC and me have kissed and made up’ routine, it was completely believable irrespective of whether it was true or not.

    I also believe that Robertson biggest failure was his “Alf’s not here” lie…it would be the gift that keeps giving if he was given the leaders role. I don’t think the power of that gaffe can be underestimated and needs a few years for Joe Public to forgive.

    But then I thought Cunliffe was the better choice over Shearer. Cunliffe seems to have learned from his mistakes in the past, time will tell if Caucus can learn from theirs. The signs are hopeful. Maybe it’s time for King, Mallard and Cosgrove to retire gracefully. At least Goff still has plenty to offer the party.

    • Good comment. But I should point out that Robertson has provided an entirely convincing explanation of what you call the “Alf’s not here” lie. He really didn’t think he was. If you look at the coverage you’ll see that Alf suddenly appears in the background while Robertson is talking. It’s entirely credible that Robertson didn’t know he was there or expected him to arrive later. Robertson isn’t stupid – he isn’t going to deny that his partner is there, if he obviously is there. No “lie” was involved.

  20. I’m not a Cunnliffe fan, but I am prepared to see how he grows in the role of leader – most need time to do so and 14 months should be enough for Cunnliffe. I think he is too intelligent to tear the Labour Party caucus apart. The important thing is how much he can prevent his supporters from doing so. If they can join in a real focus on Key and the Nats and offer a real alternative to free market ideology (without going too far left in doing so to satisfy party activists), then I think there is a very good chance of Labour winning the election with them and the Greens having enough to govern in coalition on their own. Then the problems of unity will really rear their head in Government…..

  21. Well, I do think that the caucus will get the message that Cunliffe will have been voted in by the majority of party members and the majority of the affiliated union membership. Even though some hardy “armchair sitters” and “clingers” may despise having Cunliffe as leader, they will see the writing on the wall.

    The party lost many members over the last year or two, and many had become disillusioned. Also have many supporters failed to bother voting, or changed over to vote for the Greens or even NZ First.

    It would be certain suicide by caucus to ignore the wish of the majority, and try to rule like a bunch of little Caesars.

    If they should sabotage the new leadership, they will certainly ruin Labour’s future for many years to come, and some will then seriously go about and do what I and some others had suggested months ago: Found a NEW Labour Party or left of centre party, to create a forum and base for those that really want a social democratic future for a more egalitarian, fairer and inclusive society.

    The same will apply for a Robertson Deputy Leader, as he will know, he will not have the numbers to lead. Even if he may maneuvre himself into that role one day, Grant just has not got sufficient charisma and clear enough strong leadership skills. He will be a good 2nd up, possibly also potential Minister, but that will be it.

    The one I am worried about is Shane Jones, as he feels his macho self boosted now, he will try to get more than what others may we willing to give him.

  22. R: Alf who wasn’t here. Sorry Brian but look closely at the clip(Youtube) and tell me with a straight face that Robertson really didn’t know he was there. Cos I don’t believe it.

    • I’m absolutely convinced he didn’t know Alf was there. He’s neither a liar nor stupid and he would have to be both if your view is correct. I find his explanation entirely credible.

  23. 23

    In today’s 3 pm reporting of David Cunliffe’s victory, the Herald reported some extremely false and misleading figures.
    The Herald reported that D C gained (quote) ” 18.2% of the caucus vote, … 15.6% of the union vote. .. and 27.11% of the membership vote”.

    These figures are clearly wrong.
    In fact DC got 18.2/40 of the caucus vote (=45.5% caucus vote), 15.6/20 of the union vote (=78% union vote) and 27.11/40 of the membership vote (=67.8% membership vote).
    Given that DC has a vast majority of the membership and the union vote, the 54.5% of the caucus who did not vote for DC should accept Robertson’s plea for caucus unity behind the elected leader of the party.

    I am guessing that whoever reported on behalf of the Herald is a dunce at maths, or is an ABC fan (or both)?

    • Your figures are clearly wrong since the caucus can’t vote in fractions. The Herald says this now:

      The caucus’ 34 total votes are worth 40 percent of the total.

      Mr Cunliffe won 32.35 per cent (11 MPs) of the 34 MPs, or 12.94 per cent of the total vote.

      Mr Robertson won 47.06 per cent of the caucus (16 MPs) and Mr Jones won 20.59 per cent (7 MPs).


      Membership vote is worth 40 per cent of the total.

      Mr Cunliffe won 60.14 per cent of membership support, or 25.05 per cent of the total.
      Mr Robertson won 26.71 per cent of the party and Mr Jones won 13.15 per cent.

      The affiliated union vote is worth 20 percent of the total.

      Mr Cunliffe won 70.77 per cent of the affiliated unions of 14.11 per cent of the total vote.

      Mr Robertson won 17.3 per cent of the affilates and Mr Jones won 11.92 per cent.

      Mr Cunliffe’s 12.94 per cent for caucus, 25.05 per cent for membership and 14.11 per cent for unions get him to 51.15 per cent (rounded up).

  24. 24

    To BE, yes I agree that David C is the best possible chance or Labour, but why has nobody challenged the NZ herald story about incorrect percentage support for David Cunliffe? DC has clear majority support from both membership and union yet the NZ herald reported so very incorrectly that DC had some minimal support. David Cunliffe has huge support from membership and affiliated unions at 70%, yet the NZ Herald mis represents his support, at less than his actual support.
    David Cunliffe has very clear support from the vote, yet the Herald reports otherwise.

  25. Apocalypse 2014 like it or not. Cunliffe may take some Green votes, but he is thoroughly disliked in close company. A Nat or NZ First voter would have to be mad to vote Cunliffe, and generally speaking we don’t have to many madmen in NZ. There’s Trevor of course