As I suggested earlier it was common knowledge that Phil Goff was a dead man walking. Goff and King announced their intent to resign from the Labour leadership but will stay on in the party after Labour were absolutely decimated at the ballot box on Saturday. As I have long suspected the party was more than happy to offer Goff as a sacrificial lamb to the public this election, pin their poor performance on him personally and roll him quickly after.
So who should replace Goff ? There are a number of potential aspirants for the leadership of Labour, with my top three consisting of David Cunliffe, David Parker and David Shearer. In my opinion Andrew Little is too tied down to the unions to be a viable candidate at the moment and neither Shane Jones nor Grant Robertson have shown enough to convince me that their are able to beat John Key and as such Jones has announced his intention to run as Deputy Leader.
Some commentators view Jacinda Ardern as a Labour leader-in-waiting and there are a few people out there that would like to see her promoted to the job sooner rather than later. Personally I feel that not only is she overrated as a politician but she also has way too much baggage from her socialist past (see the video below):
Another way of separating the candidates is through cold hard stats and the voting figures on Saturday make for interesting reading:
As you can see from the table provided Cunliffe and Shearer garnered a strong Electorate AND Party vote which is a vital component of being a leader. Of concern for David Parker is that he personally polled below the Labour party. That said he did stand in Epsom which was never likely to turn red in the election.
Cunliffe has many of the attributes that a leader needs. He is a strong debater, is fiercely intelligent and has the experience and knowledge needed to overhaul the party. However, he is perceived as being overly confident to the point of being arrogant by many in the Labour caucus and is not as widely liked by the Party as the likes of David Parker.
On the other hand, David Parker is seen as bookish and heavily policy-orientated and while he has the smarts and knowledge to succeed in the role of leader he is unfortunately seen as being more or less devoid of charisma and personality. This is something which would play heavily into the hands of John Key.
The dark horse in the race is David Shearer who is being supported by many outside the party. He is personable, charismatic and is a useful ‘middle of the road’ candidate who possesses many of the elements of Cunliffe and Parker. Shearer’s problem is his lack of exposure or political experience (he has only been a politician for the last three years).