David Cunliffe’s position as leader of Labour is untenable. He never had the confidence of his caucus and that looks worse than ever since a disastrous election.
Despite the many excuses offered by Cunliffe and others in Labour Cunliffe failed to interest the voters that mattered.
His supporters had claimed that the exposure the election campaign would give him would win over voters. The opposite happened.
It’s been claimed the diversions of ‘dirty politics’ and Kim Dotcom stole attention from Labour. To an extent that’s correct, but I don’t think Cunliffe repeating the same learned lines more often will have helped him at all. Possibly the opposite.
Cunliffe’s seemingly unresolvable problem is that as with Labour’s caucus, voters simply don’t trust him. He has tried to be too many things to too many groups and comes across as an actor, a fake. He doesn’t appear genuine, or at least you can never be sure when he is being genuine.
Roy Morgan poll trends show that Labour has lost support since the 2011, and notably after a short surge of hope after Cunliffe took over the leadership support has been mostly downwards.
Of course Labour has more serious problems than Cunliffe. Just switching leader for the fourth time since Helen Clark left after the 2011 election is not going to fix much.
It looks like heavily criticised party officials may fall on their swords, as Stuff reports in Labour at loggerheads:
Party president Moira Coatsworth has indicated she will step down, with a council meeting scheduled for Sunday, when general secretary Tim Barnett’s future will also be under discussion.
That may be justified, but can they find better replacements?
The incoming Labour lineup looks largely the same as it has for six years. Dead wood MPs remain. The party has failed to rebuild it’s talent – and it’s stuck with nearly all of them for another three years. A big cleanout and replacement could happen in 2017 but that at best would prepare the way for the 2020 election.
If Labour’s activist support in blogs is any indication their problems run from top to bottom. Major blog leadership, from Lynn Prentice at The Standard in particular and Russell Brown at Public Address, tends towards abusive and intolerant of varying views, doing the opposite of encouraging wider support.
Prentice posted Our children in Wellington yesterday.
I’m pretty sure that David Cunliffe would win a members and affiliates vote. So suck it up MPs, stop playing your silly caucus games and do some frigging work this term rather than the self-indulgent posturing you wasted time with last term. We have to start building campaigning machinery as soon as possible. You are getting in the way.
One of a number of old school activists blustering away. He commented:
We really have to do something about egotistical MPs making fools of the party and wasting everyone’s efforts.
That’s ironic, The Standard is in a position where it could help lead Labour’s resurrection but tends far more towards making fools of the party and wasting their efforts.
It is clear that you have a shallow analysis about how political parties operate. Perhaps you should try doing some basics like delivering pamphlets, organising pamphlet deliveries, running a branch or working in a LEC. But it sounds to me like you wouldn’t be good at actual work.
Have fun jerking off. You read like a concern troll to me rather someone who has *worked* for Labour.
That sounds like a party malaise – unless you slave away uncritically you are abused and rejected. Numerous potential Labour voters have been abused and driven away from The Standard and probably from Labour – the sort of voters Labour needs the most, to the centre of the hard (Labour) left Standard.
In lprent’s post:
What matters for Labour is that Cunliffe is in place, displays the competences required, has built an effective policy team and campaign team (the latter needs more work). He is in the same position as Helen was after the 1993 defeat with a uphill battle to make a working campaign team to fight a party vote election. No reason to change.
a) Cunliffe hasn’t displayed the competencies required.
b) The policy team was not effective at revealing policies – lax information and lacking detail was common – and some of it’s key policy decisions are questionable.
c) The campaign team must take some responsibility for their dire results.
“No reason to change” is about as head in sand stupid as it can get.
In an earlier post Another 3 years of work (first notes):
Labour’s team finally started to work well over the last 5-6 months.
Labour had an awful election result and seems to be very publicly in disarray.
Essentially once McCarten went in and started to make them work together.
Working together and Labour seem to be opposites right now.
Policies look good, but they really needed to be bedded down a lot earlier. Six months of effective performance hardly make up for the five and half years of backbiting crap that went on previously.
Cunliffe’s performance was strongly criticised from the start of this year. The back stabbing is more evident than every.
If Cunliffe and his team had performed well and were performing well now Labour would be dealing with their defeat calmly and sensibly. Stuff headlines reality: Carnage as Cunliffe clings on.
I will be voting for Cunliffe in the forthcoming Labour leaders election. Not so much for him (although he improved a lot through the campaign), but more for the team he has (finally) built and which Labour will need in the next 3 years.
With allies like Prentice and The Standard the future for Cunliffe and Labour looks bleak.
To just about everyone but Cunliffe and a small number of blind hard left activists Cunliffe’s position looks to be clearly untenable.
A commentator said on Sunday that things couldn’t get any worse for Labour. They seem to be deteriorating rapidly.
It’s not just a Cunliffe problem but he’s a very visible symptom of problems at different levels of the party.
Not all Labour Party supporters are blind. Scott Yorke is more perceptive in Today’s classifieds which uses black humour to sum things up.
It’s worth following the link to read but I doubt Prentice will be reposting that on at The Standard.
Cunliffe’s position is untenable. Whether his successor will survive the flailing failing party is important for New Zealand’s democracy but is not looking like an easy prospect in a party riven.
Labour’s caucus, the party organisation, the membership and their blog supporters all need a major makeover of talent, tact and tack.