IrishBill: rumours “didn’t pan out so well”

Eddie posted at The Standard on Saturday:

Shearer to put it to the vote

Word around the traps is that David Shearer is going to use his state of the nation speech next weekend to announce that he will put his leadership to full membership vote in February.

IrishBill commented on that:

I’ve heard similar rumours but I’ll believe it when I see it. That said there have been quite a few feelers put out among the membership by the old guard lately.

He has now said in a Drive-by posting:

Unfortunately the source on Shearer’s plan to put his leadership to the party didn’t pan out so well. He’s confirmed to Vernon Small that he does not intend to let members vote (I’m not surprised).

Unlike Eddie’s ‘Cunliffe conference coup’ contributing post in November this one had failed to build any traction. It’s not surprising to see the wheels fall off this one.

In November there was much hope and enthusiasm that Cunliffe may replace Shearer as Labour leader.

Now there is widespread resignation that Cunliffe’s ambitions are very much on the back burner and that it is likely Shearer and his supporters have sewn up any leadership challenge in advance of next month’s caucus consideration of putting the leadership over to the party.

There’s a problem for prospective challengers and hopeful party members with scheduled leadership challenges – it gives the incumbent plenty of time to prepare, to count support and to threaten potential dissent with repercussions.

It is not just MP rankings and spokesperson roles at stake. Candidate selections for electorates and list positions will start to be considered this year, and the incumbent leadership can have significant influence.

It would be a very brave MP to bet their career by backing a leadership challenge now.

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