Long serving Audrey Young is justifiably one of our most respected political journalists.

In a recent New Zealand Herald article on who would lead Labour after the election, she staggered me with her suggestion it would be Kieran McAnulty, the current MP for Wairarapa.

For a start I think it’s unlikely McAnulty will hold his seat. As he’s No. 16 on the list, depending on the size of the Labour defeat and given the number of existing MPs before him, there’s a fairly good prospect he will miss out altogether.

But if I’m wrong, I’d imagine nothing would delight the new government more than facing a new Opposition leader, specifically a bearded Catholic socialist with the appearance and personality appeal of a ferret.

Audrey’s obviously far closer to the MP scene than I am thus I was interested to note her observation that Grant Robertson is not expected to hang around. Nothing unusual about that following an election defeat as the prospect of being an Opposition MP after years in the Ministerial limousines, awash in lackeys, international conferencing and so on, is grim indeed.

It’s my pick the next great white hope Labour Prime Minister is at least 9 years away and certainly not in Parliament now.

In the interim, their best bet would be to initially stick with Hipkins but I suspect we will see a replay of the post-2008 Labour scenario with a succession of different tried and failed leaders.


I mentioned to a high-level labour strategist a year ago, when asked if would like to meet the former prime minister to discuss various matters/ Ideas (I declined), that the way they were going, not only should they be very concerned about losing the forthcoming election, but that they should be more concerned about having to wait for a whole generation to pass before being re-elected. That was their greatest risk by far. From what I notice on recessions, it about 7 to 10 years before people forget and make the same errors

Robertson saying he’ll go in on the list only a few months ago sounded to me like he intended to stick around. Then again maybe he was just keeping his options open. Hipkins has had a tough few years. My guess is he’ll bail with a bunch of others, maybe including Robertson. It must be tempting for at least some Labour MPs to look forward to losing and just sticking around purely for the money.

Unrelated bob, but Lorin Clarke has just released a book about her ole man John Clarke.

I think Baldrick would be a splendid choice for Labour if he survives the coming rout. I hear he has a cunning plan 🙂

A little unfair to ferrets…

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