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.