Shearer survives confidence vote

David Shearer

As expected, Labour leader David Shearer has survived this morning's caucus confidence vote at a meeting of MPs in West Auckland.

Under controversial new rules introduced at the party's November conference, just 40% of MPs needed to vote against their leader to trigger a challenge.

The party did not immediately release numbers, but the margin was said to be "overwhelming." [UPDATE: the party has refused to release numbers.]

Labour always stages a confidence vote in its leader at the halfway point through an election cycle.

This year, the vote drew more attention than usual due to agitation by David Cunliffe during the November conference plus a messy new system that sees any leadership vote decided by:

  • Labour Party members – 40% of the vote
  • Labour Caucus members – 40% of the vote
  • Affiliates (the unions) – 20% of the vote

However, with the demoted Mr Cunliffe having already pledged to support Mr Shearer in today's vote, the result was a foregone conclusion. The question now, is whether Mr Cunliffe is merely biding his time. The challenge may have toed the line today. But, behind the scenes, his supporters are once again stirring the pot.

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Labour needs to lose one or two more elections in order to wake and chose a leader acceptable to the voting public.


A beaming John Key was the first to ring with his congratulations.


Ha Ha what a beaut. JK can just cruise and continue to tinker and look good. No need to risk policy that might energise and invigorate NZ.


"A beaming John Key was the first to ring his congratulations to Shearer. There was talk of unifying National with Labour due to the synergies between them".


this is the very point of NZ politics. there is no difference to the political masquerade towards single economies, single currency, single communism.


Shearer is earning his stripes. Watch him keep improving. He will be a handful at next election, especially as Kiwis like the "good guy next door". Over-confidence by National may be a killer.


When a 57-year-old "leader" needs training in basic speech you are heading to a loss.
Messrs Key, Norman and Mallard will have something from the top shelf after dinner tonight.
Hopefully, Cunliffe keeps in the frame.
With Cunliffe in a real oppositon role there is some chance for Labour.


Terrible news. Oh well, those who are politically savy will give their votes to NZ First or Greens or Mana. Does the Labour Caucus not understand how desperately some of us are for a change from National - I think they have just forced yet another 3 years of them on us.


Hardly surprising, who was there to challenge? Perhaps Labour are starting to learn their real opposition to each member making it back to Parliament at the next election is the Greens.


No real surprise. The contenders have seen from the sidelines what an uphill battle they face - first, with all the bickering from internal factions, then the outside watermelons who want all the plum ministerial appointments in return for their essential support for Labour to cobble together a 4 or 5 headed coalition monster. And then, lastly, the head-on battle trying to unseat the best PM New Zealand has had in living memory.

Faced with those struggles, it's no wonder Cunliffe is keeping his powder dry. He doesn't want the poisoned chalice as much as Goof didn't. Goof had no option but to swallow the sh*t sandwich, but Cunliffe can bide his time, allowing Shearer yet more slack In the rope.




It will be interesting to see the next polls after Waitangi Day. Suspect we will get the PM urging Maori to get real about what matters and then we get the outrage from John Hatfield, mummy & co. Labour, unlikely to rise, will see Greens and Winston gain a little. Reality is that by the next election Winnie will be 70 (his health is already suffering). Most of his last 5% were protest votes in a smaller turnout. NZF will struggle to get 5% if voters get out.


My own view is that the desire for social cohesion promoted by sociologists and most NZ commentators is undesirable and plays into left-wing agendas and the hold of a left-wing monopoly on law, academia, commentary and the political classes. Shearer appears a child of social cohesion. Cunliffe is sharp, edged, arrogant and intelligent. Although Cunliffe is from a Sth Canterbury manse and preaches social cohesion, his every action speaks of contempt for the ordinary people and democratic control. That means Cunliffe might be capable of real leadership and social change. The opportunity for major social change probably means taking advantage of a major industrial dispute as Thatcher did with the UK miners dispute and which Muldoon failed to grasp by taking hardline police and other authority action against the Ocean Beach Freezing workers in 1981.
Barry Gustafson correctly identifies that as the point where the National Liberals lost their chance to create a modern middle-class society by driving the wedge that would have give the middle class the space they need. Too much democrary is the problem in the West as the ordinary people and working class are now largely just long-term descended low intelligent, and they can only be led, as Lenin grasped, as they can't really reason.
Democratic control and MMP and STV largely means power to anyone who can con and mislead the ordinary people. The rise of Hitler and the collapse of the Soviet Union both reflect the mistake of the military elite in failing to grasp that in Germany democracy had collapsed and was unworkable and in the Soviet Union the Communist Party was a pure veneer.
Many historians believe in both cases the correct solution was a pure military dictatorship and great mistake was to believe a veneer of democracy was desirable in putting Hitler and his Nazi fringe in power, or maintaining the obscure and irrelevant Gorbachev and his hollowed-out Communist bureacracy.
The scenarios by NBR commentator Matthew Hooton are only intended to put the hard right Judith Collins in power in 2017. Hooton assumes a likely victory for a weak Shearer, who after much dissent from the Clarkites with see Grant Robertson propelled to a non-elected PMship mid term.
Hooton believes that will be so unpopular that it guarantees electoral victory for Collins, who is probably even more hardline and less concience driven than Brash. Shearer is little more than a useful idiot, straw man and stalking horse.


Whaleoil thinks that there were 10 abstentions. Almost at the trigger.


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