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.