Cunliffe Labour’s best shot
David Cunliffe is Labour’s best shot at winning the 2014 election, while Grant Robertson’s sexuality may prove to be an issue for conservative voters, say two long-time Labour members.
On TV3’s The Nation, former Labour Party President Mike Williams picked Mr Cunliffe as the candidate most likely to win against Prime Minister John Key.
“It’s really important to be able to get on top of your opposition in questions time in parliament, because there are dozens of political reporters going out for television, radio, newspapers.”
“The person who’s most likely to do that is David Cunliffe, but having said that, Grant Robertson handles Key very well too.”
Jenny Michie, a long-time Labour Party member and blogger on The Standard, also backed Mr Cunliffe.
“I want someone who can win, and win now, who can beat John Key, and be a leader in a Labour-led government.
“I think David Cunliffe’s the man to do that.”
Mr Williams pointed out that a significant proportion of Labour voters are social conservatives.
He said they would not be happy to vote for the openly gay Mr Robertson, who is in a civil union with his partner Alf
“I think they would be unhappy with Grant Robertson, but the interesting thing is that that group would never vote National – they just would not vote.”
Ms Michie pointed out that while Mr Robertson’s sexuality would be less of an issue than it might have been in the past, some might still have a problem with it.
“I think we’d be naive to imagine that there would be no resistance to a gay Prime Minister at this point.”