The leadership of a political party which has been scorned by voters after nine years in government is a poisoned chalice.
The public usually gives a new Prime Minister and administration a period of grace before it starts looking for alternatives, especially when the obvious one isn’t markedly different from the one they turfed out at the previous election.
Helen Clark announced her resignation on election night which meant any publicity Phil Goff might have got as Labour’s new leader was overshadowed by the establishment of the new National-led government.
Michael Cullen resigned soon after which gave Goff the opportunity to appoint a new finance spokesman but there weren’t enough other changes in the front bench to convince voters they could offer a fresh approach.
Since then the few faltering steps forward have been countered by mistakes and misjudgements by Goff or his MPs. But until now there hasn’t been any serious suggestions of a coup against him.
Why would anyone want to lead the party to almost certain defeat when he or she could wait until after the election and make a fresh start? The only reason would be the thought that a new leader might be able to reduce the damage which is likely to be inflicted at the polls if the current one stays.
The odds were always on Goff going after the election they are now increasing on the chances he might go sooner. It is no longer a matter of if he will go but when and who will replace him. Scoop suggests the answer to when? could be next week and who? will be David Parker. The link to the NBR in the last post yesterday makes a similar prediction.
Kiwiblog reckons the coup could happen even sooner.