Opposition parties are usually in a disadvantage in election year because they don’t know when election day will be.
That’s not the case this time. Prime Minister John Key announced November 26 as polling day in early February, six months ago.
If a party didn’t know the election date, ranking its list early would be a prudent move. But Labour doesn’t have that excuse this year and its April ranking was far too early.
Had they waited, the party could have used the polls which are consistently showing poor results for Labour to get rid of some of its dead wood.
Instead the list is stacked with long-serving MPs, some of whom lost seats, and its likely to have very small infusion of fresh blood in November.
John Armstrong might be right that some senior Labour MPs have already given up on this election and already trying to win the next one.
Their volunteers will not be impressed by that news which means they are working for people who’ve already held up the white flag. Nor will their hard core supporters.
Winning their loyalty again will take a lot of bridge building and it won’t be helped by a caucus which won’t look very different from the tired, old one they’ve got this term.
Hat tip: Keeping Stock.