poll on Labour’s leadership race points to one of the party’s major problems – lack of unity.
It’s also turned up a surprising result.
Most commentators had Shane Jones in third place, but this poll has him in second.
. . . David Cunliffe is in charge – as preferred labour leader, he is up on 39.6 percent.
But Shane Jones is in line for a bit of an upset. Considered an outsider, he currently sits in second place on 31.6 percent.
That’s pushed Grant Robertson back into third – he was supposed to be joint favourite, but he’s only polling 28.8 percent. . .
It is the Labour membership who will all vote on the leader – but looking at just Labour voters – Cunliffe is even stronger, sitting at 45.6 percent.
While Jones drops a bit but is still up there at 28.1 percent. Robertson remains in third even among his own on 26.4 percent. . .
With the party’s convoluted and undemocratic voting system which gives caucus and members 40% of the votes each and the unions 20%, the final result might be different.
But if the first vote is similar to the poll, the contender with the fewest votes will drop off and there will be a second vote between the other two.
That makes the second preferences of those who support the third ranked candidate very important.
Where they go will determine the winner.
The leadership circus is putting the Labour Party in the spotlight but any publicity isn’t necessarily good publicity.
What’s been highlighted is the contenders’ lurch to the left and the party’s lack of unity and that’s shown in this poll with no strong favourite.
Whoever wins will be faced with the challenge of uniting the party, which given it won’t have been united in supporting him, won’t be easy.