Laila Harre has political experience but Chris Keall thinks she has let her enthusiasm get away of her:
Yesterday, I praised Laila Harre’s strategic nous. I spoke too soon.
It looks like she has gone too hard, too early and too publicly, painting Mr Cunliffe into a corner where he had little choice but to back his man in Te Tai Tokerau (naturally, Labour leader maintains it was never in doubt). . .
Hone Harawira holding Te Tai Tokerau is essential to the Internet Mana Party’s plans.
IMP is unlikely to win any other seats or get at least 5% of the vote.
Cunliffe’s view isn’t clear but Labour’s candidate in the seat, Kelvin Davis, is definite that he wants to win the seat.
In a tweet that’s now been deleted he said:
Bro, I think of the people of Te Tai Tokerau, not Sergeant Shultz.
He has the support of others in caucus:
Phil Goff is also with him, Kiwiblog (at the link above) has a Facebook post from him:
Goff says (correctly) Dotcom is trying to buy the political system. His Facebook post also appears to have now been deleted, so it looks like the leadership is trying to whip the caucus into line and stop them criticising the Mana-Dotcom Alliance. Because the more they criticise it, the harder it is for Cunliffe not to rule them out of a coalition.
I’ll be very very interested to see a poll in Te Tai Tokerau. I’m not sure voters there will be any more keen on Kim Dotcom purchasing a political party, than these Labour MPs are. David can win the seat by just campaigning on this issue. The question is – will he be allowed to? . .
If the IMP could increase the votes for the left it would be in Labour’s short-term interests to throw the seat to Harawira.
But votes gained by IMP are likely to come from within the left and even if they come from previous non-voters the idea of a weak Labour supported by the GIMPs (Green and IMP) is highly likely to scare at least of many voters towards National.
And Labour’s chances of leading a stable government in the medium to long term would be greater without the hard left marriage of convenience that is the IMP.