It took three rounds before Andrew Little gained 50% of the vote for leader – and then he only just made it:
. . . The first two rounds of counting eliminated Nania Mahuta and David Parker, leaving Grant Robertson against Little. Caucus and party member votes favoured Grant Roberston, but a strong vote from union affiliates decided the vote for Little.
The decision was a close one, said Little, who won in the third round of voting with a total of 50.52%, compared to Grant Robertson’s 49.48%. . .
That isn’t a ringing endorsement and Andrew Geddis calls it the worst result ever:
The only thing worse than electing the wrong person as leader of Labour is electing him by the narrowest of margins, by virtue of the influence of a handful of individuals acting under instructions.
Labour just made the wrong choice, in the worst possible way. . .
First, Little beat Grant by just over 1% of the weighted votes cast. That’s about as close a margin of victory as you can get, achieved on the third round. So the overall mandate for Little’s leadership is … fragile, at best.
Second, Little lost heavily to Grant in both the Caucus and the Membership vote in every successive round of voting. Little was the first choice to be leader of only four of his colleagues (assuming he voted for himself, that is). Only 14 of 32 backed him as leader over Grant by their third choice – meaning 18 of 32 think Grant is a better person to lead them. And in respect of the membership vote, Little was consistently 10% behind Grant at each stage of the vote. . .
The Herald gives the break-down on the voting:
Last time members inflicted on caucus a leader the majority didn’t support.
This time the unions, who had 20% of the vote, have inflicted on caucus and the party, a candidate the majority didn’t want.
Unions have money but Act and the Conservative Party are good examples of how that is not enough without members.
Little hasn’t managed to win a seat and was the last Labour MP in to parliament on his party’s list and the union support that gave him the leadership will make many centrist voters wary.
But before he can have any chance of wooing voters, he’s got the big job of wooing his caucus and members.