“You’ve got to know when to hold up, know when to fold up, know when to walk away . . . “
The Gambler was right as are Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.
By announcing they are standing down from the leadership they’ve circumvented the rumours, the inevitable questions from the media and the just as inevitable plotting from the Labour caucus.
Cullen is a list MP so he could walk away from parliament altogether at any time with minimal disruption. Clark, as an electorate MP, has a duty to her constituents and the expense of a by-election to consider before she resigns but I wouldn’t expect her to complete the full term.
Two of her soon to be former minsiters should follow her example.
Jim Anderton has had more than his day.
His majority is a still respectable 4,566 and he got 14,174 votes. But Marc Alexander, the National candidate got 9608 electorate votes and 11954 party votes.
The Labour candidate Erin Ebborn-Gillespie won only 4,581 electorate votes but Labour recevied 12,583 party votes. While Progressive, the vanity vehicle Anderton calls a party, got only 1,878 votes.
He should make this his last term.
Peter Dunne should also take a hard look at the numbers in Ohariu.
He received 11,250 electorate votes, the Labour candidate Charles Chauvel was 1170 behind on 10, 080.
National’s Katrina Shanks was 3rd with 8,822 electorate votes but National won the party vote with 15,750. Labour received 11,182 votes and United Future just 787. This suggests that had Dunne not announced he would go with National which prompted a nod and a wink from John Key for a party-vote campaign in the electorate, then Shanks may have won the seat.
Something else to consider – the Green candidate, Gareth Huges got 2,229 votes – so if those people had voted tactictly for Chauvel, Dunne would have lost the seat to Labour.
United Future is now Ununited Past and Dunne should step down at the end of the term.
Some National MPs need to consider this and also remember that one of the reasons Labour lost was that the electorate thought the caucus was getting a bit stale.
I’m not going to name names, suffice it to say there are some MPs who should accept that in the best interests of the party they should make this their last term and step down with their dignity intact or become victims of another dead-wood purge.