A Colmar Brunton snap poll on TV One’s Q+A programme shows David Cunliffe to be the early favourite for the leadership of the Labour Party.
The telephone poll of 517 people conducted on Friday and Saturday asked “Regardless of whether you support the Labour Party, which of the following MPs do you think would do the best job leading Labour into the next general election? Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe, Andrew Little, Jacinda Ardern, or Shane Jones.”
Mr Cunliffe was the clear favourite on 29 per cent, followed by Ms Ardern on 15 per cent, Mr Jones on 11 per cent, Mr Robertson on 10 per cent and Mr Little on 9 per cent. Both Ms Ardern and Mr Little have ruled themselves out of contention. The other three MPs have not yet announced if they will run for the Labour leadership.
Speaking on Q+A, Labour party president Moira Coatsworth says with David Shearer having stepped down last Thursday, it’s too early for the public to have a clear view on who should be leader.
“I don’t think people will have given this much attention so far. So let’s wait and see when we know who the candidates are and they’re really up and campaigning,” Ms Coatsworth says.
If two or more MPs put themselves forward for nomination, then the Labour Party’s new electoral process gets triggered, meaning that instead of caucus electing a new leader, it will only get a 40 per cent say in the process, party members will also get 40 per cent and the unions 20 per cent of the vote. The election will use a single round preferential voting system where members rank their preferred candidates.
Ms Coatsworth’s preference is for a leadership contest rather than caucus choosing the leader. However, the deputy leader will still be elected by caucus.
Nominations for the Labour leadership close at 10pm on Monday, August 26, with a list of nominees announced on Tuesday.