The fact that David Shearer is unable to stop the slip in his approval ratings and that his party seems to be stuck in the low 30’s is surely a message that he is simply not going to make it at next year’s elections. Yes, we all know that Helen Clark didn’t manage to do much better in her ratings before she won, but the Labour Party most definitely polled better. Time is running out and Labour needs to take stock, let the ‘blood flow’ and go with a new leader.
Perhaps the obvious choice is in the deputy leader Grant Robertson. This tough nugget can match John Key any time and his determination is clear when we watch him in parliament. I do not know what sort of numbers he can pull together, but now is the time to find out or Labour will languish even further in the polls and find itself in a position very much like ‘Labor’ is facing in Australia.
New Zealand needs a strong opposition and at the moment that is looking to be coming from the Greens. How many times lastly have we seen Norman making the statements, before there is a short add-on from Shearer? When Shearer does speak he is rarely coming across as ‘strong’ or confident. Some say that ‘this is just the way he is---he takes time to make his point.’ In the craziness of today’s politics, such mannerisms simply don’t cut. It is all about perception and the public have the final say. Their perception of David Shearer and the Labour Party is driven by what they see and it ain’t pretty. It won’t be long before we hear the ‘rugby-like’ clarion call of ‘bring back Phil!’
If the Labour Party can unite, take a good hard (but not too long) look at itself and mange not to fractionate, then maybe we will see a possible credible ‘government in waiting,’ not the stumbling replica we see now.