Jun 2, 2008

How Will Labour React To The Polls?

With Goff safely offshore the PM is a bit more secure than she would otherwise be, but she knows that pretty much everyone in her caucus will be asking the same question - is Helen the problem?

So Helen needs to act fast and be resolute.

Would a new Deputy help? It might. Cullen doesn't seem to be turning the voters on. Who? Goff or Cunliffe? Would either want the job? Cunliffe would. Would Clark want Goff? Probably not.

Some new faces in Cabinet and damage control on climate change. Give Goff or Cunliffe Finance and shift Cullen onto to Climate Change and Energy. Bring Charles Chauvel - who is now fully across both issues as Chair of the Select Committee hearing the submissions - into Cabinet to help out. Tell Parker that he should go back to being a lawyer.

If her health is up to it bringing Winnie Laban into Cabinet might help shore up the votes in South Auckland, Hutt South and Mana.

Declare war on NZ First and the Greens. NZ First has let the side down on the China FTA and the Greens have declared war on the ETS. It is time for revenge. It is clear that Labour is losing votes to both parties. Now that this is a fight for survival, nice cozy deals designed to ensure support in a post election coalition are of only secondary importance. With the chances of the Greens going with National at close to nil Clark can assume that the Greens will be happy to kiss and make up after the election. Destroying Peters and NZ First will remove that party from the post election equation. It will also see their 4% redistributed. On current polling Labour would be given around 33% of the NZ First votes. This could save the bacon of up to three Labour MPs.

There are plenty of options for Winston, but for the Greens the most obvious point of attack is the ETS. Call their bluff. delay the legislation until after the election and pin the blame on both National and the Greens.

Take the axe to the Government Departments that have let her down. Housing Corp could do with new leadership. MfE could be abolished. She could insist that 40 of the MSD spin doctors should go. This will take some votes from National.