One opinion poll does not a Government make but this morning’s Herald digipoll which had Labour on 38% and National on 44% is promising.
The Cunliffe leadership era has started. He has not put a foot wrong yet apart from tripping over a couple of words in his first question in the house and given the extraordinary pressure he has been under even a fan like me has been pleasantly surprised with his performance. And as Karol has said the substance of these questions were both important and impressive.
He has started to lay out deft policy changes. For example withdrawing support for the TPPA until the text of the treaty has been released will be approved of by radicals and moderates.
The Caucus reshuffle has been adeptly handled. Some members of the ABC club have retained their positions on merit. Others have suffered but the overall feeling is that Labour is now getting both of its wings in shape and is getting ready to fly.
And to continue the use of metaphors, David’s insistence that all members of Caucus are on the train and it is moving out of the station is particularly appropriate. Although unsaid it is clearly a dangerous thing for any caucus member to get off the train now that it is moving.
At least at this stage of proceedings ABC now stands for All Behind Cunliffe.
His media interviews are sharp. There is a clarity and a conciseness in what he says that we have not heard for a while. And to top things off there has been a surge of new and returning members to the Labour party and from my own New Lynn and Auckland Region centric view morale has improved markedly.
So there is suddenly increased hope that Labour can win the next election. But the attacks on David that have occurred this week are just the start. Stand by as every single utterance and comment that he has ever made are analyzed and spun and then fashioned into weapons. And you can be sure that there is a gold plated pipe going from within the beehive and the National Research Unit to tame right wing bloggers ready to carry anything that can be used to discredit David and Labour.
All that I wish to say about the Hooton incident is that if National Radio do not ban him from future interviews there is something wrong especially if you think about what happened to Bomber Bradbury for comments that were remarkably measured in comparison,
Presuming this Government goes the distance to November 2014 there are just over 400 days for progressives to get organised to ensure that change occurs.
The way I see it there are three possibilities:
1. National with the support of some non descript minor party or parties hangs on.
2. There will be a Labour – Green – NZ First coalition presuming Labour and the Greens achieve less than 48% of the total party vote.
3. Labour and the Greens achieve more than 48% of the vote and perhaps with the support of Mana and with the Turia less residue of the Maori Party form a Government.
Possibility one is obviously highly undesirable. I hate to think the damage that National could inflict on our country if it was given one more term.
Possibility two is also highly undesirable. I have some sympathy for New Zealand First and its stance on the sale of state assets and our rights of privacy. But managing Peters and the Greens is something that would challenge the skills of the real Micky Savage.
Possibility three obviously appeals to me most. A Labour-Green Government can claim a mandate to address social inequality and environmental threats without the messy need to compromise to ensure a Parliamentary majority.
So what has to happen now?
Both Labour and the Greens need to get themselves into shape. Labour’s membership is surging but this is a David and Goliath battle. You can be sure that National’s coffers will be overflowing whereas Labour will have to do what it always does and use its activists to make what money it has go way further than it should do.
Labour and the Greens and Mana have to do the hard work and get people signed up to vote and persuade them that it is important that they vote. There is nothing like face to face time between ordinary members and members of the public to show them the relevance and importance of politics. I mention Mana as they do have some very accomplished and capable campaigners.
So whether you are on the red side or the green side it is time to get active, get others involved, get people on the roll and talk to people about why a change of Government is absolutely vital.
Because three more years of this current bunch will wreck the place.