Patrick Gower: Labour's leadership options

OPINION: Labour's in chaos.

Their leader has admitted he may not be able to do his job, fronting his Caucus with an offer to step down after polls had support dropping to 24 percent. He's effectively thrown himself under a bus and raised a whole lot of questions.

Significantly, he's also said he does not think a three-way coalition with the current numbers of Labour, the Greens and NZ First is credible, which is a very, very significant admission that he lacks credibility.

So, what are Labour's options if Little steps aside? The top candidates in order:

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern on The AM Show.
Jacinda Ardern on The AM Show. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ardern is a political phenomenon and a potential game-changer.

But she has vehemently denied wanting to lead the party more than most politicians do. She has made it look like she doesn't want it.

The question is: does she need to take it for the sake of the Labour Party?

And in her own mind, the question will be: does she need to take it for the sake of New Zealand?

If she does it in a scenario where Andrew Little effectively gives up; where he's not forced out, where there's not a coup, where it looks like she is more of a martyr; that could be a way for her to potentially win the election or at the very least, give Labour a better result and hang on to the leadership after it.

But does she even want it?

Grant Robertson.
Grant Robertson. Photo credit: AAP

Grant Robertson could do the job.

As finance spokesman, he has the knowledge, the skills and capability to do the debates and compete with Bill English.

But he lacks the profile and the excitement factor of Jacinda Ardern.

The question is: would he do any better than Andrew Little?

It risks looking desperate.

Phil Twyford

Phil Twyford.
Phil Twyford. Photo credit: Getty

The other person would be Phil Twyford, who could do a caretaker role and "save the furniture".

He has the skills to be the party's leader and do the debates. He's lacking a little bit on the finance side compared to Grant Robertson but could step in and steady the ship as a temporary measure.

In his case, the question is the same as Grant Robertson.

Would either of them do any better than Andrew Little right now?

Patrick Gower is Newshub's political editor.

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