Election 2023: Leaked internal Labour feedback from Mt Albert shows Chris Hipkins on 'chuck' list

An internal Labour Party election feedback about the ground campaign for one of its backbenchers has been leaked to Newshub.  

Helen White held onto the historic Labour stronghold of Mt Albert by only 20 votes and her volunteers are blaming Chris Hipkins, the Green Party and captain's calls for the wafer-thin win. 

She may have asked for Mt Albert's vote but she only just got enough - she won by 20.

"I didn't decimate the vote," she told Newshub on Tuesday.   

Before it was White's, the seat was former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern's. She won it in 2020 by 21,000 votes.   

"You guys are really going for me. Is there any particular reason?" White asked on Tuesday when probed by journalists about the narrow margin.   

Newshub can reveal what exactly Whites' team is blaming for her extraordinarily narrow victory.

We have been leaked feedback from her local volunteers about the election. We tried to ask her about it at Parliament on Wednesday morning,    

"I don't know about it," she responded. "Maybe just get back to me and I will have a look at what you're talking about."

The leaked email includes keep and chuck lists - basically what went well and what didn't this campaign.  

Included on the keep list are door-knocking, sign waving, pushing for 16-year-olds to vote and "a fab candidate".   

Asked what she made of the fact her own volunteers were leaking against her, White said: "I don't think my own volunteers are leaking against me, Amelia."  

On the chuck list - what didn't go well - were bad numbers in their phone bank database, the Greens, complacency on safe seats, Labour's manifesto being late and ineffective, poor morale and campaigning on the party's management - not vision.   

But there was also a major point: They want to chuck Hipkins.    

"We'll do it this way. You send me the information and I'll come and talk to you about it - I'm very happy to do it but that's the way to do it, you know?" White said.

"Come and talk to me, have a real conversation instead of this kind of thing."

The leaked email was shared with Newshub from someone who was disgruntled that the knives were out for Hipkins and the Greens and there wasn't any real reflection about White.

She holds possibly Labour's most precious seat. Mt Albert is the political home of its leaders - not just Dame Jacinda's, but Helen Clark and Labour's prophet Michael Joseph Savage.  

After our exchange with White on Wednesday morning, Newshub got sent a statement from her saying she supports Hipkins as Labour leader as does the Mt Albert electorate committee, and there were a wide range of views about why Labour lost.   

And White's own victory is not yet set in stone - National's getting a judicial recount in the seat.