Video: Cunliffe's sights set on long-term leadership

David Cunliffe
David Cunliffe
David Cunliffe would like to remain Labour leader and take the party into the 2017 election, even if the party loses at the September 20 election.

"In general, and with any new leader, you go through a learning curve," he said.

"I think there is a very strong argument that it would be a waste of time, energy and resources to go through that process and start again."

Asked if he planned to stay on no matter what the result, he said, "Unless I feel like I have done such a bad job that it would be in the interests of the party for me not to put myself forward -- if that question arises."

Mr Cunliffe was speaking in the Herald's Hot Seat series, video interviews of party leaders running on

Mr Cunliffe suggested he had been handicapped by having been Labour leader for only a year.

Having lost a leadership contest after Labour's loss in the 2011 election, he was elected in September last year after David Shearer stepped down.

It was also difficult for an Opposition party being up against the resources of state.

But he was having fun on the campaign and many Labour supporters were campaigning hard.

Speaking about the shape of a Labour-led government, Mr Cunliffe said he would like to put a "solid coalition" potentially across Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First.

It was clear that the largest coalition governed, not the largest party.

"So there is every possibility of putting together a governing coalition across Labour, the Greens and potentially New Zealand First."

Mr Cunliffe has ruled out having Internet-Mana MPs in ministerial positions but is open to a confidence and supply agreement.

The decision was "really a matter about New Zealanders' comfort levels" with a new party that had no track record and was bankrolled by Kim Dotcom.

He would not comment on the desire of the Green co-leaders, Metiria Turei and Russel Norman, to become co-deputy Prime Ministers.

But he reiterated that the finance portfolio would definitely stay with Labour.

- Audrey Young of the New Zealand Herald

Good thing

I know for sure that the Nats don't like Cunliffe and I reckon that's simply because he come across very well just as John Key does. What he doesn't have though is Key's cunning.


Cunliffe is Labour's biggest problem, next to the Green party eroding their voter base from the left and scaring it away from the centre. I don't think even the unions will want him if/when it becomes evident that the general public don't want him, or when it becomes evident that David Cunliffe, Metiria Turei, Russel Norman, Hone Harawira, Kim Dotcom's Leila Harre, and John Minto are simply too many unstable personalities to form a stable Government.

Putting a brave face on it

I know David Cunliffe has to act as though there is the slightest possibility that Labour might actually win this election, but the overwhelming likelihood is that Labour will remain in opposition and his head will roll as leader before Christmas.