Little steps down as Labour leader


Kelvin Davis was nominated as deputy, and this too was unanimously accepted.

"In the end, that's what put the pressure on Andrew Little". After Annette King stood down from the position Ardern was elected unopposed by Labour's caucus.

The Maori Party could also be a potential coalition partner after its president Tuku Morgan extended an olive branch, telling the new leaders they "need to work together or at least have a proper and meaningful discussion".

Speaking to media not long after Ms Ardern was announced as Labour's new leader; Mr English called her a "competent politician". "I do take responsibility and believe that Labour must have an opportunity to perform better under new leadership through to the election". He made the announcement before the meeting began.

Meanwhile, the polls got even uglier for Labour and Little yesterday.

New Zealand First has been the biggest beneficiary of the destabilisation of support for the major parties in last two months.

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A Herald Focus visit to the electorate - the electorate held by former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark - to gauge reaction found one woman who was leaning towards the Greens, but is now planning to vote Labour.

Mr Davis is not on the party list as part of a deal with other Maori caucus members for an all-or-nothing approach to the Maori seats, but that expected to change in line with Labour's constitution. And ominously for Little, Ardern's support rose 2.1 points to 8.7 percent, while Little's fell to 7.0 percent from 7.1 percent.

Prime Minister Bill English, of the center-right National Party is seeking reelection and enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls.

English told journalists he would respect any leader of the opposition but that they would face a lot of difficulty. It's pretty clear we need to get our message out better than we have done.

"I think I can do this", she said. These are the consequences of making poor political judgments, not having policy, for the Labour party.

This chart below bears repeating, particularly in the wake of the July 21 report from Statistics New Zealand that migration of non-New Zealand citizens hit a record high 99,300 in the year to June - again defying official forecasts. However, New Zealand's proportional representation electoral system lends itself to coalitions and Labour's slump in the polls doesn't preclude it from forming a government after the September 23 election.