Andrew Little has squeezed past Grant Robertson by the tiniest of margins to become the latest leader of the Labour Party. Apart from remarking gloomily on the divisive implications of such a close election, and the reality of the unions being the effective king-makers. If the union movement cannot be reformed and modernised I cannot see how their stoic presence behind Little will do anything more than detract from him.
Andrew is still keen to ditch the capital gains tax, and raising the retirement age, both put him at odds with David Parker, who is giving up the finance portfolio and may not stand in the 2017 election. I think the same could be likely for Grant Robertson. He has pledged his loyalty to Little, and is giving up his leadership ambitions after losing twice in the last year. I would not be surprised if he decides he’s has a guts full eventually.
This could be the start of a long awaited Labour refresh of its brand and caucus. I am certainly not opposed to that, but it will mean a high risk time in the near future, as no-one’s job is safe. Andrew Little, last to scrape through on the Labour list in September, leads the big, old, red machine to a new tomorrow, the fifth Labour leader since 2008. Make your bets now.