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Shearer: Labour MPs Know Nothing About Leadership Ultimatum

Shearer Claims Labour MPs Know Nothing About Leadership Ultimatum

Labour leader David Shearer says the party’s win in the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election is a “great” win.

Mr Shearer is happy with the over 1,700 margin of votes Ms Whaitiri achieved, which is the more than the 1500 vote margin  left-wing commentators like “Bomber” Bradbury said he needed to retain his leadership.

“Oh it's a great result,” he told TV3’s “The Nation”.

“If you look at what we've done here, we've taken somebody who four weeks ago was unknown to anybody, and has taken her through to get a result that was as good as Parekura's results in 2008.

“She's done remarkably well, and the party's done remarkable well. 

“So we'll bank that thanks very much. 

“For us that’s great. 

“We'll put that in our pocket and say yeah well done.”

Mr Shearer declined to answer questions about reports on TV3 and TVOne quoting an anonymous Labour MP  as suggesting that if he didn’t improve his standing in the next two months in the polls he would lose the leadership.

“Well who is this MP, there's anonymous comments out there,” he said.

“I don’t know who this MP is. 

“ I haven't heard anything like that. 

“ I asked my colleagues, they haven't heard anything about it. 

“So if this person's not willing to come forward why should I talk about them?”

He said he  believed the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election was a stepping stone on Labour’s quest to win back all the Maori seats they once had.

“We're going to be going out there and contesting these Maori seats really heavily.  And I believe we have a very very strong chance of gaining certainly another two at the next election, if not the whole lot,” he said.

'THE NATION'
DAVID SHEARER
Interviewed by PATRICK GOWER

Rachel 3News Political Editor, Patrick Gower, has spoken to Labour Leader David Shearer and began by asking him whether he was relieved with the result (of the Ikaroa Rawhiti bi-election).

David Shearer – Labour Leader
Oh I think we always knew that we would win but we didn’t want to be too cocky about it, we wanted to get out there on the street and work hard and make you know a good win, but that goes to Meka for being such a good candidate, but also I think goes to the party, health of the party, the organisation of the party that got out there and did it.

Patrick Is it that good a result though, I mean we've got a low turnout, if Mana and Maori got their act together and those votes were combined they'd beat Labour, the Greens candidate has come in and taken a thousand votes. Is it really that good a result?

David Oh it's a great result. Look all those are hypotheticals and if you look at what we've done here, we've taken somebody who four weeks ago was unknown to anybody, and has taken her through to get a result that was as good as Parekura's results in 2008, she's done remarkably well, and the party's done remarkable well. So we'll bank that thanks very much. For us that’s great. We'll put that in our pocket and say yeah well done.

Patrick Let's look now at those comments by that anonymous MP that were made to me speaking about this two months' notice period saying that you need to lift Labour's performance in the polls, or there could be some sort of challenge by the end of the year. What do you make of that MP's comments? Do you agree with them?

David Well who is this MP, there's anonymous comments out there. I don’t know who this MP is. I haven't heard anything like that. I asked my colleagues, they haven't heard anything about it. So if this person's not willing to come forward and you're not willing to talk about them, why should I talk about them?

Patrick But you know why I won’t, I mean do you need to look – do you need to find out who this person is, do you need some sort of hunt within your caucus to find out who this person is?

David Well as I say, they're anonymous comments to you, I don’t know who this person is and I don’t know – I haven't heard any of this sort of thing before, so I can't really comment any further than that.

Patrick Do you think that I'm making it up?

David Oh look like I say I just answered the question. I can't comment any further when I don’t know who this person is, and I haven't heard comments like this being made before.

Patrick Do you think it's obvious though what they're saying, that you know you do need to lift your game. Labour does need to lift its game, and you do need to lift your game as well?

David As I say I've answered the question about this person, whoever this person might be and move on from there.

Patrick Looking further into the result in this bi-election obviously the Maori Party have taken a hammering, third. What does that tell us?

David The Maori Party are sinking, and they're sinking fast. Mana is coming up, taking some of their vote, we're taking the other part of their vote. Here was a very embarrassing result. The death knell of this result was John Key associating himself with the Maori Party endorsing them and getting the name of their candidate wrong. I mean what worse way to go into an election than that? And people here, five young women that I met on the street today were saying you know the Maori Party says they're at the table, but they're nowhere near the table, they're getting the crumbs off the table. And as a result of that people have become disillusioned and will leave them.

Patrick Mana and Maori, if they got their act together, if there was some sort of partnership or merger, they'd beat Labour.

David Well at the moment the Maori Party can't even decide on who their leader is, let alone getting alongside the Mana Party, so we're a long way from there. But again that sort of a thing is a hypothetical, you throw that into the mix and who knows what you come out with. But the Maori Party has drifted to the right, it's associated itself with National and Hone Harawira and the Mana Party has moved to the left. Labour will take the middle.

Patrick Looking at that though, also on the left, Mana has taken some votes off Labour, also the Greens have taken some votes off Labour. Do you need to look at some sort of arrangements in the Maori seats, so that you're not doing this, you're not cannibalising each other's vote on the left. Do you need them to stand back a bit, especially the Greens
David I don’t think we need to is my honest answer to that. I do believe we're coming up. I don’t think the Greens will be a threat in the Maori seats. I think the Maori Party will disappear and we will have a much clearer run. We're going to be going out there and contesting these Maori seats really heavily. And I believe we have a very very strong chance of gaining certainly another two at the next election, if not the whole lot.

Rachel Labour Leader, David Shearer, speaking to 3New Political Editor, Patrick Gower, after the result last night.

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