David And Winston

David And Winston

Wellingon – One of the final acts of the 2011 election plays out tomorrow with Labour MPs gathering to elect a new leader.

Both informal counts of caucus and iPredict traders have put David Shearer ahead of David Cunliffe, but not yet certain to replace Phil Goff.

The race to replace to Annette King as deputy remains a bit more murky though Shearer’s preferred candidate Grant Robertson is ahead of Cunliffe’s pick of Nanaia Mahuta.

Despite the primary style contest that Labour had undergone and all the private deals and promises in the end it is a secret ballot of 34 MPs that will decide the outcome and then have to live with it.

Whoever wins will first have to reunite their caucus before preparing to take on John Key after the summer recess.

The official leader of the opposition will also find themselves in competition with an expanded Green caucus and Winston Peters in the House.

There are two very different theories on how Peters will conduct himself in the coming Parliament.

One is that he will spend the next three years rebuilding his somewhat tarnished reputation and seek to become the feisty elder statesman.

The other is that he will come out with all guns blazing seeking vengeance on those who he believes did him wrong.

It is difficult to gauge such issues on iPredict, but one set of stocks asks whether Peters will ordered to leave the House by the Speaker in the first few months of the 50th Parliament.

Currently the market thinks there is just a 57 percent probability of this happening before 31 March 2012.

His performance in Parliament will be interesting.

Peters was a master of the use/misuse of Standing Orders (the rules of Parliament) to make has mark and in particular using points of order to make political points.

Those rules have changed a great deal in Peters three year absence, as has Lockwood Smith’s interpretation of them.

It is unlikely that Peters will agree with the changes and it is hard to imagine him keeping his displeasure to himself.

ends

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