Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Editorial: Shearer in danger of being eaten

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The Labour Party has unanimously voted David Shearer to be their leader heading into the election in two years' time.

It's a win for Shearer, although the timing of such an internal spat - at the party's annual conference - couldn't have been worse.

Shearer may have come out on top but he's still got a lot of work to do.

Despite a shocking 2011 election result, Labour could win the next election.

Political polls show the gloss on John Key's Government is starting to wear off and the country is growing increasingly annoyed with what could be perceived as their "like it or lump it" attitude.

But if Labour are going to win, they need to get back their sparkle.

Shearer may well be the leader of choice but he needs to toughen up if he's going to have any hope.

If he doesn't, he'll get eaten alive during an election campaign.

When you read what Shearer says, it sounds impressive. When you hear him speak the same words, you almost cringe.

While it's clear he's not an orator, he needs to stop stumbling on his words and deliver a strong message like he means business.

He should look at his predecessors for inspiration, David Lange and Helen Clark.

Politics in this country is boring when it's a one-horse race, so it's time Labour stopped mucking around if it wants to win back its supporters.

David Cunliffe has tried and has failed.

Perhaps he can spend some time and energy helping Shearer deliver a decent speech rather than trying to steal his job.

If come next year Labour is still arguing over who should lead the party, it will be another blue election result.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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