Under pressure ahead of his resignation taking effect this morning and his pending fight to regain the Labour leadership, David Cunliffe has made some candid and at times bizarre statements in the past 24 hours.
ON THE ELECTION LOSS AND HIS LEADERSHIP
1. "I don't think I have a mandate to be a leader at this point . . . that's why I'm stepping down because I'm taking responsibility for a horrific election loss." - Morning Report today.
2. "Yeah, I shed a tear, there you go. I did [cry] at one point. Some time in the last week. I don't think I'll go into details." - The Paul Henry Show last night.
ACCENTUATING THE POSITIVE
3. "A lot of people are telling me on the trail that I acquitted myself pretty well." - Morning Report.
4. "I'll tell you plenty of politicians who we now revere who were in not dissimilar circumstances. Norman Kirk in 1966 lost 2.3 per cent of the vote (which is) exactly the same." - Campbell Live last night.
5. "The voters of NZ have shown that my level of preferred PM rating was around about the same as Helen Clark in 1996, on many measures a little bit than Phil Goff in 2011." - Morning Report.
6. "This is the third election in a row the Labour party vote has gone down. Fortunately it hasn't gone down as much this time as the two previous ones, you could argue that we're starting to turn that around." - Campbell Live.
ON NATIONAL AND JOHN KEY
7. "At the end of the day people wanted stability they wanted prosperity, they saw the current Government as for now delivering that for them and they weren't prepared to take what they saw as some kind of risk for a change." - Campbell Live.
8. "John [Key's] a bit of a phenomenon, to be honest. He's got a bit of a brand there which there really isn't a parallel in recent political history for. Plus he had the benefit of a 4 per cent growth rate. It's pretty hard to get governments out in two terms." - The Paul Henry Show.
9. "Isn't it interesting that John Key is singling me out as the leader he doesn't want to be up against in 2017. I hope Labour people take notice of that." - Campbell Live.
ON HIS BID TO REGAIN THE LEADERSHIP
10. "I am seeking a new mandate ... because I believe that there is value to the party not only in having a contest but in having battle-hardened leadership that you need to take this fight to John Key." - Morning Report.
ON HIS DEPUTY IF HE REGAINS THE LEADERSHIP
11. "I have a lot of respect for Grant and I've said before if Grant is not successful I would like to hold out my hand to him as my deputy so that we can bring both sides of the team together and we can go forward together." - Campbell Live
12. "We can't be seen as a party of special interests." - Campbell Live.
13. "One of the ideas that is floating around - that is a party matter because it would require a constitutional change - is to examine the possibility of having co-deputy positions where one may be Maori." - Native Affairs last night.