Interesting to see it was a dead heat for the position of Labour caucus representative on their party list selection committee. It took a coin toss to decide the winner.
The nominees, David Cunliffe and David Parker, are tipped as the likely front-runners to take over from Phil Goff. So it was an important election to gauge the support of their colleagues.
Cunliffe got lucky to beat his possible future leadership rival and become a player in deciding his caucus colleagues' fates. That in turn may well decide his, when the time comes. The more extroverted of the two, Cunliffe is disliked by some of his colleagues because apparently he is too ambitious, too clever by half and too confident in his abilities.
Frankly, I would have thought an extroverted, ambitious, smart and confident leader was just what the Labour Party needs at present.
Parker is rated by people I respect. I don't know why, as I've always seen him as a grey boffin-type. However, last Sunday's revelation that he's involved with someone else's partner makes him a little more three-dimensional, although it's not the attention he would obviously want.
If the caucus had to pick Goff's replacement now, Cunliffe would be the front-runner but clearly there's no great enthusiasm from the other MPs.
The only other realistic contender is Shane Jones. For obvious reasons, he's out of the running, at least for the medium term. Given a sufficient time lapse and providing he can beat Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau come November, then he still has a shot.
Longer term, it's a toss-up between former party president Andrew Little and Wellington Central's Grant Robertson.
I still believe Goff has little chance of beating Key in eight months. It's not fair. But John Key is just too popular, despite starting to show himself as a bit of a lightweight.
Goff should be all over him but his party seem so fixated on their navels they can't see the opportunities when they hit them in the face.
AMI insurance anyone?
The major problem the Labour Party has is that it doesn't seem able to look like they are trying to win.
It's clear they are sleep-walking to defeat. They look tired and lacklustre.
Frankly, they look like a bunch of losers and it annoys me. Everyone knows the game plan is that, through a lack of an alternative option, they let Goff run until the election then replace him. Then supposedly they will make an effort for the elections in 2014.
That may well make sense, given that it's plainly obvious they are a hopeless opposition, so why would anyone think they're ready for government?
No doubt it's a cruisy assignment for their current MPs who, with the exception of Ross Robertson and Liane Dalziel, have all lobbied for high list places while pretending they are serious about winning their electorates. They want a bob each way.
If sitting electorate MPs were not permitted to stand on the list, we'd see a bit more life in them.
Have you heard anything in the past three years from Ashraf Choudhry? Rajen Prasad? Carmel Sepuloni? Raymond Huo? Moana Mackey? Mita Ririni? I rest my case.
A Labour-led government is always better then a National-led government for ordinary people.
But the Labour Party needs to take its responsibilities more seriously than it is.
On its current performance, it just may go down the path Bill English led his party in 2002 - to a historic defeat, gaining a measly 21 per cent of the vote.
Labour should take that lesson seriously.
I look forward to its completed party list to see whether it promotes new and current talent and takes the cleaver to its non-performers.
Otherwise, it is simply rearranging the deck chairs on a ship that may well sink.
I hope for their supporters' sakes they do the former.By Matt McCarten Email Matt