Andrew Little has heeded his party's desperate call in its hour of very desperate need. The former high-profile trade union official would not wish, however, to be described as the close-to-ideal compromise choice for the vacant position of leader of the Labour Party - even if that is looking pretty much the case.
He would want to win the now three-way tussle in his own right - not because he was everyone's second choice and thus able to come through the middle. But Little's candidacy offers a route around the current impasse between Labour's parliamentary wing and the rank-and-file membership which has the latter backing David Cunliffe and the former saying they no longer have confidence in him as leader.
Little has recognised that. He is certain to pull in most of the union affiliates' votes which previously went Cunliffe's way. How much of the ordinary party members' votes will go his way is the big unknown.
Rather than the "compromise" candidate, he is selling himself as the "unity" ticket in this campaign. His pitch astutely identifies the priorities that will immediately confront whoever wins the party-wide ballot.
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The first is the pressing need to restore cohesion within caucus - something that would be impossible if Cunliffe wins the ballot. Little's second priority is the "rebuild" of the at times fractious relationship between MPs and the wider party - something Grant Robertson, the other contender, would find more difficult if his victory was largely down to him having won most of the caucus vote.
Little's message is that he can unite the party - and that Cunliffe and Robertson carry too much negative political baggage to be able to do so. Victory for Little would also represent a clean break from the party's very recent and ugly past.
Many party members, however, will be looking for indications that Little can also win elections.
He may lack an X Factor - the difference between an ordinary politician and an exceptional one who can get inside voters' heads. And he will be marked down accordingly. That may be unfair. Of the three candidates, Little is more likely to connect with the voting public because his analysis of Labour's dire election result has been far more frank than the other contenders'.
Little's critics will seize on his track record in twice losing New Plymouth. The seat is provincial New Zealand. Labour has to rack up big numbers of party votes in the provinces to get anywhere near winning in 2017. On his form, Little does not look likely to manage that. But nor do his rivals.