Andrew Little has made the right decision at the right time to resign as Labour leader.

The four hours of speculation before his announcement to go showed that.

If he had not accepted his fate today, he would only have been postponing the inevitable and inflicting more damage on the party's support.

There would have been a bruising, if not bloody caucus meeting, which would have kept speculation alive and the polls heading south.

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But Little lost the confidence of his front bench.

There was no recovery from that because even if he had mustered the numbers from the rest of the caucus, it would have been a divided caucus.

There is no guarantee that Jacinda Ardern will stop the spiral as a new leader.

But Little can honourably claim to have done all he could in the interests of the party by standing aside.

The notion that changing a few billboards would have affected either his decision or the view of his caucus was risible.

There is much more at stake than that.

Like so many political exits, Little's departure was perhaps his finest hour.

If the voters had seen more of his decisiveness, humour and decency he would not be the fifth Labour leader to hit the dust in four elections.