Labour: broke and broken

Labour have abandoned a challenge against Paula Bennett, for cost, time and legal reasons.

Labour will not mount a challenge against the cliff-hanger election result in the west Auckland seat of Waitakere, confirming National’s Social Development Minister Paula Bennett in the seat.

“We have made the decision against seeking an electoral petition,” Labour secretary Chris Flatt said today.

“We have considered all the options; legal, cost, time.”

Bennett was in the lead by 349 on election night but lost to Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni by 11 votes after specials were counted.

But that was overturned after Bennett sought a recount that gave her the seat by nine votes.

Flatt said the party had discussed the possibility of a challenge with those involved in the recount.

“We have confidence in the Electoral Commission and the process they took.”

A petition could have cost $30,000-$50,000 and possibly more than $100,000 if Labour had chosen to challenge on the basis of malpractice.

There is of course absolutely no suggestion of?malpractice?on National’s part. Labour are more nervous of what an electoral petition would show on their side.

In short, it’s proof that Labour are both broke and broken – they can’t afford the challenge, and they haven’t got the heart.

With David Shearer absent and disinterested in helping the interests of the union workers over Ports Crisis, and now in charge of a party with no money and no balls, it’s like John Key has Shearer’s mojo in a little box on the mantlepiece, ready for Key to take out and be amused by whenever he feels like it.

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