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No Firm Moves Toward New Left-Wing Party

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Sue Bradford
Sue Bradford

By Alastair Bull of NZPA

Auckland, Nov 28 NZPA - Activists spent two hours discussing the merits of a new left-wing party in Auckland yesterday, but no concrete moves have been made to take such a step.

Former MP Sue Bradford and former Alliance president Matt McCarten were among those at the Unite Union annual meeting yesterday discussing whether the time had arrived for a party to be set up towards the left of Labour.

Ms Bradford and Mr McCarten raised the concept of a new party at the beginning of the discussion and sought feedback on what should be done rather than telling those present that a new party should definitely be launched.

Ms Bradford, the former Green MP, said any such party had to be broad-based and its momentum needed to come from a large groundswell of people rather than a few high-profile leaders.

Most people at the session said it was unclear if the time was right for any such party to emerge, but many thought it was ultimately a good idea.

At the end of the session, Ms Bradford said she hoped the left would take advantage of any window of opportunity should one come up.

Mr McCarten said the left should be wary of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters capitalising off a gap on the left at next year's general election to capture unhappy working-class voters.

Mr McCarten last week stood in the Mana by-election, campaigning on a $15 an hour minimum wage and securing 3000 new jobs for the electorate.

He received 816 votes, or 3.6 percent of votes cast, and said a number of voters probably switched support near the end of the campaign to Labour candidate Kris Faafoi in the event of the Labour-National contest being close.

Mr Faafoi won the contest by 1080 votes from National's Hekia Parata.

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