THE Labour party will vote on the leadership of David Shearer at an urgent caucus meeting tomorrow.
It comes after new rules were set at the party conference, which require at least 60 percent support to avoid a run-off allowing party members and union affiliates to have a say.
Shearer has been under pressure from within the party, with rival David Cunliffe confirming he would endorse his leader for the time being.
However he would not rule out a leadership bid in February, meaning he is likely to be demoted.
A formal endorsement vote was likely to be held then, in line with the new rules.
Cunliffe had angered colleagues with his failure to endorse Shearer at the party conference.
“I’m holding this vote tomorrow to demonstrate that I have the support of my caucus and to put recent speculation to bed,” Shearer told Fairfax NZ.
“It is important that these matters are resolved so that Labour can lift its sights to focus on the serious challenges facing the country, including jobs, education and housing affordability,” he said
Shadow attorney-general Charles Chauvel and energy and climate spokesperson Moana Mackey may also face demotion by Shearer, although Lianne Dalziel is likely to avoid action as she is not a ring-leader in the agitation for Cunliffe, and is well regarded for her work in Christchurch.
Cunliffe was thought to be mounting a leadership bid, but after losing the support of Su’a William Sio and Rono Tirikatene at the weekend, could only call on seven of the caucus for support, well short of the 14 to spark a run-off.
Senior Whip Chris Hipkins confirmed Shearer had called a meeting to allow a endorsement vote to take place.