As the Greens co-leadership election continues, the pickle they are stuck in becomes more apparent.
Currently, there are two confirmed candidates: Marama Davidson and Julie Anne Genter. Both of them represent different perspectives of the Green party.
Marama Davidson represents the left wing perspective of the Greens, and the status quo. She’s Metira Turei’s heir. Due to her left-wing status, she widely considered the favourite.
But the Greens have a problem if they stick with the status quo.
Jacinda’s popularity is still on the rise. Labour is going up in the polls, although, at least for the moment, most of the support is coming from NZ First.
But the drain from NZ First will only last for so long.
Eventually, assuming Labour’s popularity continues to go up, Labour will start to suck even more support from the Greens.
And if the Greens stay as far left as they are, there is no where we they can pick up any more support from.
And even if Davidson proves successful in raising the Green vote, almost all the support she pulls in will come from Labour – meaning that there is unlikely to be a win-win situation for the current government.
That brings us to the other candidate in the race: Julie Anne Genter.
Julie Anne Genter is seen as being towards the right when it comes to the Green party at large. This has seen her pick up an endorsement from Mike Hosking – a right wing commentator.
Unlike Davidson, Genter has the opportunity to pick up support from National. But if she does so, she risks isolating the left wing perspective of the party – meaning that a net loss in the next election is very possible.
There is one more possibility.
While Eugenie Sage has not yet confirmed she will run, she has been widely speculated to.
Sage is seen very much as the “compromise candidate” in the race.
Assuming she runs and wins, the hope will be that she can draw in the best from both worlds – Keep the left-wing branch happy while drawing National voters.
But this comes at the risk of isolating both groups – meaning Sage could well be the riskiest candidate there is.
The Green party co-leadership election will probably be the most interesting event of the year.
And with it likely to be the last co-leadership election for at least a decade, this is one of the biggest choices that the Greens will have to make.
All options are risky.
So whichever way they go, hard work will be required to pull it off.