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Labour Party conference do-or-die for Shearer

Published: 5:37AM Friday November 16, 2012 Source: ONE News

Labour Party alumni from the past, present and future have gathered in Auckland for a crucial conference that many say could be do-or-die for leader David Shearer.

The party's 96th major annual conference kicked off today with an address from Auckland Mayor Len Brown and will conclude on Sunday with a keynote speech from the party's embattled leader.

The speech is expected to contain Shearer's vision for the party and his plan for the next election. He will also announce big changes to the way Labour elects its leader.

High-profile conference attendees will include former MP John Tamihere, who has announced his intention to once again stand for Parliament in the 2014 election, and former prime minister Helen Clark, who will meet Labour Party members at a social event.

Party president Moira Coatsworth will address the conference, and members are expected to debate issues arising from Labour's root-and-branch organisational review.

Shearer's performance suffered heavy criticism last week following a ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll that showed he was slipping in popularity against Prime Minister John Key.

However, the MP for Mt Albert has brushed off rumours a challenge to leadership will be brought up at the conference.

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