12 Dec 2011

Race for Labour leadership tight ahead of vote

6:02 am on 12 December 2011

One of the candidates for the Labour Party leadership, David Cunliffe, says the race will go down to the wire.

Mr Cunliffe and fellow contender David Shearer have given their final speeches to party members before votes are cast by the party's Parliamentary caucus on Tuesday.

About 600 people turned up to hear the men speak at the University of Auckland's Business School on Sunday, the last of a series of meetings throughout the country.

Both men said the meeting was the final chance to put their best foot forward.

Mr Cunliffe said outside the meeting that the race between the two has narrowed and will go down to the wire.

Mr Shearer was reluctant to talk about how much caucus support he has and says that's a matter to be dealt with after Tuesday's meeting.

As well as choosing who takes over from Phil Goff, Labour's 34 MPs will vote for a deputy leader to replace Annette King.