New Zealand: Gay leadership hopeful narrowly loses bid by one per cent

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A gay politician who was running for the Labour leadership in New Zealand narrowly lost his bid in the final round of voting.

Out politician Grant Robertson was running to become leader of the Labour party, after former leader David Cunliffe agreed to trigger a leadership challenge and seek a new mandate.

The MP for Wellington Central, who topped the party caucus ballot at the last leadership election in 2013 but lost out due to a split voting system, led the polls in party and caucus votes.

However, after leading the first round of voting he trailed behind his rival Andrew Little in the last two.

Robertson won 49.48 per cent of the vote compare to Little’s 50.52 per cent.

After the results were announced, he said: “I want to make clear that having put myself forward for the leadership on two occasions now that I will not do so again.

“I will do whatever is asked of me to see that [Labour] government elected.”

Robertson has said being gay is “an aspect of who I am just as I like rugby and drink beer and a few other things.”

He added: “I don’t think it’s relevant whether a person is gay or straight in terms of whether they’ll be a good leader.”