The well managed declaration of his candidacy by Silent T with its symbolism of portraits, the red roses and the inspirational speech about the "dimming of hope in the eyes of the young", led me to muse on how some of the more fraught successions were managed in the now defunct USSR.
Form a Troika in the void left by the sudden unexpected departure of the failed fishmonger may be worth consideration.
In the 1920s Lenin who emerged as leader after the October Revolution, was felled by a stroke and forced to relinquish power to a Triumvirate or Troika consisting of Kamenev, Zinoviev and Joseph Stalin with the latter eventually gaining ascendancy with unfortunate outcomes for the other two.
Lenin was fortunate in being allowed to retire to his Dacha in relative comfort until the grim reaper called.
Uncle Joe survived until 1953 when he also was felled by a stroke but he was not as fortunate as Lenin as the first of the possible successors to be informed of Stalin's collapse in a pool of urine, Beria, left the poor old bugger (it is claimed he killed more soviets than Hitler managed to) to get a lot more likely to die by denying any treatment let alone any restoration of dignity, for a whole day.
With that move turning out well, Beria head of the NKVD then joined Malenkov and Molotov to thwart Kruschev.
Didn't turn out too well for Beria though as the two "M"s combined with Wll hero Marshall Georgy Zukov and poor old Beria had a sad end with a gag stuffed in his mouth to stop him bawling and a bullet in the forehead.
The two "M"s didn't have long to enjoy that success either as Krushchev became the main man within a couple of years.
Brezhnev along with Kosygin and Podgorney tried a Troika following the political overthrow of "K" (relatively bloodless this time) but that soon had Leonid on the big chair with his fellow trioks in decline.
Things get vicious quite quickly in socialist circles sometimes.
It might not work that but as a move to buy time and hopefully see John Key off, it would have an advantage in not exposing any of the three to a lonesome failure that would be career ending as a defeat at the 2014 elections would be for any vanquished Labour leader.
Silent T, Roly Poly and The Inhouse Entertainment Manager can expect little better treatment than Beria received from the Presidium, should they fail, an outcome not entirely unlikely.