By 3 News online staff
A week is a long time in politics, and it must feel like it for Labour Party leader David Shearer.
In the lead-up to his first party conference as leader, he's taken a battering from critics in the blogosphere and the media.
That's led to speculation about how long he'll keep his job, but he believes he is performing in his role.
“We were 20 points behind in the election last year, in about 10 months we’ve closed that gap to around about half between ourselves and National, that’s a pretty good effort,” he told Firstline this morning.
Mr Shearer says his party does need to improve, but believes it has done well to close the gap.