The Dim-Post

March 28, 2015

I am cheerfully suspicious

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:32 pm

There’s going to be screeds of analysis written about what went wrong for National in Northland. Most of it is, I think, pretty obvious. So two quick points:

  • I don’t understand why Peters decided this was a good idea. Maybe he has some clever strategy, or maybe he just saw an opportunity and took it. But this might not work out that well for him in 2017. He’ll be fighting a nation-wide campaign as leader of New Zealand First and a fierce electorate battle. I wonder if Labour will campaign for this electorate in the General election?
  • By-elections have very low turnout so they’re all about motivating your base. You can see the strength of National’s campaign machine in the results: the polls had Osbourne at 34% but his actual result is 40% because National is very good at mobilising their voters.  Peters still won though, because at least 5000 Labour voters turned out and voted strategically for a candidate from another party. I find this very suspicious and suspect that Peters had extensive support from the Labour Party in this campaign.

32 Comments »

  1. How can Labour run a candidate in this seat in 2017?. If Willow Jean and Labour were’t good enough in 2015, why will she be good enough in 2017?

    Comment by artcroft — March 28, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

  2. Artcroft: Same reason all parties run candidates in hopeless seats: party vote. (MMP’s been around for 20 years, you know).

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — March 28, 2015 @ 10:00 pm

  3. I find this very suspicious and suspect that Peters had extensive support from the Labour Party in this campaign.

    Given your Green allegiance, and Labour’s historic collusion with Winston under Clark to exclude the Greens from any role in governmemt, your suspicion is understandable.

    Comment by Joe W — March 28, 2015 @ 10:01 pm

  4. Point one. You mean Winston is behaving like a day trader, a short term win with no care for the long term?

    Point two, labour is getting organised and effective?

    Comment by Knob Endt — March 28, 2015 @ 10:07 pm

  5. Let’s just be thankful for now that National are unlikely to be able to destroy the RMA this term. This result also shows that media trumpeting National’s 2014 election result as some sort of post MMP rout was pure nonsense. They only got 1 more seat than last time and now they’ve lost that, yay🙂

    Comment by Corokia — March 28, 2015 @ 10:08 pm

  6. Does this mean there’s now a Leader of the Opposition?

    The lesson for Lsbour and Green voters is if you want s change vote NZF.

    Comment by NeilM — March 28, 2015 @ 10:18 pm

  7. Andrew Little: “Very proud of Willow Jean Prime’s campaign. A force for the future for the North”.

    Is this delusional or just disingenuous?

    Comment by NeilM — March 28, 2015 @ 10:25 pm

  8. Be interested to see how Key brushes this defeat off, congratulations Winston.

    Comment by Woz — March 28, 2015 @ 10:40 pm

  9. The words ‘pyrrhic victory ‘ keep floating through my mind.

    Comment by Lee Clark — March 28, 2015 @ 10:41 pm

  10. I can’t find a reference from my phone, but didn’t Winston make a statement post Dirty Politics publication along the lines of how he was going to do whatever was within his power to prevent the government from governing as a consequence? (Even more than he might have said something like that normally.)

    Comment by izogi — March 28, 2015 @ 10:50 pm

  11. Hmmm, your second point seems to be heading somewhat into tinfoil hat ‘Labour must always be wrong’ territory. Note that the total vote in this by-election was 82% of that in the 2014 Election, but the total candidate vote for Osborne – in straight numbers – was 62% of Sabin’s total. If the National candidate vote had just declined in line with the overall turnout, Osborn would have got ~15,000 votes won with over 50% of the total. That suggests there was a *massive* failure in National’s voter mobilisation, and/or a large number of people who previously voted for Sabin chose Winston this time. What’s more, in this election Winston gained 1000 more votes than the combined Labour, Green & NZ First party vote in 2014, on an 18% lower turnout. Winston obviously won because of the Left (including Green voters) behaving strategically, but you really don’t need to conjure up a secret mobilisation conspiracy to explain this result.

    Comment by NBH — March 28, 2015 @ 11:00 pm

  12. I suppose the post-game analysis will be hamstrung in the same way as the campaign commentary – if we can’t talk about what we can’t talk about, then how can we talk about how much it affected people’s votes?

    The Gower-Garner-Owen show on TV3 perfectly illustrated this. Take out the facts and all you have is a reckon. (Which the telly pundits actually prefer, it’s far less work).

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — March 28, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

  13. Most likely it’ll revert back to National at the next general election.

    At which point it’s hard to see what Labour will have gained above a very short term poke in Key’s eye.

    National offered up a sacrificial lamb on Epsom and got a support party.

    Labour offered up one to Winston and gets what. Winston? A party and MP already in parliament.

    Comment by NeilM — March 28, 2015 @ 11:54 pm

  14. It’s odd, Labour don’t want to be seen as having helped Winston but are celebrating his success. Like they think pulling the plug on their candidate didn’t go unnoticed.

    And no electorate deals for the Greens.

    The short term gain of making life slightly more uncomfortable for Key played off against some form of longer term left wing alliance.

    Comment by NeilM — March 29, 2015 @ 1:01 am

  15. Gosh, NeilM … National loses in a seat it has commanded for over 50 years, has its legislative priorities thrown into doubt because it now has to rely on Dunne, and has its senior figures (Key and Joyce) horribly embarrassed by being proven ineffectual.

    Can’t see any upside for the opposition parties in that. So thanks for reminding me that Labour were the real losers out of this. It’s good that we can rely on you for that.

    Comment by Flashing Light — March 29, 2015 @ 7:57 am

  16. Well I’m content to admit I was wrong on this about the result. I though National would gain a very tightly reduced majority and sqeak home. I’d call this a ‘bad taste by-election’, though.

    Practically every aspect of how our politicians and their machinations over this has left a bad taste in my mouth, apart from the result, and how the people of Northland finally, got to have their say….

    Comment by Lee Clark — March 29, 2015 @ 8:29 am

  17. Your Mom’s odd.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 29, 2015 @ 8:39 am

  18. Meanwhile DPF is claiming Winston’s victory as a shot in the foot for the Greens, if Winston ends up in bed with Labour after the next election. Is this just sour grapes?

    Comment by Lee Clark — March 29, 2015 @ 9:00 am

  19. Danyl said Winston was going to lose, so I’m confused about this post.

    Comment by Ross — March 29, 2015 @ 9:19 am

  20. Meanwhile DPF is claiming Winston’s victory as a shot in the foot for the Greens, if Winston ends up in bed with Labour after the next election.

    DPF is searching for any possible upside to the fact that the guy he absolutely hates just demolished his party at the by-election and ruined its flagship plan for its third term in office, reducing it to again managing rather than governing. DPF is a human being and (like all human beings) has to construct ways of coping with loss.

    Comment by Flashing Light — March 29, 2015 @ 9:19 am

  21. if we can’t talk about what we can’t talk about, then how can we talk about how much it affected people’s votes?

    A quick scan of the internet helps to explain why Mike Sabin resigned as an MP. I imagine they have the internet in Northland.

    Comment by Ross — March 29, 2015 @ 9:23 am

  22. ‘I imagine they have the internet in Northland.’

    they also have stock agents, which work even faster

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 29, 2015 @ 9:32 am

  23. ” I find this very suspicious and suspect that Peters had extensive support from the Labour Party in this campaign.” says Danyl.

    Well … for these Northland electorate normally Labour voters, we – in our household and those of our whanau – didn’t see any of this so-called “extensive” support coming from Labour for Winston. We just had a message – via the media – from the Labour Leader and that was it !

    But we watched the polls, and the sheer ridiculousness of the Nat fight-back, and with the background “speculation” of Sabin’s departure – and we voted accordingly.

    Comment by Jenny Kirk — March 29, 2015 @ 11:53 am

  24. Thanks for that Jenny. Maybe I’m just over-complicating things, as usual.

    Comment by danylmc — March 29, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

  25. “I don’t understand why Peters decided this was a good idea.” – I think Winnie just made that clear “NZ First leader Winston Peters says NZ First may decide not to bring an extra MP into Parliament”.

    He will screw his own party on a fig leaf of dredged up long forgotten policy. National will get to keep the majority to push through policy even without Maori Party support (RMA reforms). The price will not be paid to NZ First, but rather directly to Sir Winston, future High Commissioner to London (or perhaps somewhere sunnier).

    Staggeringly cynical, but well-played politics. Pretty much vintage Peters.

    Comment by Ralph — March 29, 2015 @ 1:58 pm

  26. First point is make is the visceral hatred of Peters from the political elites – particularly the political right and it’s media clique – is clearly not reflected in the wider voting public. DPF was ranting again about Peters “wrecks governments” but really, Peters was OK in office during the Clark years. Secondly, this is the ultimate vindication of Andrew Little’s finely finessed message to Labour voters. Like it or not, he handled Labour’s messaging brilliantly. Thirdly, all the concerned trollery in the world from the right isn’t going to change the fact that John Key, the teflon king of talkback jocularity and all round celeb, just had his clocked cleaned well and good. The aura of invincibility is well and truly gone. And as for Joyce… Dear oh dear.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 29, 2015 @ 2:19 pm

  27. DPF was ranting again about Peters “wrecks governments” but really, Peters was OK in office during the Clark years.

    Remember that Peters kept everyone guessing in the immediate aftermath of the 2005 election. During that brief neverland DPF couldn’t have been more deferential, and the scars of unrequited passion no doubt still fester. As someone ever so succinctly put it back then, the mood on Kiwiblog was very much “Please, please Winston, say yes, I’ve got _such_ a stiffy!”

    Comment by Joe W — March 29, 2015 @ 2:52 pm

  28. @Ralph,

    National will get to keep the majority to push through policy even without Maori Party support (RMA reforms).

    Not so. National presently has 59 seats. This result means it needs 2 extra votes in the House to pass legislation (ACT + UF, or the Maori Party) – 61 is a majority in a 120 or a 121 seat House. So Peters bringing in an extra MP doesn’t change the situation one way or another.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 29, 2015 @ 3:44 pm

  29. Perhaps the explanation is people generally vote for what/who they know. Winston has – for better or worse – high name recognition, and the other two candidates didn’t really. Add in the shady Mike Sabin departure and it probably didn’t help the new candidate. That said, I don’t think Winston will hold onto this seat in 2017 and I’m not sure the loss is canary down the mine for National nationwide either, as much as some would like it to be. Very specific circumstances in play. Not sure if Labour helped Winston out but they certainly didn’t go hard in the seat as they might have with a major national-level narrative in play.

    Comment by m_c — March 30, 2015 @ 3:12 am

  30. I see that as a reasonable summary mc. The acid-test as to how reasonable, unfortunately, will relate to the probability of it being dimissed as ‘concern-trolling’.

    Comment by Lee Clark — March 30, 2015 @ 8:11 am

  31. I can see Peters putting in a token effort in Northland at the next election. he can say to his local voters: “If you like what I’m doing as leader of NZ First, then vote for NZ First with two ticks, but at least give me your party vote if you prefer Labour or National locally”. He has more than two years. His national campaign for NZ First can stand in for his local campaign for the most part.

    Comment by Steve Withers — March 31, 2015 @ 10:11 am

  32. National has been reminded that 47% of the vote is 47% of the vote. Key seems to have got the message. he doesn’t have a National Party majority in Parliament. So he can’t act like he has. Looks like he may have woken up a bit…and Steven Joyce’ stock may have fallen somewhat. Fingers crossed.

    I want TVNZ 7 back….and the City Rail Link in Auckland. National has to goooooo.

    Comment by Steve Withers — March 31, 2015 @ 10:15 am


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