The Dim-Post

August 5, 2016

Labour ascendent

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:09 am

Celia Wade-Brown has called a press conference for later today where she will, presumably, announce that she isn’t contesting the mayoralty and that she’s endorsing Justin Lester. Who will almost certainly win. Which will mean that after the local body elections the mayors of our three largest cities will be Labour Party politicians. Is there a counter-cyclical thing happening here, in which the Parliamentary party is languishing so the good candidates switch to local body politics? A dumb coincidence? Something else?

47 Comments »

  1. My pleasurable schadenfreude of David Farrar’s at least thrice weekly rants at the evils of the communists in the WCC will now double. Happy days.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 5, 2016 @ 9:27 am

  2. Is it so surprising? Even though National is streets ahead of Labour in parliamentary elections, the overall Left-Right split in the vote is very, very close across the country as a whole. You’d then expect urban areas to tilt more left than right. So in local body elections for mayor where it comes down to a left vs a right (or, as it happens, more than one right) candidate, they should have an advantage … shouldn’t they?

    Labours predicted winning of the three mayoralties may thus be more a consequence of the linkage of the various left candidates with Labour, rather than a thing-in-itself.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 5, 2016 @ 9:29 am

  3. Coincidence I think. Although it shows the quality of Labour’s intakes in 1980s and even 1990 that Labour people from that era were responsible for at least two new parties (Alliance and Act) and that Phil and Lianne are still important figures in NZ politics.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — August 5, 2016 @ 9:30 am

  4. My pleasurable schadenfreude of David Farrar’s at least thrice weekly rants at the evils of the communists in the WCC will now double. Happy days.

    No doubt some student union will do something that outrages the dormant student politician in him, so he’ll go chasing back down the alleys of his past looking for an ankle to bite.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 5, 2016 @ 9:30 am

  5. Listed company Infratil is an astute investor in heavily regulated industries. They have made compound after tax returns to shareholders of 17.95% per annum since listing. Returns in regulated (Commerce Commission) industries such as airports are basically guaranteed (regular returns vs WACC calculations).

    Infratil must have seen Justin Lester coming a mile off – a politician who seeks votes, and can get those from uninformed voters by promising to spend other people’s money. Of course, if elected he will also be the politician on the other side of the table when the question of payment for the airport extension comes up. Just like he was when “negotiating” with Singapore Airlines for their $800,000 per annum subsidy. Infratil want the public purse to fund 100% of the extension, but I doubt that Infratil will be willing to forego any of the increased landing charges and other revenues from the international flights (if they come).

    Is there any wonder that Tim Brown, executive at Infratil, Chair of the Board of Wellington Airport appears prominently on Lester’s campaign video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDUJNE35cJQ) endorsing him?

    There are some pretty expensive billboards up all over town as well. Lester must have been selling a lot of takeaways at his part-owned shop lately (although not enough to pay all his staff the “living wage”).

    Comment by Just an average voter — August 5, 2016 @ 9:33 am

  6. FPP thinking. Polls show Labour/Green level with National. That’s why you’re seeing here.

    Comment by Jamesy — August 5, 2016 @ 9:44 am

  7. Yeah, just a big coincidence, Matthew. Your analysis slays every time.

    Comment by Chris — August 5, 2016 @ 9:48 am

  8. I don’t think Wade-Brown will endorse Lester and that it’s much more likely she will not endorse anyone. There’s bad blood between her and the leftwing Councillors.

    In the case of Dalziel, she is the most popular politicians in Chch by far and away – she was seen as an effective advocate for the east of the city and was herself red-zoned, as well as being fairly business-friendly and pragmatic. I doubt there will be a viable rightwin challenger to her and Minto is a joke.

    In the case of Goff, he’s a household name and known as a moderate, and the right is split. In Auckland and Christchurch the left has usually failed to win the mayoralty unless the right is split, although I doubt anyone except Richie McCaw could beat Goff.

    Lester has a very strong campaign, but STV might prove to be his undoing. In an FPP contest he’d have little trouble without Wade-Brown contesting, but Leggat has much higher name recognition than he has and a lot of (developer) money behind him – enough to do direct mail to every household before the campaign period! I think it’s an even contest between Lester and Leggat.

    I think it’s partly cyclical, but I think the main issue is that the right seem to be disunited at municipal level. The internecine battles for control of National seem to express themselves at local level, although Future Auckland is a major development. Whereas the left are getting more organised at local level, partly because of central government woes but also because in recent years (since 2010) party-branded candidates have been winning.

    Comment by RHT — August 5, 2016 @ 10:10 am

  9. If you’re right about Lester getting in (and personally, I hope you’re not) then I think Lester will get in like Celia did the first time: off second preferences.

    Still, better to have a majority’s second preference elected, than a minority’s first.

    Comment by Auto_immune — August 5, 2016 @ 10:15 am

  10. Fuck. In my 9.30am comment I forgot to mention United Future! How could I ever have forgotten them?

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — August 5, 2016 @ 10:37 am

  11. Well Justin Lester is a Labour candidate in some parts of wellington and in other parts he has blanked out the Labour part on his billboards!

    Comment by rjs131 — August 5, 2016 @ 11:09 am

  12. Phil Goff as a ‘good candidate switching to local body politics’? Yeah, nah.

    Comment by MeToo — August 5, 2016 @ 11:27 am

  13. Some analysis of the Auckland situation here. https://aucklandelections.wordpress.com/

    Comment by Stephen — August 5, 2016 @ 11:44 am

  14. @Auto_immune,

    If you’re right about Lester getting in (and personally, I hope you’re not) then I think Lester will get in like Celia did the first time: off second preferences.

    If he gets in off second preferences, then he’ll be doing well! There are 8 candidates, a number of whom are “serious”. It’ll probably take a number of redistributions for any one candidate to get 50% + 1 of the votes cast. In 2010, it took 5 … and Wade-Brown only pulled ahead of Prendergast on the last redistribution.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 5, 2016 @ 11:57 am

  15. RJS that’s complete nonsense.

    Comment by Jamesy — August 5, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

  16. Lester is well liked across Wellington and a very credible candidate. He’s also got the best organisation behind him. If true, this frees up the Greens to put their resources into their own candidates (rather than sending activists across to work for the friendly independent). Free, Pannett, and Lee all need to run solid campaigns to keep their seats.

    I hope someone sorts out GWRC. For all the complaining about WCC, that’s where the real mess is.

    Comment by Romance — August 5, 2016 @ 12:43 pm

  17. jamesy
    Look at billboard on onslow road, maybe 300 metres down from the school, on the side of the road which the traffic goes down. everytime I have run past it, it is blanked/painted over.

    Comment by rjs131 — August 5, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

  18. more specifically just by Benares Road

    Comment by rjs131 — August 5, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

  19. Free, Pannett, and Lee all need to run solid campaigns to keep their seats.

    For sure.
    Free has been pretty woeful in the Eastern Ward; and that’s even in the company of such esteemed jobsworths as ‘Swampy’ Marsh and Ahipene-Mercer.
    To their credit though, even these guys aren’t as shit as Rob Goulden was.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 5, 2016 @ 1:26 pm

  20. “It’ll probably take a number of redistributions for any one candidate to get 50% + 1 of the votes cast. In 2010, it took 5 … and Wade-Brown only pulled ahead of Prendergast on the last redistribution..”

    Yes, of course. I do recall some people (Prendergast supporters) attempting to use that as a reason to ditch STV at the time. Fortunately, they were indeed the minority.

    Comment by Auto_immune — August 5, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

  21. Christchurch and Wellington have a tradition of labour endorsed Mayors who win, Auckland not so much, but the supercity may have changed things.
    As Mao said ‘ its too soon to tell’ and that was about the French Revolution !

    Comment by ghostwhowalksnz — August 5, 2016 @ 1:36 pm

  22. By the by, Celia hasn’t endorsed anybody. Yet.

    Comment by Auto_immune — August 5, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

  23. Doubt Lester has done that. Given they’re his hoardings he could just print different versions without the logo. Looks like vandals to me.

    Comment by Jamesy — August 5, 2016 @ 1:57 pm

  24. “If you’re right about Lester getting in (and personally, I hope you’re not) then I think Lester will get in like Celia did the first time: off second preferences. Still, better to have a majority’s second preference elected, than a minority’s first.”

    I don’t see any issue with the winner crossing the line on second or third or fourth preferences. It’s just a consequence of how STV works, which helpfully removes the dilemma that voters often face under FPP. No matter how many iterations it takes, STV still confirms by the end that a majority of voters would have preferred the winner over the second-place-getter if they were made to choose between just those two options.

    Comment by izogi — August 5, 2016 @ 2:34 pm

  25. Andrew Geddis: “Is it so surprising? Even though National is streets ahead of Labour in parliamentary elections, the overall Left-Right split in the vote is very, very close across the country as a whole. You’d then expect urban areas to tilt more left than right. So in local body elections for mayor where it comes down to a left vs a right … candidate, they should have an advantage … shouldn’t they ?”

    I’d take issue with a number of your contentions there, Andrew.

    (1) “the overall Left-Right split in the vote is very, very close across the country as a whole.”

    No. The Opposition Bloc-Government Bloc split is, at very best, close-ish (Govt Bloc 49% / Oppo Bloc 46%). 3 Point gap. But the Right at the last Election EASILY beat the Left (53% to 37%). A massive 16 point chasm. Don’t like saying it as a Leftie but – after 3 consecutive Election defeats – no point in indulging in wishful thinking and comfy blanket territory. Things may well have changed dramatically since then (though depends on which recent polls you prefer) but the contention that the Left-Right split in recent elections was extremely close is wrong.

    (2) “You’d then expect urban areas to tilt more left than right. So in local body elections for mayor where it comes down to a left vs a right … candidate, they should have an advantage … shouldn’t they ?”

    No, I think I’m right in saying that at the last Election, the Left only outperformed the Right in our own two respective towns (me – Wellington / you – Dunedin). You then have 2 or 3 provincial cities where NZF effectively “hold the balance of power” (ie the Right beats the Left but the Oppo Bloc beats the Right) … and then every other city (including Auckland and Christchurch) tilts (mildly or strongly) to the political Right.

    Given its size, there’s a good argument to say that ‘Where Auckland goes, New Zealand goes’ at Election-time.

    Comment by swordfish — August 5, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

  26. @Swordfish,

    I guess for the purposes of local government type issues (which tend to be more hip-pocket than social values), I’d lump NZ First in with “the Left”. But my general (seat of my pants, gut feeling only) point is that I don’t see the success of Labour branded candidates as reflective of liking for Labour, and more that urban voters may be supportive of candidates/positions with a general lefty tint who then happen to be running under a Labour banner. Why, then, doesn’t that transfer through to success for Labour/”the Left” at national elections? Well, I think Danyl may have posted on this separately …. !

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 5, 2016 @ 5:31 pm

  27. Maybe the Green Party could actually field a candidate selected and endorsed by members (instead of a ‘green’ candidate who wasn’t very green at all). Or is it too late for that process?

    It is STV, so a further candidate wouldn’t split the vote. Maybe Russel Norman might be persuadable?

    Comment by richdrich — August 5, 2016 @ 9:53 pm

  28. I thought everyone had forgotten that Celia was a Green Party activist. Wearing a party political brand as a flag of convenience seems a useful tactic to those sufficiently shallow to discount the merit of authenticity. I suppose their justification would run along the lines of `been there, done that’. Careerism. “Vote for me, I believe in myself.” Worked for her, ought to work for Trump, eh? Who needs credibility if you can succeed without it?

    Comment by Dennis Frank — August 5, 2016 @ 10:10 pm

  29. I thought it was a long standing trend (decades) that people were more likely to vote Left at local level than at national level. Does someone have actual knowledge to test this hypothesis?

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 5, 2016 @ 10:55 pm

  30. Does National actually give a shit about local body elections? The single issue nutters and Sanctuary types also put off capable people off giving up their time to be involved in council too. My partner has the misfortune to interact with members of four of the local councils and a decent percentage of them shouldn’t be trusted with scissors from what she tells me.

    Comment by Cliff Clavin — August 6, 2016 @ 8:24 am

  31. @Antione,

    Does someone have actual knowledge to test this hypothesis?

    Easy there, Tiger … this sort of request could be catching, and then where would Dimpost comments threads be?

    @Cliff Claven,

    Does National actually give a shit about local body elections?

    Well, they certainly seem to give a shit about local government (https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/more-local-body-collaboration-councils), and they’ve gotten stuck into the Auckland elections (http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/73453335/New-Auckland-local-government-party-backed-by-National-to-contest-election).

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 6, 2016 @ 8:32 am

  32. I mean the Kiwiblog consensus seems to be that the many non-ratepayers tend to vote Left in local body elections because they get more freebies at ratepayers’ expense, but that could be wrong.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 6, 2016 @ 9:45 am

  33. I mean the Kiwiblog consensus seems to be that the many non-ratepayers tend to vote Left in local body elections because they get more freebies at ratepayers’ expense, but that could be wrong.

    Bunch of problems with this analysis:

    (1) How does it explain the purported phenomenon of a heavier left vote at local body elections vs national ones? Because doesn’t David Farrar keep on producing statistics that purport to show that only some minuscule minority of NZers actually pay any tax at all? So why don’t all these non-taxpayers vote Left in national elections because they get more freebies at taxpayers’ expense?

    (2) What about non-resident ratepayer voters? How come they don’t swing local elections to the right, given that they have strong incentives to keep rates low at the cost of services that they don’t receive?

    (3) Everyone pays rates – either directly or via their rents (as landlords pass these on). So you need to add in an epicycle by which renters are too dumb to realise that higher rates lead to higher rental rates.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 6, 2016 @ 10:38 am

  34. I like your (1) above🙂

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 6, 2016 @ 10:39 am

  35. Can I do another theory, under which most voters in local body elections don’t really know much about the candidates or issues, but want to vote for someone nice, and left wing candidates seem kinda nice, and right wind candidates typically seem a bit douchey?

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 6, 2016 @ 10:46 am

  36. Antoine,

    This theory I like, given how local body elections are very much a low information exercise.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 6, 2016 @ 11:27 am

  37. It pretty much describes my behaviour anyway

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 6, 2016 @ 11:36 am

  38. My reply to Antoine appears to have headed into moderation for some reason.

    Comment by swordfish — August 6, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

  39. My reply to Antoine appears to have headed into moderation for some reason.

    Too many links? That tends to trigger some sort of default action in wordpress.

    Or maybe you used unparliamentary language.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 6, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

  40. Wellington elves it’s council using ATV so the result is a more accurate reflection of how people voted.

    That’s the LAST thing this government wanted for Auckland, but First Past The Post messed up their plans by splitting support for the centre right.

    The majority of Auckland Councillors don’t even get 30% of the vote in 2010. 2013 wasn’t much different.

    Comment by truthseekernz — August 6, 2016 @ 3:18 pm

  41. Ha ! No, FL, zero links and I was remarkably polite, indeed – as always – disarmingly charming in a David Niven sort of way.

    Comment by swordfish — August 6, 2016 @ 4:07 pm

  42. @swordfish

    Can you tell me what it was you said, using different words that won’t trigger moderation?

    Spell it out letter by letter or something if need be🙂

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 6, 2016 @ 10:21 pm

  43. @ Antoine

    Hilariously, I’ve just replied to you – summarising my previous argument that vanished – and, for the second time, the comment’s disappeared. So, I think I’ll just give up at this stage. Nothing in either comment that should trigger moderation (could be laptop connection problems at my end).

    Comment by swordfish — August 7, 2016 @ 2:03 pm

  44. I have had a comment eaten today as well. Always write them up in notepad first…

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 7, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

  45. Same thing happened to me last night. Something to do with the blog software. The robot randomly tries to repel invaders. Intelligent design required to correctly identify spam/trash…

    Comment by Dennis Frank — August 7, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

  46. Could server outages/maintenance cause posts to disappear?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 8, 2016 @ 4:06 pm

  47. Sorry that happened Swordfish, but thank you for trying (twice)

    Comment by Antoine — August 10, 2016 @ 11:43 am


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