Andrew Little

Phil Quin on what Mt Roskill means

If you listened to the press gallery and to Andrew Little, the retention of a safe Labour seat signals the end of John Key.

Phil Quin has other thoughts:

In late November 2012, the then UK Labour leader, Ed Milliband, celebrated a stunning by election victory in the seat of Corby.

Labour’s Andy Sawford had secured a swing of over 12 per cent to wrest the seat from the Tories.

“This constituency has sent a very clear message today,” Milliband told cheering supporters, “that it’s putting its trust in a One Nation Labour Party and that middle England is turning away from David Cameron and the Conservatives”.

In the 2015 General Election, Corby was reclaimed by the Conservative Party, along with vast swaths of the “middle England” Milliband had been so bullish about just two years earlier.

Whereas Milliband needed but a fraction of the swing achieved in Corby to oust David Cameron from Downing St, Labour went on to lose 26 seats in the 2015 election as the incumbent Tories gained 24.

It was, as Labour peer Lord McConnell told the BBC, a “catastrophic night” for the party and its supporters.

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Silly old Audrey just doesn’t get it

Audrey Young thinks Labour has the wood on National now after Mt Roskill.

In Mt Roskill it was not just the emphatic win that mattered – 66 per cent of the vote to 28 per cent for National’s candidate – it was how Labour won.

It used a field campaign style, taken from the United States, and adopted by the Victoria Labor Party, which used it to elect Daniel Andrews as Premier in 2014.

It was adopted by New Zealand Labour to successfully campaign for Justin Lester as Wellington mayor and, for a second time, successfully in the Mt Roskill byelection.

It establishes a network of field organisers and volunteers, uses data to determine which voters are persuadable, and a style of personal connection with them and carefully chooses the issues on which to connect.

It will be the template for Labour’s campaign for the 2017 election.

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Some advice for Andrew Little, from Mark Textor

Ok, so it’s not directly for Andrew Little, but the message is the same.

Labour and the left-wing like to mock Crosby|Textor but they win, and the left-wing doesn’t. Perhaps they should look at what Mark Textor has to say.

One of the most common criticisms of John Howard’s prime ministership, from both the left and the right, concerns what is commonly referred to as “middle class welfare”.

Firstly, as someone who was John Howard’s pollster and advisor for over a decade I can admit that, whilst it was never labeled as such, there was an unspoken preference towards what some describe as “middle class welfare”.

Secondly, I’m proud of it. Building and maintaining a strong middle class should be one of the central goals of a centre-right (or centre-left) government.

My view may not be a fashionable one to hold today.

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Hooton on Labour’s crisis

Matthew Hooton wrote his NBR column before Micahel Wood won Mt Roskill. Hooton did expect that and so his column about the crisis still facing Andrew Little and Labour is valid.

Fortunately, Andrew Little will and has claimed this as the beginning of the end of John Key, so nothing will change inside Labour.

Labour is close to revealing the maximum life expectancy for a major political party in New Zealand.

By legend born of working men in the West Coast mines in 1916, Labour has governed the country five times, including introducing the welfare state under Michael Joseph Savage, leading New Zealand through World War II under Peter Fraser, saving the economy under David Lange and restoring confidence in the political system under the first-term Helen Clark.  There is now no prospect of another name joining the list of Labour’s greats.

Eight years into John Key’s National-led regime, every poll now has Labour under 30%: UMR on 29%, Colmar Brunton on 28%, Roy Morgan on 23% and Curia also within that range. Labour is now as many as 10 points behind where it was three years ago, 10 months before its 2014 debacle, the worst since 1922.  In the long history of both the Labour and National parties, neither has ever been doing so badly eight years into its opponent’s term in government.

The future looks worse.

In working class Porirua, former Labour mayor Nick Leggett has announced plans to run for National. Across the Cook Strait in Nelson, Labour members have resigned en masse in protest against plans by the party’s Wellington bigwigs to abandon the seat to the Greens.

It is a mark of Andrew Little’s desperation that he will try to present this weekend’s win by a deeply unimpressive party apparatchik in the safe Labour seat of Mt Roskill as some kind of victory for his leadership and platform for renewal. In fact, no opposition has ever lost a seat to a government in a byelection in New Zealand’s history. More pathetically, if the Roy Morgan poll corrects next month and has Labour back up to the mid-to-high 20s, Mr Little will claim some kind of prescience.

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Joyce and de Joux deliver another win…for the opposition


LOSERS: Parmjeet Parmar, Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett

The dynamic campaigning duo of Steve Joyce and Jo de Joux have delivered yet another loss in a byelection, and the thumping was huge.

National was never going to win the by-election despite silly people making all sorts of claims about the party vote.

I’m glad Andrew Little is claiming this as some sort of endorsement for him, it means he will stay as leader despite his appalling ratings.

Labour leader Andrew Little tells crowd that National threw everything at the campaign and lost badly.

“For a seat where National won the party vote in the last election, this is a real wake up call to them.”

He said next year would be tough and dirt would be thrown at Labour, and took a swipe at some in the media “who just don’t get it”.

Little told a fired up crowd that National would try and spin the result but there was not getting away from its significance – or the effort they put in to try and wrest it from Labour.

“They thought they were going to win. We had the trash talk…but the Prime Minister doesn’t come here for seven days of the campaign, and three days this week without thinking he is going to win.

“They had one thing going for them, and it was the Prime Minister. And they have lost…the result tonight is absolutely outstanding.”

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Andrew Little goes all in on Nick Leggett

Nick Legget must be a real threat to Labour because Andrew Little has gone all in on him, accusing him of being a flip-flopper.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little has described Nick Leggett as a “flip-flopper” after the former Porirua Mayor defected to the National Party.

Leggett, who was a Labour Party member until recently, is now in the running to stand in the Labour stronghold seat of Mana for National during next year’s general election.

He quit the party earlier this year to stand against Justin Lester, their chosen candidate for the Wellington Mayoralty, who won the election.

Andrew Little says the current MP for Mana, Kris Faafoi, has served the electorate for a number of terms and is very strong and very well liked.  Read more »

Release the poll Andrew, release the poll

Andrew Little is refusing to release Labour’s internal polling after two polls show their position is worse than when he called Colmar Brunton’s poll two months ago bogus.

National has gained support in the latest opinion poll and is close to 50 per cent while Labour has slumped to its lowest rating in two years.

The just-released Roy Morgan poll gives National 49.5 per cent, up 1.5 points in a month, while Labour has shed 3.5 points and has fallen to 23 per cent.

The Greens have gained three points to reach 14.5 per cent, giving a Labour/Greens alliance 37.5 per cent.

NZ First is down two points to eight per cent.

A Colmar Brunton poll released on Sunday gave Labour 28 per cent.   Read more »

Michael Wood’s only selling point: I’m trained by, and just like… I’m Phil 2.0

From the rhetoric at Labour candidate Michael Wood’s street corner meetings you might think that Phil Goff was still actually standing for Mt Roskill.

Wood invokes Goff’s name frequently as he stops off at corner after corner in the state house heartland of the electorate which will go to the polls this weekend.

He goes as far as to say that everything he learned about politics he learned from Goff.

Even the van that accompanies him on his trek is the same one that Goff used when he was the MP.

And he says that people want a continuation of the kind of strong representation that Goff gave the electorate over the 35 years he was in Parliament (except for 1990 – 93 when National held the seat).

As to policy issues, he says housing is number one.

“Virtually every person wants to talk about housing, whether its ownership or rental or social housing issues,” he told POLITIK.

“Transport problems are just unavoidable in Mt Roskill and then, and this issue has really up, is crime and law and order.”

Mt Roskill is a state house suburb; 37% of the houses in the electorate are rented, most off Housing New Zealand.

A quick drive-past down Housing New Zealand streets, reveals houses which show few signs of any recent maintenance. Most are occupied by immigrants. 40% of the electorate are classified as Asian; either Chinese or Indian. 60% of the electorate’s school children are non-European and non-Maori.

Yet perhaps paradoxically, unemployment is low at 4.3% and most of the electorate have white collar jobs, albeit many as sales or administrative assistants.

But the picture is one of the immigrants who have arrived with limited resources but who have begun the upward climb in New Zealand society. Read more »

Explaining is losing, especially when you are Andrew Little

Proof the Green/Labour MOU was a stunt with no future:

Labour leader Andrew Little says he hasn’t entered into any formal obligations or commitments to accommodate the Green Party at next year’s election, but hasn’t ruled it out.

Uhmmm…so what was the MOU then? Seems there isn’t much understanding at all.

Looks like any deals are just nudge, nudge, wink, wink kind of deals…in other words utterly worthless.

The Green Party reportedly won’t be standing a candidate in Ohariu, leaving it open for Labour to battle against incumbent, United Future leader Peter Dunne.

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Questions for Labour

Roy Morgan? Our polls are way better

Colmar Brunton? Our polls are way better

The recent polls show National on 50% and Labour on 28%, yet the left-wing are saying because NZ First and the Greens together reach National the centre-left is ahead.

This makes the assumption that Winston Peters is centre-left, and will work with the Greens and Labour to bring down National.

If this is the case then it would be worth having Andrew Little prove it with some sensible answers to the following questions:  Read more »