Sue Moroney

Andrew Little’s New Plymouth problem

Given the lack of talent for Labour’s leadership spill, Andrew Little looks like a good safe bet.

But there is a problem, and that is his less than stellar performances in New Plymouth.

Phil Quin explains;

There’s a lot of smart money going on Andrew Little’s bid to lead the Labour Party, but the numbers in New Plymouth don’t lie. So what are they saying?

There’s a lot of talk about “listening” in Labour circles these days. Announcing his bid for the party leadership, list MP Andrew Little named as his top priority “getting the process underway to listen to the voters who have abandoned us”. Grant Robertson agrees, telling reporters last week “as we emerge from our heavy election defeat, we must now take the opportunity to listen”.

I suspect Little and Robertson have in mind some version of a “Labour Listens” tour (as Neil Kinnock did in Britain in 1997 and Gordon Brown did in 2010), a series of carefully staged outreach events involving a great deal of ostentatious nodding and taking of things on board. This is all well and good, and may even help in the long run, but there’s no reason to wait for a bus trip to start the process.

New Zealanders have said a great deal already, and in the most unequivocal terms imaginable: they have voted.

As it turns out, electors in New Plymouth haven’t left much to the imagination when it comes to Little. Labour’s performance in the seat since he became the party’s local standard bearer has been disastrous. It seems worth analysing Little’s record in light of David Cunliffe’s endorsement, not to mention his own acknowledgement that the next party leader will need to arrest the party’s decline by rebuilding the party and reconnecting with voters. “We don’t have a choice,” Little told Lisa Owen on The Nation last weekend, “We’ve lost three elections in a row. Our vote has been going down. We’re down to 32 MPs. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel”.

He should know. In the two elections since Little became Labour’s candidate in New Plymouth, National’s party vote margin in the electorate has more than doubled from 6,600 to 13,000 votes. After a 5.8 percent two-party swing from Labour to National in 2011, there was a further 6.3 percent swing in New Plymouth this year – roughly three times worse than the nationwide average. As the electorate candidate, Little also attracted 6,500 fewer electorate votes than in 2008 when the previous Labour member, Harry Duynhoven, lost the seat. After three years of resources and profile as a list MP based partly in New Plymouth, Little managed a 7.8 percent swing against him on the electorate vote this year, to compound the 6.7 percent he suffered in 2011.  Read more »

Why can’t Labour just be honest with themselves

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They just don’t get it do they…continually trying to put a positive spin on election results instead of being honest with themselves.

This from the Facebook page of Hamilton East Labour candidate Cliff ‘Ghost’ Allen.

“Labour Party 8,264 ALLEN, Cliff LAB 9,194. Final result for Hamilton EAST. We came second but lifted the Party vote a tad. Strange thing is it felt a lot better on the ground as there were no real negative campaign experiences. Still, the voters decided and a huge thank you to all those who voted for me and for Labour. I will work to keep David Bennett honest because strong opposition is essential.”

Lets look at the numbers shall we:     Read more »

Nashy bows out

I think Stuart Nash has made a wise decision not to participate in Labour’s leadership spill.

It promised to get messy and it is my belief that no good will come of this battle as the caucus seeks to rid themselves of David Cunliffe.

Napier MP Stuart Nash has ruled himself out of the Labour leadership contest so he can turn his electorate into a “Labour fortress”.

Mr Nash had previously indicated his decision would be influenced by whether list MP Andrew Little was in a position to stand.

Mr Little’s place in Parliament was confirmed on Saturday following the counting of special votes.

Last night, Mr Nash confirmed his withdrawal from the contest and said he had decided against standing after a meeting with his team yesterday. Mr Little’s situation had had only a small bearing on his decision.

“We had a good look at everything and decided there’s a whole lot of work to do in Napier … to turn Napier into a Labour fortress.”

 

Meanwhile Andrew Little, a man so unlikeable he has been rejected comprehensively by the voters of New Plymouth twice and can’t win an electorate seat is probably going to have a tilt at the leadership.   Read more »

Tim MacIndoe forgets to thank Sue Moroney

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The final election results have just been announced and I’m very grateful to the voters of Hamilton West for re-electing me for a further term. It’s heartening to have again secured an increased majority – now 5,784 (up from 4,418 in 2011, and 1,618 when I was first elected in 2008). Huge thanks are due to my excellent and very hard-working Campaign Commitee, Electorate Executive and other members of the local election team. No candidate could have been better supported and I am deeply grateful to you all. I’ll do my best to justify your faith and to work as hard as I can for my constituents and our great city over the next three years.

Tim Macindoe is known as a true gentleman.  Read more »

Chris Trotter on why changing leaders won’t be enough for Labour

Chris Trotter is a wise man of the left, more’s the pity that they don’t listen to him more often.

WHY DOES LABOUR do this to itself? Yes, they have just suffered an unprecedented (post-1922) election defeat, but that’s only because the 2014 General Election was itself unprecedented (post-1951).

And, besides, I’m tempted to say ‘so what?’ In 2002 the National Party suffered an even more embarrassing result when Bill English led his party to its worst defeat ever. National’s Party Vote plunged from a bad 30.5 percent in 1999, to an even worse 20.9 percent in 2002. (A whopping percentage point slide of 9.6, compared to David Cunliffe’s 2.8.)

The interesting thing about that debacle, however, is not what the National Party did in response, but what it didn’t do.

For a start, it didn’t change its leader. National understood (as Labour apparently does not) that a debacle on the scale of 2002 has many more contributing factors than simply a poor performance by the party leader. Defeat on such a scale is clear evidence of systemic – as well as personal – failures. Which is why the first priority of National’s hard-headed businessmen and farmers was to give the party organisation a very solid kick in the bum – not to sack Bill English. (He would keep.)

In the months following its 2002 defeat National thoroughly renovated itself: achieving for the Right what Jim Anderton, between 1979 and 1984, had achieved for the Left. Namely, the transformation of an ageing party into a vehicle more appropriately aligned to the economic, social and political context in which it operated.

Crucial to the success of such operations is the concentration of decision-making power in the hands of those best equipped to wield it. Under MMP, one of the most important functions to streamline is the formation of the Party List. National has achieved this by means of an all-powerful board of directors; the Greens by giving the job to their party members. For Labour, however, the list formation process remains the Party’s Achilles’ heel.

Bluntly, party list formation in the Labour Party is a colossal rort; a travesty of democratic principle on the scale of the “rotten boroughs” that once allowed the British aristocracy to control the composition of the House of Commons. More horse-trading takes place during this dangerously opaque process than at an Irish county fair – with considerably worse outcomes.

It’s ironic really, because Labour once boasted the most ruthless and centralised mechanism for selecting candidates of all the political parties. Seventy years ago it was the selector representatives of the all-powerful Labour Party Executive who called the shots – and they seldom missed. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then National, when renovating its structures, post-2002, paid Labour the most fulsome of compliments.

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Is there a third candidate? A compromise?

With Labour’s leadership stoush underway now there are stark choices.

There is the unelectable David Cunliffe, a man so unpopular he has to hire relatives for advisors. Up against him is another unelectable candidate, Grant Robertson.

It is fine to get yourself elected by the luvvies of Wellington Central and quite another thing altogether to win the nation over.

Wellington Central is no New Zealand.

David Cunliffe has already proven himself as an electoral turn off.

He claimed that the more the electorate got to see him the more we’d love him.

Well he won 2 out of three o the debates and the electorate did get to see him. He was weighed and measured and found wanting.

If Dirty Politics hadn’t consumed 4 weeks of the campaign I suspect David Cunliffe would have delivered an even worse result.

If David Cunliffe is re-elected leader I predict that the fall out from Dirty Politics will claim his leadership in any case in just a few months.

Both candidates are essentially useless.

Is there a third candidate?  Read more »

Labour’s leadership battle will look like 300

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Labour’s leadership battle is shaping up to be an epic re-run of the battle scenes in 300.

Blood and guts everywhere.

It’s going to be awesome.

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And this is why the Labour Party are disconnected from NZ

They are incapable of admitting they are wrong.

In Hamilton West Tim MacIndoe benefited hugely from The Moroney Effect, the special electoral effect that increases a National party candidates majority when Sue Moroney stands against them. He did indeed increase his majority as a result.

Hamilton remained true blue on election night with both incumbents cruising to victory.

In Hamilton East David Bennett won a fourth term, beating out Labour’s Cliff Allen with a massive majority of nearly 9000.

In doing so, he became the first person ever to win the seat four times.

Meanwhile, Tim Macindoe won Hamilton West for the third time, sweeping past Sue Moroney by more than 5400 votes.

It was a tense night for the Moroney camp as Labour’s disastrous share of the party vote saw her only just squeeze back into Parliament in fourth place on the party list.

In her concession speech to party faithful at the Trade Union centre in Hamilton, she was unsure if a return to Parliament was on the cards.

Fortunately for Tim MacIndoe’s electoral prospects she is still in parliament…at the moment.   Read more »

Labour’s Tony Milne Problem

The Labour Party has a really big problem.

It keeps selecting candidates that cannot win, even in seats that they should win.

The best example of this is Tony Milne in Christchurch Central.

Milne did the hard yards over the years, made all the right connections and was very, very close to former MP Tim Barnett.

The problem is that to win you actually need to be electable.

Milne was never electable. Unfortunately for Tony he has absolutely no presence. He is a midget that wears massive dark framed glasses and walks into a room and nobody notices him.

Check out Tony’s campaign video.

Read more »

What 25.7% means for Labour

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Arts, travel & lifestyle blogger David Farrar has a running average of the polls over on Kiwiblog. At the moment Labour is at 25.7% but is trending down.

What this means is that Labour is down to 32 MPs, and probably less. The other interesting thing is that Labour will probably keep winning seats where tired old warhorses like Trevor Mallard havent realised their day is done so wont leave.

If MPs like Mallard and the Stenographer Rooter Iain Lees-Galloway hold their seats, Kelston goes to Labour as expected, and they pick up some of the Maori seats, and Cosgrove and Nash win their seats Labour could have as many as 28 Electorate MPs.

This would mean Labour would only have four scum List MPs.

David Parker
Jacinda Ardern
Sue Moroney
Andrew Little

If Labour falls much more and still holds onto its seats they could lose Moroney and Little. And they are falling.

What a pity Jonesy jacked it. He would have been far better than Cunliffe.