The most important number in a coup

The most important number in a coup is One. Politics is a zero sum game, and you either have a seat or you don’t.

Let’s put it in perspective. Say you happen to be an MP who holds a marginal seat, and that margin happens to be 1117, and you also happen to be number 37 on the list, so you need to hold your seat to get back into parliament.

Things aren’t quite going your way. You got busted rooting a stenographer, and the word on the street was that when your missus stopped flinging pots you ended up “looking like death” or as if “you hadn’t slept for a week”. Then your standard Labour tactic of being a total rude prat towards your opponent ends up with the front page of the local paper saying you are “Nasty”, nicely framing the election for your opponent who is very nice. So your hold on a previously safe Labour seat is by the finger nails.

Then you look at the polls. Your leader is popular with barely 7% of voters. About two thirds of your party’s voters disapprove of your leaders performance. Your party is 25% behind in the polls and when they were 11% you only won by 1117 votes against a genial old duffer rather fond of waving at traffic. This time you are up against a well connected business woman who has broad appeal due to the huge amount of good work she has done in the community. So it looks like you will be back home with the missus and she will be taking a very strict line on all extra curricular activities.

The question is do you accept the current leader and stand by your man (when everyone knows you didn’t stand by your stenographer), or do you stick the knife in and vote for a change giving yourself a chance of keeping your seat?

You to save your skin you become a “one”. Other “ones” will follow.


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  • Ouch.

  • naylor

    My old town of Palmerston North really does need a new MP and representative – not this twat. Rooting around in Parliament is one thing, but trying to present yourself to the community as a family man is something all together.

    P North will be turning blue come November and it’s about time.

  • That list you published the other day was telling Cam; there must be a lot of list-only members at the moment who each may only be a “one”, but when their livelihood is threatened could quickly become many.

  • spiker

    Goffs departure has to be worth a go on ipredict right now.

  • cadwallader

    Lees-Galloway didn’t win Palmerston North in 2008, National’s tired Dad’s Army type candidate lost it. The Palmy seat ought be an easy stroll for the Nats now they have a quality candidate with a Maori surname.

  • gazzaw

    If Silent T rolls Goofy would he promote this loser up the list? I don’t think so. Lees-Galloway is rooted whatever happens. He can’t win the seat and he’s not going anywhere on the list.