The Marginal Labour Seats – Palmerston North

Palmerston North

Iain Lees-Galloway – Majority 1117

This is one of the toughest seats for Labour to hold. Thinking it was a safe seat they replaced Steve Maharey with Iain Lees-Galloway, widely regarded as being about as grey and mediocre and anonymous as an MP can be. In a university town they picked a nurses union rep, go figure that one out.

Iain is running against long time servant and well liked Leonie Hapeta. Leonie’s likability is a big problem for Iain, who is not at all likable and has run a nasty campaign from the very beginning. This has been compounded by his ill fortune to be caught rooting a stenographer, which saw him “look like death warmed up” and “as if he hadn’t slept in a week” when his wife busted him.

Iain has really emphasized the nastiness of the Labour Party through the campaign, starting the campaign by running a stupid protest outside Leonies business, and then lying about it.

He got front page coverage in the local paper saying he was a nasty bastard, so the campaign is framed as Iain being a nasty stenographer rooter against a local girl who has contributed heaps to her community and is quite shocked at how nasty the campaign is.

The 27% difference between Labour and National means this seat should swing, even if it didn’t have a nasty stenographer rooter running for Labour. Iain has further complications because he is facing a very competent campaigner instead of a dull, inept old guy who thought he could win votes by waving at people driving past every morning, when they usually ended up thinking maybe he had early onset Alzheimer’s.

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