Labour’s List Problem

David Farrar had a very good post yesterday at Kiwiblog about Labour’s list problem.

In 2014 Labour got only five List MPs. Andrew Little only got in on special votes.

They are polling well below the level they were at three years ago. They normally lose support once an election campaign starts as minor parties get more attention. And already Winston is picking up support at their expense.

So at this stage it would be a brave person to predict they will lift their party vote from 2014, and hence their total number of MPs from 32.

I think it is likely that they will lose support after going all in on the Panama Papers.

However it is quite possible they may pick up two or three electorate seats due to retirements in National etc. They picked up five electorate seats in 2014 despite a drop in party vote. They’ve got some candidates who did fairly well in 2014 (and 2011) and may win if they stand again.

While this is good news for those electorate candidates, it is bad news for Labour List MPs. This means that if they don’t lift their party vote from 2014, they may get only one or two List MPs.

And their problem is that the Leader is a List MP. Also Annette King and Trevor Mallard are likely to go list only for 2017. This means that David Parker, Jacinda Ardern and Sue Moroney could miss out, let alone Labour getting any new MPs on the list.

Ironically if they lost Ardern, this could benefit Little as she is probably the only one who could beat him if they lose the next election. If she goes, then he will probably get to try again in 2020.

Sounds like a problem John Key wants Andrew Little to have.




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  • pisces8284

    Did any one hear Annette King on Hosking this morning attempting to justify panama papers and foreign house buyers? It was so embarrassing, she made such a bumbling idiot of herself. I usually switch it off but I was transfixed at her childish behaviour

    • Aucky

      I have no time whatsoever for King but to many old time voters she is the face of Labour. Too many more performances like this morning and her continued failures in the House when confronting Coleman will only drag Labour further into the mire.

      • Dog Breath

        She reached her peak as a dental nurse, it’s been down hill from there.

      • Tom

        Will she be caretaker leader of the opposition anytime soon?

    • zanyzane

      Annette King is an idiot. Land Transaction register records the individual names of trustees. You can never register a Land title in the name of a Family Trust, only in the name of individual Trustees

  • Positan

    After enduring the incredibly uninformed prattlings of Annette King on Mike Hosking’s breakfast this morning, I’d say that Labour’s potential electoral problems go far deeper than just who’s on its List.

    • Christie

      Yes. Did you hear her talking about Look Through Trusts? The Deputy Opposition Leader has no idea what she is talking about! (There are Look Through Companies, but no Look Through Trusts that I know of.)

  • Sailor Sam

    Anette King will be replaced by Andrew Little as electorate candidate for Rongotai.
    Then if National stand a real good candidate, it could win that seat.

  • Cadwallader

    I am not so sure Labour can add to its electorates next time around. The only provincial city retained by Labour is Palmerston North. I understand Jonno Naylor won the party vote there for National and did not trail the Labour candidate by much of a margin. This seat could easily head to National. Naylor is currently on the National List so there’d likely be an additional spot there for National.
    If Labour’s vote collapses further, a likely prospect, and there are insufficient list positions could Angry become a Party Leader outside the House? (For all the effect he has he may as well be anyway!)

    • David

      Labour could win back Christchurch Central from Nicky Wagner. I like Wagner because she is always positive, but Labour have a strong candidate in lawyer Duncan Webb. I think it will be close contest for the seat.

      • Cadwallader

        I wouldn’t describe Duncan Webb as a strong candidate. He is a Labour devotee but has been more of an academic than a practising lawyer. He’s a nice enough guy but had a set back by withdrawing as the Lawyers Complaints Review Officer. I think he is more of a Geoffrey Palmer type than Mike Moore. I wouldn’t count out Nicky Wagner yet…

        • David

          I’m not counting her out, she’ll get my vote but the Labour candidate will have support. Webb is a far stronger candidate for Labour than Tony Webb was at the last election. Webb had no profile and probably unelectable. Don’t get me wrong I want Wagner to retain her seat but it will be close.

      • localnews

        But they will surely lose port hills to balance it out!

        • David

          Perhaps? If Ruth Dyson is standing again she should hold the seat because she is popular. If she is not standing Labour could lose.

    • SteveWrathall

      Iain Lees-Galloway won by 2212 votes over Jono, so not that close.

      • Cadwallader

        In the context of Palmerston North that is close. The telling factor is often the number of votes picked up by the Greens. The city is populated by a significant number of students who tend to head in that direction.

  • cows4me

    Labour remind me of my school days when teams for sports were picked by the class leaders, there were always about 5 or 6 kids no team wanted.

  • chwaga

    Actually I felt sorry for Annette…it must be hard trying to be loyal and defend the inexcusable rantings of an out of control leader.

    • Christie

      I heard her trying to defend his inexcusable rants this morning on the Hosking Breakfast Show. She claims Andrew Little never said that Labour would get rid of foreign Trusts! Hosking then listed 6 or 7 headlines where Little had said just that – and King tried to say that the content of the articles were different from the headlines! Full marks to her for trying – but that is all you can say.

      • Sailor Sam

        So Annette King agrees then that headlines in newspapers are outright lies?
        Well, well, well!

        • Christie

          That’s about it. Steven Joyce did make some wry comment about Andrew Little’s great communication skills though!

  • Brian Smaller

    No wonder Little wants a safe electorate seat. Even at No1 on the Party List he might not get in.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    A fair broad-brush assessment but the devil is in the detail where the true extent of Labour’s dilemma is illustrated. Their list rankings will be reworked for the next election where their primary problem will be attracting party votes made more of a challenge when candidates go for personal glory with downplaying the party.
    The hard core Labour voter only ever gets to see and hear what the party want them to be exposed to with more frequent assistance from the Media part parroting the same line.
    Increasingly the general public are coming to the realisation that the bulk of “news” is coming from a creative element where facts are simply undesirable clutter that detract from their narrative. This will be made easier by the “One source of all your News” with the pending merger of APN & Fairfax. Just imagine how many word stackers will be looking for a new career the?
    King is really starting to show her age along with some of the less appealing changes that the fairer sex struggle with in this age band. The battle of the bulge is the main outward sign but sadly it is above the neck where the big problems develop. Many wear their wrinkled look with dignity while others have the affliction of both internal and external wrinkles. Perhaps partially explains how much of a gentleman the ‘Speaker” is by no ejecting her on a daily basis for constant heckling even when on her feet?