There is a possible bonus in the Labour/Green civil union

There is a possible silver lining in the civil union of Labour and the Greens.

Richard Harman at Politik explains:

The Labour/Green pact announced yesterday may pave the way for Greens Co-Leader James Shaw to stand against Peter Dunne in Ohariu.

If Labour didn’t stand a candidate — and Labour sources say that’s a real possibility — then, on paper, based on the last election results, Mr Dunne would lose his seat.

That would be a major blow to National’s attempts to form a fourth term Government because Mr Dunne is, in effect, a bonus seat.

His winning that seat does not affect the total number of seats National gets allocated based on its list vote.

I’m not sure that Richard Harman has his sums right.

On the surface he is correct in that Peter Dunne got 13,569 votes and Labour’s candidate Virginia Anderson got 12,859 votes and the Green candidate got 2,764 votes. If there was just one left-wing candidate, be it a Green or Labour candidate and you just took the raw numbers and instantly transferred them across in the rather simplistic manner that journalists like to do then Richard Harman would be right. 

But there would need to be some rather heroic assumptions made for that to happen. Firstly that All the Labour and Green voters would play ball. Secondly that National will play ball and stand a real candidate against Peter Dunne as well. Both scenarios are unlikely. Voters  tend to do what they want, and there is no guarantee that Labour/Green voters would toe the line.

Then if you look at the party vote numbers in Ohariu you can see that it isn’t a Labour seat at all, and even less a Green seat. It is in fact a National seat.

National – 18,810
Labour – 8,771
Green – 5,623

So Labour plus Green doesn’t beat National, not even close.

Richard Harman has fallen for the journalists trap of being too simplistic and he also includes a healthy dose of wishful thinking.

If National signalled to its voters, by selecting a quality candidate, that it no longer needed Peter Dunne or a deal, then Dunne is gone. He may well go anyway, after all he was elected in the 1984 General election and has been an MP for 32 years. He might just jack it in and then that seat is a National seat all day long.

Either way we get rid of Peter Dunne so that isn’t a bad thing.


– Politik

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.