All this talk of gifting seats to Labour is nonsense and wishful thinking

The Labour-Greens deal has been hammered as a meaningless piece of political theatre, and deservedly so because it achieves nothing. It could achieve something though, if the Greens stop being vote stealers and not run candidates in marginal seats where Labour has a chance of winning. Andrew Little should take a look at the Herald suggestions but not too seriously, and negotiate a deal to see Labour win seats because there is no Green candidate.

 Labour’s leader, Andrew Little, was quick to reserve his party’s options post-election, saying the agreement would end on election day. Is it a non-aggression pact for the election? It could be, they say. They might consider not contesting some seats to give a candidate from one or the other a better chance of winning. But that has not been decided either. Will it mean joint policies? Possibly.

The three seats where the Green candidate gifts the seat to National are Auckland Central, Ohariu & Christchurch Central.

Auckland Central  Nikki Kaye has a margin of 600 over Jacinda Adern. Denise Roche, the Green candidate, won 2080 votes. Those votes going to Labour could have seen a relatively comfortable victory to Jacinda.

Ohariu  Peter Dunne has a margin of 710 over the highly rated Ginny Andersen. The Green candidate, Tane Woodley, got 2764 votes.

Christchurch Central  This is a little harder for Labour to win as Nicky Wagner has a majority of 2420 thanks to exceptional work in the electorate over a long period of time, but she was running against a drip, Tony Milne from Labour, and David Moorehouse from the Greens won 2800 votes. Like Ginny Andersen, the Labour candidate, Duncan Web, is extremely highly rated by people outside the Labour Party, mainly for doing the Lords work fighting EQC, so he would have a good chance if the Greens did not run a candidate.  

The margins in these three seats show that the Greens not having a candidate might give the seat to a Labour candidate. It could be worth having Labour offering something to the Greens, like a major portfolio, in exchange for letting Jacinda, Ginny & Duncan run without a Green opponent.

However all that is predicated on votes for the person translating directly across. I’m not convinced of that, mainly because of the party vote statistics. I looked at Ohariu yesterday, where the combined weight of Green and Labour vote does not even come close to National’s party vote,but let’s look at Auckland Central and Christchurch Central.

Auckland Central 2014 results:

National party vote – 12,652
Labour party vote – 6,101
Green party vote – 6,242

On paper that is a close win for National. So to claim that pulling Denise Roche will have ensured an Ardern victory ignores the party vote numbers. It is a stretch to say that all of Roche’s votes would go to Ardern, especially considering that Nikki Kaye got less votes personally that the party vote. That suggests some National voters voted for the Greens or another party on the list. In the leafy suburbs this is how the Greens increase their party vote. I would lay good money on the table that they are women voters too…voting Green for the kids but voting Nikki Kaye because she’s a good local MP.

Christchurch Central 2014 results:

National party vote – 15,301
Labour party vote – 8,995
Green party vote – 5,419

That is an nearly 900 vote majority for National in what used to be a hard core Labour seat.

So, technically, if you ignore core party support in those electorates then the Media party supposition that Labour could win seats if the Green candidate stood aside holds true, but it ignores voter dynamics and party vote results. It also assumes, rather stupidly, that National would just let that happen and not react at all.

It is far too simplistic to state that if B didn’t stand then C would win over A. Votes and voters are mobile, it is not a given that a direct support translation would work. In fact anecdotal evidence, which is about as good as Media analysis suggests voters don’t like this sort of nonsense. Winning electorate seats may well be moral boosting but unless Labour and the Greens can lift their party vote then 2017 is going to be a National party victory no matter how many electorate seats Labour wins off National.

However it may well be in National’s interests to lose those three seats. Because every seat that Labour wins means one comes off the list, and at current polling their leader would be gone if Labour won those seats. The goal of National should be to aim to get Labour into an overhang position to clean out their list MPs, including Andrew Little. A true decapitation strategy.


-NZ Herald

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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.