Really Vernon? How are they going to do that then?

Vernon Small writes:

It may come as a surprise to some that Labour is still committed to its aim of achieving a a gender-balanced caucus after the next election.

Because in light of recent events – not least leader Andrew Little’s shoulder-tapping of Willie Jackson, the recruitment of former police union boss Greg O’Connor and Paul  Eagle’s unopposed selection in Rongotai – you might be forgiven for thinking it is being honoured and breached at the same time.

In fact, it is also being not-so-subtly redefined. The aim when the policy was announced in 2013 was to target balance at certain key polling points, since anything more nuanced would be impossible without knowing a vast number of variables in advance –who won what seats, for instance.

But there is an acknowledgment now that it simply cannot be achieved at 25 per cent (without sacking a whole lot of male MPs), is near impossible at 30 per cent and could be in view at 35 per cent, though by no means assured even then.

So now, if you ask the party leadership, the stress has gone on to it being do-able at that 35 per cent level – equivalent to about 42 seats.

There is a handy calculator that shows how bad Labour’s position is.

David Farrar has taken some time out from parenting and his arts, travel and lifestyle coverage to explain:

The Progress Report has a useful calculator for working out what the Labour Caucus will look like. It shows what a problem has with their list ranking.

Let’s start with Labour getting the same party vote as last time, and Labour winning the same number of electorate seats except Hutt South (which will very likely go to National’s Chris Bishop).

They get 15 male electorate MPs and  11 female electorate MPs. Overall 32 MPs so six List Mps.

With Little No 1 on the list, then the next five have to be female to have gender equality.

At 31% (a level they have very rarely polled) they get 38 MPs. So they could get two male List MPs on top of Little – presumably David Parker and Trevor Mallard.

Now after the current caucus you have Raymond Huo (about to be an MP again) and Greg O’Connor and Willie Jackson competing for places. Now to keep gender equality they would need a caucus of 44 MPs to get them all in. For that they need to get 35% of the vote  And they were only above 30% in the average of the public polls once last year.

On current polling not a single male list candidate should get elected to Parliament, except Little. The only way they can do it is to ignore their own rules on gender equality or hope they get a magical 10% increase in their vote!

Labour haven’t come close to polling at 30% let alone 35%. They will be in breach of their own rules at any level under 35%.

 

– Fairfax

 


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