Simon Lusk politely schools Fat Tony and Anna Lorck on why home wreckers won’t ever get elected

Simon Lusk, with Bruce and Mabo who seem disinterested with all the fuss of photos when they’d rather be hunting

INCITE author, political strategist and campaign manager, Simon Lusk, has a column in the HB Today that rather politely explains why it is that home wreckers won’t get elected.

Early in 2017 I made a safe prediction that Tukituki would be a very hard seat for Labour to win.

My logic, which proved to be correct, was that it is near impossible to win a seat in a single election when the majority is over 6500 votes.

Both Mike Williams and Anna Lorck disagreed, and wrote articles disagreeing with me. History was not kind to them.

On election night National’s Lawrence Yule took an early lead from booths counted quickly and never looked like he would be beaten.

My 2017 prediction was based entirely on historic precedent. Since 2005 no candidate has won a general electorate held by the other party when the majority has been over 6500. In fact there have been very few seats to swing since 2011, and at the 2017 election only Hutt South and Christchurch Central swung.

Yule holds Tukituki with a majority of 2813. This puts Tukituki numerically in play at the 2020 election, but there are other factors that need to be considered.

I would never bet against Simon’s predictions.

The most important was that Yule was running not long after the Havelock North water crisis. It is testimony to Yule’s long commitment to Hastings and genuine likeability that he was able to win despite the water crisis.

Yule was also blessed with an opponent who is polarising. Lorck ran a technically correct campaign. It was sound in its execution, and perhaps outperformed Yule’s campaign, yet Lorck still lost.

This says more about the candidate than the campaign. Unfortunately for Lorck after two attempts to win the seat she has achieved high name recognition but has not been able to convert that to votes.

While Lorck may think she appeals to women, those women have a good idea what a home wrecker like her would do with their husbands and so vote for the other candidate.

Anecdotally I believe there are too many voters that do not like her so would never vote for her no matter how often she runs. There is not a group of swing voters in Tukituki that just need to get to know Lorck better. They know her, and have made up their minds about her, and are unlikely to change their minds about her.

Polling sources from across the political spectrum have suggested the same thing. Lorck and Yule both have very high name recognition.

They both have a relatively high number of voters who think favourably of them, but unfortunately for Lorck far more voters have an unfavourable impression of her than they do of Yule. From a campaign manager’s perspective having high negatives is always troubling because there is no easy way to overcome them.

And her negatives are a shocker. I was flooded with background information about Anna Lorck that shows that Labour doesn’t do background checks. Most of the information would preclude her ever standing for public office.

Other factors favour Yule. 2020 will be further away from the water crisis. He will have had three years as the local MP working in the community. He will have helped solve constituent issues in a way that an opposition MP can that a challenger cannot.

The biggest single advantage for Yule is that National is in opposition, so he will not face a major swing from voters wanting to change the government. Lorck does not benefit from any of these factors.

A sensible campaign manager would advise Lorck to invest heavily in research with a reputable research firm before committing to running again. There is little she can do differently on the campaign trail, and if large numbers of voters in Tukituki have a negative or strongly negative opinion of her it will be hard for her to win.

A modest amount spent now may save years of ineffective work and the profound disappointment that comes from losing elections.

Theoretically it would be possible for Lorck to win because she got within 2800 votes in 2017. Yet to win she has to swing voters who appear to have made up their mind about her, running against an exceptional politician in Yule whose biggest negative will have receded over the parliamentary term.

Before committing to running again Lorck should think carefully about whether she can win over the Havelock North mothers who have consistently voted against her.

When the female voters can’t stand their female candidate you know there are issues

She’s run a low profile since her 3rd beating for Tukituki and 5th or 6th for local body representation

She’s just plain thick, as dumb as a bag of hammers – get the message ‘the public don’t like you’

1. School board (can’t find it online but good sources say she stood)

2. Power Board 2011

3. Tukituki 2014

4. Tukituki 2017

The list of failures keeps growing….

5. Tukituki 2020 – yeah right


-HB Today

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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.