Will the Greens shaft Shanan Halbert?

The Greens are deciding if they are going to run a candidate in Northcote. At the 2017 election the Green candidate got 2,457 votes, or more than one third of Jonathan Coleman’s majority.

The NZ Herald reports:

The Green Party is set to decide whether it stands a candidate in the Northcote byelection.

It will make its decision tomorrow evening on political but also practical grounds, such as whether it can actually afford to run a full campaign in the National-held seat. End quote.

There are unlikely to be many Green voters who will vote National, so a Green candidate ruins the slim chances Labour’s Shanan Halbert has of winning the seat. If the Greens are a true partner of Labour’s they will not run a candidate. If they do run a candidate and that candidate costs Labour the seat there will be some very angry people in Labour. Quote:

The Greens’ default position is to stand a candidate in every byelection. But it did not run candidates in the Northland byelection in 2015 or the Mount Roskill byelection in 2016.

Both of those contests were politically sensitive. The Northland contest allowed NZ First to take a seat off National, which weakened it to the point that it could no longer pass legislation with the support of just one of its coalition partners.

If Labour had lost Mount Roskill to National, the National-led Government would have been strengthened to the extent that it would have been able to push through major reforms of the Resource Management Act which the Greens opposed. End quote.

This isn’t quite correct. The seat is very much in play provided Labour get the Greens and NZ First not to run a candidate. Rebekah Jaung of the Greens got 2,457 votes and NZ First’s Kim Koloni got 1,362 votes. Added together, the roughly 3,800 votes taken off Coleman’s majority make the seat a much closer 2,400 votes.

An electorate with a majority of 2,400 is very much in play, especially with Labour running a local and National running an outsider. If Jacinda’s baby arrives just before the by-election this could be a problematic seat for National, although only if the Greens and NZ First do not give Labour a clean run at National.

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