Greens in Northcote – tactical, or signs of slump?

The Greens raised eyebrows (especially Labour supporters’ eyebrows) when they decided to stand a candidate in the Northcote by-election.

Should Green eyebrows be raised over the slump in Green support? Or can it be dismissed as tactical voting?

Rebecca Jaung stood in both the last general election and the by-election.

  • 2017 general election 2,457 votes 6.73%
  • 2018 by-election 579 votes – 2.90%

Turnout (based on by-election night results) was about half that of the general election, but the Green share of the vote was more than halved.

Was it due tactical voting?

I didn’t see the Greens promoting tactical voting for the Labour. perhaps they did it quietly, but why would they? There was not a big chance for the Labour candidate, and Greens had more to lose by doing poorly.

Jaung sounded like she was seeking votes for herself – Rebel without the yell: the Greens’ Northcote candidate

“I think Northcote needs a voice like mine,” she said, and I asked, like what?

“One promoting Green ideas. A young woman. Also, the fact that I’m a doctor, that helped in some of the debates.” In the 2017 election, which she also contested, she was able to call out the sitting member, then-health minister Dr Jonathan Coleman.

She did well in 2017. The Greens ranked their top 41 candidates and she wasn’t among them, but she generated a better party vote than 28 other non-MPs who were. Her candidate vote held up too.

But really, why is she standing this time? She’ll be very lucky to get even 10 per cent of the vote and doesn’t she risk spoiling it for Labour’s Shanan Halbert? She said she didn’t believe that.

“To start with, I don’t accept that every Green voter would vote Labour if I wasn’t here. There are Blue-Green voters. Me being here gives them someone to vote for.”

But only 2.9% of voters chose her.

I think that the Greens should be concerned about this slump in their Northcote vote.

It could be a sign of a bigger problem. Stacey Kirk: Is it time to plaster the Green Party caucus on the side of a milk carton?

It seems the good old cage-rattling Greens have been lost to the halls of the Beehive. Where on earth are the Tibetan flag waving Greens? The Trans-Pacific Partnership protesting Greens? The spy-base hating, tree-chaining, parliament scaling and benefit fraud condoning Greens?

Actually, that last one went too far.

Ever since former leader Metiria Turei sent her party on a downward spiral by proudly admitting her historical benefit fraud ahead of the election, they’ve not been a team.

The election of Marama Davidson as co-leader appears to have changed very little.

Selecting Davidson may have accentuated the division in the Greens.

Meanwhile, Shaw is in danger of falling down the same ministerial rabbit hole as former Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell – becoming engrossed in the importance of his ministerial work, while hoping that speaks for itself.

Flavell, and his party’s brutal demise, is proof that it doesn’t. But in co-leader Marama Fox that party still had an outspoken wild card that was prepared to speak out – at times forcefully – against the Government.

But if consistent polling, showing the Greens on a slow march down the same path as Flavell and Fox, isn’t enough to wake them from their stupor, then it’s not just their problem but the Government’s.

Shaw seems too busy promoting his climate change ideals and a halt to oil and gas exploration – these may not be widely popular either, especially to the degree Shaw wants.

It’s early days for Davidson as co-leader but is seen more as a hard left radical rather than an appeal to soft green votes.

And the Northcote election result suggests that Green support is vulnerable.

This means Greens are increasingly vulnerable to being a one term government party, and risk missing the cut next election.

This makes Labour very vulnerable too.


  1. chrism56

     /  June 10, 2018

    The Greens can’t decide whether they want to be an environmental party or one of radical socialism. At present they are trying to do both and failing. The result is indicative of the malaise.

    • David

       /  June 10, 2018

      Most Greens know exactly which one of those they prefer. The problem is when they get revealed for that preference.

  2. Martyn Bradbury:

    The Green candidate Rebekah Jaung was proof that the best candidate, which she undoubtedly was, doesn’t win. Why she was ranked so low on the Green Party list is anyone’s guess. Can someone inside that Party just try a bit harder?

    Best candidates don’t usually get 2.9% of the vote.

    • Ray

       /  June 10, 2018

      That’s the best in Bomber’s opinion, which judging by his pronouncements in the past is not what the rest of us want!

      • Gezza

         /  June 10, 2018

        Bomber’s a comedian. Honestly. He really should do the decent thing and just finally tell everyone that all of his political analyses and predictions are meant to do is make people laugh.

        • His political analysis is far better than his understanding of simple Math and Stats.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 10, 2018

      Pete, in Greenland (:D) 2.9% means that they’ve won, really.

  3. Ray

     /  June 10, 2018

    As for the Green’s abysmal results, by-elections are “first past the post” and voters are able to change their voting patterns from 6 months back according.
    Yeah, no, I don’t think so either but I am sure that’s how the Green supporters will spin it that way.
    Speaking of whom, where is Robert, he hasn’t been around lately, tangled up a tree by his beard harvesting apples in the far south?

  4. That’s one of the most try hard claims of virtual victory I have seen.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 10, 2018

      I passed School C Maths with a brilliant mark – 20%.

      That’s an A Pass.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 10, 2018

    The Greens have made themselves just a Labour faction. Voters treat them accordingly.

  6. A Green who is a bit sensitive to criticism:

    That confirms that Greens didn’t promote tactical voting, but he tries to divert from the slump in Green support by accusing me of hating the greens, which is patently false.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 10, 2018

      As a Labour faction I don’t think this vote means anything more than that Wilson’s campaign in the Herald had convinced them Labour had a chance of winning so they voted for that.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 10, 2018

        If you hated the Greens, you would be useless at running something like YNZ.

  7. Corky

     /  June 10, 2018

    Hold on in there Julie Ann Genter. The big reality check of 2020 may brighten your star.
    And I agree with Ray…where is Rob? This boy seems great at dishing it out. Not too good on taking his lumps though. No fear, karma always finds its mark, Robert.

    • Gezza

       /  June 10, 2018

      I think you’ll find that Robert considers he retired undefeated?

  8. Zedd

     /  June 10, 2018

    Greens once again saying ‘We are a separate party (from Lab)” but it would have been a different thing, if Lab+Grn votes was more than the Natl vote ?!
    Lab/NZF/Grn in Govt. need to think strategically on these issues

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 10, 2018

      Unabashed identity politics from the Left.

    • Gezza

       /  June 10, 2018

      Could’ve just stopped at women.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 10, 2018

        Women of colour ? Oh, please – who does she think that she is ?

        What does she think that non-white women were doing until she came along ? How arrogant she is. How can she represent someone whose parents are Somali, Maori or Indian ? Silly tart.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 10, 2018

          She doesn’t represent women, full stop. Nobody can. Imagine a man claiming to represent all men.

          She doesn’t represent me.

          She seems not to have heard of such nonentities as Mrs Tirikatene-Sullivan and Dame Whina Cooper. But then, such women were hardly visible until Ms Jaung came along.

  9. Kitty Catkin

     /  June 10, 2018

    Stacey Kirk hasn’t noticed that we don’t seem to have milk cartons now and that the lost children on their sides is an American thing, anyway.I do wonder if some people realise that we are not American.

    Milk cartons are even less green than plastic bottles, as treated paper can’t be recycled.So it’s an even sillier thing to say.

    • Zedd

       /  June 10, 2018

      Milk cartons are even less green than plastic bottles, as treated paper can’t be recycled.So it’s an even sillier thing to say. sez Kitty

      BUT; paper/cardboard will breakdown in the environment (in short order) whereas plastic (made from Fossil oil) does not.. takes 100s years 😦

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 10, 2018

        Milk cartons are coated with plastic to keep the liquid in. They will not break down. They have to be treated to remove the plastic coating from the cardboard. Plastic coated paper will not break down by itself.

        Some plastics are biodegradable and paper takes longer than people think to break down. A study of US tips showed that paper from many decades ago was still intact and newspapers still readable !

  10. David

     /  June 10, 2018

    If you let members elect leaders you are bound to end up with the worst possible candidate, on what planet is Marama Davison the answer to your problems, Genter is far more appealing for voters.

  1. Greens in Northcote – tactical, or signs of slump? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition