Long campaign but still a fairly predictable outcome

The election campaign was extended due to Covid lockdown, and seems to be dragging out, but little seems to have changed in party support over the last few months.

Recent polls have been fairly stable, and with over 1.1 million advance votes already cast it looks very unlikely there will be any major swings in support in the last few days of the campaign.

Labour look like coasting to victory after a cautious campaign. They didn’t have to do much to maintain a big lead, and they haven’t done much. The only question seems to be whether they will get enough votes to be able to rule alone or not, and if they do whether they do whether they will take on a coalition partner (Greens).

Jacinda Ardern and by association Labour have received a lot of praise for their handling of the Covid pandemic, and Ardern has campaigned hard and adeptly on that record.

Greens are still fighting hard for every vote, which they may need to make the 5% threshold, but they aren’t offering anything compelling to voters. Labour have done their best to diffuse any leverage Greens may hope to have. Labour may or may not need the Greens to form a Government, but going by what Labour are saying that may make little difference to policies negotiated.

NZ First look rejected, polling between 1.4% and 2.5% over the last six months. Winston Peters is trying but looks far from confidence – he most often looks grumpy, and has offered little apart from promising to stop Labour doing things. It’s possible all the polls are wrong as Peters always claims, but even if NZ First sneak in over the threshold there is little incentive for Labour to form another coalition with them unless they really have to.

National have had a difficult year, changing leaders twice. They has also have a poor campaign, with Judith Collins failing to make much impression against Ardern, a series of sloppy policy announcements, and electorate MPs putting their own jobs head of the good of the party, sometimes poorly. National seem to have recovered a bit after plummetting to polling in the twenties, but now look stuck in the low thirties. There’s been nothing in their campaign to suggest they deserve moore than that,

ACT have had a good year and a good campaign. Last year they polled mostly less than 1% and just started to rise at the end of the year, rising to 1.6%. They have kept improving through this year, with their last two poll results being 8%. Even if they drop back a bit they will still have a very good result, jumping from 1 MP to 5-10 MPs.

National look to be in a hopeless situation. Even with ACT they are barely getting into the forties, a long way short of Labour. Some wishful thinkers have been saying ‘if Labour drop 5% and National jump 5% it’s all on’ but that looks very unlikely, especially with National lurching from mistake to embarrassment.

What if NZ First defy the polls and make the threshold? National have ruled out doing a deal with Peters, and while Peters has defied pre-election indications in the past it would be aa huge stretch even for him to now form a coalition with National, let alone National+ACT.

So most likely we will have a Labour+Green government next term, with Labour exerting dominance shown already though the campaign. Or possibly a Labour alone Government. It would be a major shock if the result is outside these possibilities.

But…

There is an outside chance the Maori Party manage to pull off one or two surprise wins in Maori electorates. Polls suggest they are close in some – probably not close enough, but Maori voters have been generally much better at tactical voting than the rest.

Labour+Greens+Maori would likely help Labour dominate.

But Labour+Maori would make an interesting coalition. It may embolden the Labour Maori caucus.

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30 Comments

  1. Noel

     /  13th October 2020

    I usually make up my mind on the day in the booth.
    Went to town yesterday and confronted by an empty voting place.
    What the heck, nows the time for all those promises that look totally different when they become the Gummitt.

    Reply
  2. Patzcuaro

     /  13th October 2020

    An interesting as on things from Rod Oram.

    Reply
    • What Oram means is his choice for party vote makes sense to him. It obviously doesn’t make sense to or appeal to most people (94-96% of people).

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  13th October 2020

        A perfect example of the system. Given the choice probably more than 90% of Kiwi males would choose to quaff beer rather than some ‘elite’, very expensive wine.

        The vote of someone who does some research and thinking (and is probably quite bright) like Oram, has one vote. Someone with an IQ of 50 who owns a big gun and wants a bigger gun has one.

        That’s people, education, knowledge, advertising, environment and human nature.

        Reply
        • Sunny

           /  13th October 2020

          Rod Oram, writes an article, and Simon Wilson retweets, why it’s best to vote for the Greens. Two of our key political journalists from the nz’s most influential newspapers. and both support the same minority party that is on the more extreme end of the left spectrum. With the rise in journalism particularly in NZ now being predominantly opinion pieces from Journalists, it would be good to get some balance but the main opinions we hear are from professional journalists who live in hipster inner city suburbs or academics. Remember the old days when opinion pieces were a single piece by the editor in the opinion section along with letters from broad sections of the public. No more as the media believes itself to be the driver of opinion. Furthermore Rod Oram makes bold claims with no specifics or evidence. He says that the Greens arguments are the most forward looking and evidenced based. Yet he offers not a single example or evidence. Well lets look at the wealth tax. It’s not a new idea it’s an idea that has been around in Europe and dropped by almost all European countries as being unworkable. The Business insider says “Most European governments eliminated the tax because it was problematic in design and enforcement, and France was the latest to scrap it in 2017. They often hit people with plenty of assets but little cash on hand to pay the taxman.” Like Norway one of the four European countries left with some sort of wealth tax, NZ already has wealth tax levelled at municipality level – this is called rates. The Greens superficial policy document doesn’t explain how the wealth tax will be levied on businesses or how nzers with overseas passports and overseas assets will be measured. Finally the extreme focus on equality within NZ, distracts from the issue which is our low wealth as a nation overall, and our low GDP per capita, compared to the nations that we compare ourselves with. Overall the thing the Rod Oram article shows is the change to “Journalism” particularly in NZ. If journalism is to be opinion then we should have a greater variety of experience and viewpoints.

          Reply
          • Corly

             /  13th October 2020

            Excellent summation, Sunny.

            Reply
          • duperez

             /  13th October 2020

            If journalism and the media generally are to be opinion then it would be best if we have a great variety of experience and viewpoints.

            ‘Journalism’ reaches a portion of the population. Many with opinions reach the masses. Would it be best that we have a great variety of experience and viewpoints in those forms too? e.g. on radio

            Opinion pieces certainly used to be a single piece by the editor in the opinion section. Now opinions are coming from everywhichway at every moment of the day. And night.

            Rod Oram is one voice. He might make bold claims with no specifics or evidence and say that the Greens’ arguments are the most forward looking.
            Is he the only one speaking with bold claims with no specifics or evidence, or do say Mike Hosking, Peter Williams, Bruce Russell, Sean Plunket and Tim Dower do the same? How much does he give his opinion compared to them? How ubiquitous is he compared to them?

            The media believes itself to be the driver of opinion. Driving that opinion to what end? Logically for it’s shareholders to make money isn’t it? Does that media reflect a great variety of viewpoints through some altruistic goal?

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  13th October 2020

            Not a very subjective summary at all Sunny.
            Long on opinion and short on certified facts.

            Duperez provides the balance to your lopsided interpretation at least re media.

            Reply
        • Griff.

           /  13th October 2020

          Thanks Dupree
          I found the artical interesting and informative.
          The world is heading towards a new paradigm
          Many factors suggest we will be at risk if we do not look forward and acknowledge the changes that are coming from a shift towards electric transport to a move away from meat based diet.
          The mainstream party’s do not seem aware of this change and looking back will not equip nz to deal with them.
          I can see the idea behind the piece.
          I just find the greens too focused on social goals and do not trust them to rein in the more social focused side of their membership to vote for them.
          The tension between the green and the social sides has always been a factor since the long ago days of the values party.
          I do think they are a needed and valued contribution to nz political landscape

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th October 2020

        Chock full of arbitrary value judgements that only make sense to true Lefty believers pontificated in the usual Oram manner.

        Waste of space.

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  13th October 2020

          I presume if you mean Oram is a waste of space you consider someone not very bright who votes for Act because she thinks she will be able to have a super powerful gun is also a waste of space?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  13th October 2020

            No, I meant Oram’s article is a waste of space. In contrast the gun aspirant seems to have put her case both succinctly and logically.

            Reply
          • Corky

             /  13th October 2020

            What is it with Lefties and guns? I know many of you are divorced from nature, but this is ridiculous. You didn’t by any chance watch those supposed gun nuts hand their semis into the authorities by any chance? Their appearance and demeanour tells an interesting story.

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  13th October 2020

              So you know many Lefties are divorced from nature. Do you think or know many ‘Righties’ are also divorced from nature?

  3. I understand that from a Green point if view, their politics is based on consensus.

    If I was an MP I wouldn’t want to be a party leader either.

    But i think that a lack of strong leadership works against the Greens when it comes to coalition negotiations and Cabinet where strong leadership helps makes things happen.

    It’s also probably a drawback when it comes to campaigning when the media focus so much on leaders.

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  13th October 2020

    In the Herald today one politician is described demonstrating interesting sensitivity and grasp of politics. Maybe he is one of the new breed, tell it like it is, straight up the middle, forthright. I guess if you’re in a seat with a 10,000 majority you can say what you like, or if there is no-one there to report it. Or maybe you just don’t care.
    —–
    Activity co-ordinator Shea Siua Roseridge Rest Home in West Auckland asked Alfred Ngaro about clothing allowances for residents.

    Ngaro: ”We need to stop thinking about services and start thinking about outcomes,” he blathered. I got in his face afterwards and said, “They’re poor. They need clothes. What are you going to do about it?” He said, “It’s not about fixing the problem.”

    I wish to go on record and declare this is the worst thing I have ever heard any politician say out loud.”

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  13th October 2020

      Not a very Christian outlook on Ngaro’s part.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th October 2020

      So what did he think it was about?

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th October 2020

      And I’m struggling to see how a problem with Labour’s welfare management is turned into an attack on an opposition politician. Except politics.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  13th October 2020

        The context was political. Two candidates vying for the same seat. Both at risk in some senses. Visiting the same place on different days with the interactions being observed. The warts of both being addressed.

        It’s about the candidates and their perspectives. Which may be bullshit political posturing or whatever. It is what it is.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/election-2020-steve-braunias-phil-twyford-battles-alfred-ngaro-for-rest-home-vote/MHUGF77JUJIUQSEI7KJV3ULGXU/

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  13th October 2020

          Paywalled.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  13th October 2020

            Sorry, did not notice. Context: The battle for Te Atatu arrived last week at a rest home. Twyford and Ngaro went to the Roseridge Rest Home in Henderson. Different days. The piece was observations of what happened and of the MPs and where they’re at.

            “All electorates tell a story about an election campaign. The two candidates for Te Atatu are emblematic of failings within their parties. …

            The day after visiting Roseridge, Ngaro made the news for all the wrong reasons. He went on Facebook – a definition of social media is that it exists as a dumping ground for impulses which make your life more difficult – to attack Twyford for his views on drugs and his stand on abortion. The accusations were false and misleading, and provided another unwelcome distraction for National leader Judith Collins, who distanced herself and the party from Ngaro’s trolling.

            A seemingly chastened Ngaro deleted the post. It was a small, unsavoury episode, no big deal, and for Ngaro and National at least it had the virtue of passing quickly – except it hasn’t. I called Ngaro on Sunday and he doubled down. He said he only deleted the post because trolls had attacked his wife, and accused her of being behind it.

            As for his accusations against Twyford, he said, “I stand by those comments. I do not resile from them … I’m not about to apologise for speaking up.”

            His refusal to climb down from his position drew a deep sigh from Twyford when I called him on Sunday for comment.

            “It is a lie,” he said, ” a total lie.” He meant Ngaro’s claim that Twyford supported full-term abortion, and abortion based on gender and disability. “His refusal to climb down from his position drew a deep sigh from Twyford when I called him on Sunday for comment.”
            ———–

            When you’ve got a politician saying something as dramatic as a rival supporting full-term abortion, and abortion based on gender and disability, it being denied by the accused but the story still being repeated you wonder about motivation.

            It could be about arrogance. It could be about contempt – for the voters. it could be he has a political death wish. He sees the writing on the wall and he’s going to say whatever he likes as parting shots.

            In some ways it’s nothing to do with his party but to do with him as a person. No doubt there’s something in his holy book that excuses or affirms his behaviour.

            Reply
          • Kimbo

             /  13th October 2020

            I’d take it to mean – if Ngaro was quoted accurately and in context (a big if, given the person reporting him is a critic, not that there is anything wrong with that – that Ngaro’s understanding of National’s policy re the clothing allowance is that it is “an ambulance at the bottom of the metaphorical cliff”, whereas macro policy including the social-well-being budget is better directed on building fences at the top.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th October 2020

              I think that is likely but was impossible to extract from the sources. Braunias obviously didn’t want to find out, he was too busy being shocked. Ngaro seems to have bigger problems with his abortion hyperbole. That will have a limited market and damage his credibility. Surely Twyford has enough gross failures not to need manufacturing more?

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