Is Labour a 19% party?

Colmar Brunton’s recent poll had Labour on 28%, and the just released Roy Morgan poll has them on 23%. One is bad, the other is an awful result.

But is it a surprise?

Andrew Little has failed to impress – this interview with RNZ yesterday is unfortunately typical, fumbles and bumbles interspersed with a few tired slogans: Labour warns about rise in borrowings for first homes.

His Speech to the Property Council’s Residential Development Summit didn’t even rate a post at The Standard (someone lamented the lack of media coverage).

Instead attention was on yet another defection from Labour, and all Little could say was, effectively, ‘good riddance’.

Nick Leggett ‘wasn’t true Labour’ – Andrew Little

Labour leader Andrew Little has rubbished former Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett’s chances of winning a seat next year as a National Party candidate.

“I’m not particularly worried – we’ve got a fantastic MP in Mana who’s established himself,” Mr Little told Newshub.

“I said at the time when Nick stood for the Wellington mayoralty that he wasn’t true Labour. He claimed that he was. He wasn’t elected.

“I think that New Zealanders actually see through people who say they are one thing but they’re not, and they get backed by the 1 percent to challenge Labour MPs and Labour candidates. I think people are past that so no, I’m not particularly worried.”

“People who are aligned to the Labour cause actually genuinely take action about improving housing, about lifting incomes, about making sure that schools are properly funded, and our hospitals are properly funded.

“What they don’t do is go around looking for those on the highest incomes to back them – to challenge whoever because that’s all they want. Labour people, passionate Labour in their heart – they stick with Labour, they campaign on Labour issues, and for the Labour Party. Nick’s not one of those people.”

Mr Little says there won’t be any last-minute conversations to try to keep Mr Leggett on.

“I think he’s pretty much said that he’s not interested in Labour. John Key’s calling him, and they’re welcome to that relationship.

What’s notable about Leggett’s defection is someone with obvious political ambition sees no future for himself in the labour party.

‘True Labour’ seems to be a rapidly narrowing (but poorly defined) brand. The only thing that seems to be consistent is spraying those who walk away from the party with bitterness.

Shane Jones. Phil Goff. Clayton Cosgrove. David Cunliffe. Gone or going. There are calls for David Shearer to go as well as he is not seem as ‘true Labour’ by some on the left.

Josie Pagani and Phil Quin are often lambasted for not being ‘Labour’ enough, as are many people who get abused on Twitter, Facebook and The Standard.

And that wasn’t all yesterday. 1 News reported ‘Bugger that!’ – Labour members leave party over proposed deal with Green Party in Nelson

Eight Labour members have quit the party in protest over a proposed electorate deal with the Greens in Nelson.

It includes one supporter who held membership for 30 years and the campaign’s coordinator is also understood to have walked away.

One of those who quit said the members had emailed in their resignations – and the reasons – to the party.

“They were eight core people and they’ve walked away. They expected us to help the Greens… we’re not going to work for the Greens, bugger that.”

The ex-member said supporters were unhappy about how they learned about the proposed deal.

“It leaked out at the [annual] conference. One of the candidates was told by Andrew Little… people here are really angry.

On Tuesday Little virtually denied there was any deal being done with Greens in Nelson after Metiria Turei sprung a surprise by going public and left Little floundering.

Labour’s general secretary Andrew Kirton said:”We’ve had a couple of resignations but nothing different to the usual flow of members coming and going across the country.”

The ‘usual flow’ seems to be down the twenties. Is Labour heading for 20%? Little and the Labourites who remain seem happy burn off support as they turn the party to ashes.

It looks increasingly like New Zealand will remain dominated by a single party, with a few smaller ones yapping from the sidelines.

What will it take for the penny to drop within Labour? 19%?

Leggett legging it to National?

It is being rumoured that Nick Leggett may stand for National in next year’s election, having left Labour and having had a boot up the bum from Andrew Little.

When he was Porirua mayor Nick Leggett was touted as a future Labour Party leader. But he had to leave Labour to stand for the Wellington mayoralty, and was blasted by Andrew little as ‘right wing’.

In August in Labour MPs forbidden from associating with “right-wing” Wellington mayoral candidate:

And he’s making it clear he considers Nick Leggett, a former Labour Party member, a right-winger.

“His campaign manager is well-known ACT party identity. We know that there’s money from the right-wing that has gone into his campaign. He’s a right-wing candidate.”

Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett appears to be public enemy number one for the Labour Party as its MPs are forbidden from associating with him.

Labour Leader Andrew Little has pulled rank, preventing MP Stuart Nash from speaking at an event where Mr Leggett was also speaking.

Mr Little said the event was for right-wingers who have routinely sought to undermine the Labour Party and it’s not right for a Labour MP to share a platform with people who do that.

In October Little seemed to have softened. From Another contender in fight for Mt Roskill:

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett would be welcome back into the Labour fold as someone with a “big future ahead of him”, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“Nick is a talented guy…whether he just saw an opportunity for those who wanted to back him for mayor against a Labour candidate, who knows,” Little said, after Labour-endorsed Justin Lester was confirmed as mayor last night.

“He is a talented guy and he has got a big future ahead of him. But he has got to work with people who can organise for his success.”

On Tuesday Leggett indicated that those people wouldn’t be from Labour. Newstalk ZB: Nick Leggett: Labour has changed and I’m not going back

Nick Leggett told Tim Fookes he’s still interested in a career in politics, but it wouldn’t be with Labour as the party has changed.

“I want to live in a country that’s open, its borders are open, it’s open to migrants, it’s open to trade.”

“Unfortunately Labour seems to be going in the opposite direction to that, and I think it’s very sad.”

This morning from Newshub: From Labour to National, is Nick Leggett jumping ship?

Rumours are circulating that former Porirua mayor and ex-Labour stalwart Nick Leggett could be standing in the Mana electorate at next year’s election for the National Party.

It’s up for grabs following Hekia Parata’s decision to leave politics however Mr Leggett says nothing is official – yet.

“I would never say never but I say that in the widest possible sense,” he said.

“I won’t rule out standing for any, I think that would be silly to.”

Labour’s Kris Faafoi (19,651) easily beat Hekia Parata (11,698) in Mana in 2014 but National was ahead by over 2,000 votes in the party vote. Parata won’t be standing again next year.

Little says Labour would welcome Leggett back

Labour leader Andrew Little says that Nick Leggett would be welcomed back into Labour, despite describing Leggett as “a right-wing candidate”.

When Leggett resigned from the Labour Party so he could stand for the Wellington mayoralty against a Labour candidate Little was not amused.

Labour MPs forbidden from associating with “right-wing” Wellington mayoral candidate

And he’s making it clear he considers Nick Leggett, a former Labour Party member, a right-winger.

“His campaign manager is well-known ACT party identity. We know that there’s money from the right-wing that has gone into his campaign. He’s a right-wing candidate.”

Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett appears to be public enemy number one for the Labour Party as its MPs are forbidden from associating with him.

Labour Leader Andrew Little has pulled rank, preventing MP Stuart Nash from speaking at an event where Mr Leggett was also speaking.

Mr Little said the event was for right-wingers who have routinely sought to undermine the Labour Party and it’s not right for a Labour MP to share a platform with people who do that.

Now Labour’s Justin Lester has beaten Leggett in the mayoralty Little seems to have changed his views, or at least his public stance.

NZ Herald  in Another contender in fight for Mt Roskill:

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett would be welcome back into the Labour fold as someone with a “big future ahead of him”, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“Nick is a talented guy…whether he just saw an opportunity for those who wanted to back him for mayor against a Labour candidate, who knows,” Little said, after Labour-endorsed Justin Lester was confirmed as mayor last night.

“He is a talented guy and he has got a big future ahead of him. But he has got to work with people who can organise for his success.”

Leggett resigned from Labour – which he joined at age 15 – just before announcing his nomination for Wellington mayor as an independent.

In that way he avoided being expelled because it against the rules for members to stand against endorsed candidates.

Little made an attack on Leggett in August, saying his campaign was being run by an Act identity and that his campaign was being funded by “right-wingers.”

Leggett took issue with that description, saying he was a moderate who was “pro-enterprise” but also a strong advocate for social issues while mayor of Porirua.

He believed Little’s comments reflected the fact there was a “purge” going on within Labour to rid itself of members considered “right wing”.

It sounds like both Leggett and Little were not happy at all with each other.

So what now for Leggett? Will he “work with people who can organise for his success”? If he rejoins Labour and puts himself forward as a candidate next year it would be interesting to see where he was placed on the Labour list.

This is an odd flip flop from Little. Is it a genuine attempt at conciliation? Or is it an attempt to stop Leggett looking around at other parties?

Subverting the democratic will of voters?

Is telling voters who they should vote for ‘subverting the democratic will of voters’? Wellington mayoral candidate Nick Leggett thinks so, or he thinks that saying so will attract a bit of attention and a few votes.

All candidates in this election must respect the democratic will of the voters. Tactics like this must not be tolerated.

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I thought it was fairly normal for candidates and campaign teams to try and tell voters who to vote for and how to vote.

If voters are being deliberately misled then there could be cause to grizzle, but I’m not sure that’s the case here.

I’m not even sure what “democratic will of voters” is supposed to mean.

Ethics in election campaigns? That’s a bit of an ask.

What about owning Leggett’s “my supporters”? Is it a subversion of democracy to tell them how to vote? Or is it just other people telling them?

More on this…

Pete, the critical distinction is between advising on ranking and falsely claiming a vote for preferred candidate is wasted.

Don’t forget she’s already sending emails citing staffer-stacked Stuff polls as reason voting for Nick is wasted

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The poll she refers to is a Stuff online poll.

I am not a fan of scientifically meaningless online surveys as a means to eliminate ur opponent.

Did 12 years and countless campaigns under pref voting in Oz. Saw stuff to make your hair curl. Never this.

Worth noting Jo ad links to a doctored front page. Not really the paragon of ethical campaigning.

Sounds like things are getting tense in the Wellington contest.

Unlike Auckland and Christchurch, Wellington seems to be a very close run contest with second and third preference votes being perhaps crucal.

Phil Quin says that a recent online poll has been taken down “due to excessive late-night vote-bombing”.

He has provided an earlier poll:

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Online polls are crap (aka very unreliable as they are non -representative, self selecting and easily manipulated), so basing any campaign on these is highly questionable.

I don’t think Leggett came across very well with his tweet bleat, but it looks like he has good cause to be grumpy with the “Go Jo” campaign.

Labour versus Leggett ctd.

Current Porirua mayor Nick Leggett resigned from the Labour Party earlier this year so he could stand for the Wellington mayoralty against Labour’s anointed candidate Justin Lester.

Leggett’s candidacy seems to be really bugging Labour. Recently Andrew Little attacked him and banned a Labour MP from attending an event Leggett went to. See Little trying to forbid MPs associating.

And the Labour campaign against Leggett seems to be continuing online.

Mike Smith seems to only post at The Standard when there is important business to attend to.

On Tuesday Smith posted Leggett in Parkin’s pocket?

Former Councillor Chris Parkin interviewed in Wellington’s DomPost shared his ambitions – investing in property in central Wellington, and getting Porirua mayor Nick Leggett elected in Wellington, of all places. Word has it that large billboards for Leggett around the town have been funded by Parkin. The last thing Wellington needs is a mayor who’s in a property investor’s pocket.

And yesterday Smith attacked again: Leggett in Gollins’ pocket too!!!

It gets worse – another property developer is rattling the tin for Porirua carpetbagger Nick Leggett for Wellington’s mayoralty. 

It seems Andrew Little might have been right to warn Stuart Nash MP off association with Leggett’s campaign.

Yes, this is worse – for Labour. It’s a sign that they are worried about Lester’s chances and worried that Leggett is taking votes off their candidate.

‘CC’ asks (currently unanswered): “This is getting pretty close to dirty politics isn’t it?”

Labour certainly seem to be filthy about Leggett.

And Smith is twisting what actually happened – the event Nash was warned off was in Auckland and had no connection to the campaign in Wellington.

I wonder if this has something to do with it:

Claire Robinson ‏@Spinprofessor
Little bird told me polling showing Wgtn mayoral rice tight tween Justin, Nick and Jo, but Jo getting more 2nd votes than others

It seems that politics hath no fury like a Labour Party challenged by one of their own.

 

 

Watkins on Little versus Leggett

Tracey Watkins in Stuff on how party politics appears to be taking over local body elections, and how it could backfire.

The current mayor of Christchurch, Leanne Dalziel, is a former Labour MP and Minister.

Phil Goff is touted as the front runner for mayor of Auckland.

And Labour are promoting a candidate for the Wellington mayoralty, Justin Lester.

Ankle tap or leg up? Why Andrew Little’s assault on Leggett might backfire

As if national politics wasn’t brutal enough, Andrew Little has turned the Wellington mayoral campaign even uglier by verbally attacking a high profile candidate.

Little has drawn a new battle line in the mayoral campaign by claiming one of the front runners, Nick Leggett, is a “right wing” candidate, backed by right wing funding. He also claimed Leggett’s campaign manager was a “leading identity” in the ACT party, which Leggett rejects, as he does the “right wing” label.

None of this would be particularly extraordinary except Leggett is the long time Porirua mayor and a former Labour Party member who only resigned the party when he entered the mayoralty campaign in opposition to its official candidate, Justin Lester.

Little’s assault on Leggett as a right winger is revealing on two counts; it tells us the extent to which party politics is taking over local body elections.

And it is an insight into the resurgence of Labour’s age old battle between the left and right factions of the party.

There are also signs that Little is prepared to try and control what Labour MPs do, depending on who they are – see Little trying to forbid MPs associating.

If Little’s intention in taking on Leggett was to give Lester a leg up it could just as likely backfire. It exposes the extent to which national politics has crept into local body elections, something that may not sit well with all voters.

It also rips the scab open on Labour’s left right divide. And given the party’s brutal history on that front – think back to the Lange, Douglas years – he might regret going there.

There’s a risk of backfire both in the Wellington mayoralty and in national politics for Labour. Looking as split as UK Labour may not work out well for a party trying to rebuild.

 

Little trying to forbid MPs associating

Andrew Little is trying to control who Labour MPs can associate with, but not very successfully.

Newstalk ZB: Labour MPs forbidden from associating with “right-wing” Wellington mayoral candidate

Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett appears to be public enemy number one for the Labour Party as its MPs are forbidden from associating with him.

Labour Leader Andrew Little has pulled rank, preventing MP Stuart Nash from speaking at an event where Mr Leggett was also speaking.

Mr Little said the event was for right-wingers who have routinely sought to undermine the Labour Party and it’s not right for a Labour MP to share a platform with people who do that.

And he’s making it clear he considers Nick Leggett, a former Labour Party member, a right-winger.

“His campaign manager is well-known ACT party identity. We know that there’s money from the right-wing that has gone into his campaign. He’s a right-wing candidate.”

This is stupid. Is Little going to stop Labour MPs and candidates from associating with right wingers and people who try to ‘undermine’ Labour during next year’s election as well as this year’s local body elections?

However, Leggett is laughing off suggestions he’s right wing.

Mr Leggett said he’s standing as an independent and doesn’t believe there’s a place for party politics in local government.

“I’ve got people that have worked on my campaign from all parts of the political spectrum, mainly Labour and National obviously. That’s local government, you unite around good ideas for the communities that you live in.”

Labour has endorsed current deputy mayor Justin Lester for the position.

Little doesn’t think it’s a good idea though. If Labour candidate Justin Lester wins the Wellington mayoralty will Little try to tell him who he can’t associate with? Councillors who until recently were members of the Labour Party?

And it gets stupider.

When it was pointed out to Little that David Shearer had attended the same function, Little said: “I’m saying it is not right for Labour MPs to be associated with events like that and with people who seek to undermine the Labour Party.”

Shearer attended – as any MP should be able to – but Nash was prevented from associating with Shearer and others by Little.

Will Little try to stop Labour MPs from associating with right wingers and people who try to undermine Labour in Parliament?

The Nation – Wellington mayoral debate

The Nation this morning is having a debate between the candidates standing for the Wellington mayoralty.


Tomorrow, the fight for the future of Wellington. We talk to the mayoral contenders

, Helene Ritchie and Andy Foster

Absent from that list is Celia Wade-Brown who announced yesterday that she wouldn’t be standing for re-election. I wonder if her decision was prompted by the debate as she would have been lined up for that.

Candidates are:

Leggett lashes Labour

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett describes himself as “a life-long (moderate and pro-enterprise) Labour supporter”. He lashes Labour in despair in a post at The Pundit – Labour’s sins of ommission.

He begins:

Where is the sense of urgency from a Labour party that doesn’t seem terribly fussed about winning this election, or at least seems quite happy to leave it to potential coalition partners to get it over the line?

The biggest crime a Labour Party caucus, activist base and affiliated unions can commit is to not put their party in a position where it can realistically when an election. They can claim all they like to want to bring new talent into parliament through the list, but on current polling, it’s rhetoric – no new faces will make it come September.

It’s worth reading his whole post. He concludes:

Where is the sense of urgency in Labour that says it’s not OK for generations in a single family to be stuck on the dole? Labour is never satisfied with the status quo – we believe that tomorrow can be better. We have a divine discontent that makes us strive to improve on what is.

It would nice for all this be reflected in the Labour Party that faces the 2014 election.

It may be too late for this election, which is not good for New Zealand.  Whether Labour could beat National this election with the help of Greens and others or not a weak (once) major party weakens our democracy.

There’s a growing chance of a Labour vote collapse.

Labour have failed to recover and rebuild since Helen Clark and Michael Cullen packed up and left Nearly two terms ago. nearly six years ago.

More worrying is that in it’s current form it looks unlikely Labour will recover next term either unless something dramatic changes, and with the same old line-up with a procession of leaders that is looking a forlorn hope.

We could be moving to (or have already moved to) just a one major party, several moderate sized parties and several tiny parties model of MMP.

While National hold power we are likely to continue unremarkable slightly right leaning at at times timid government.

When the voters eventually give a hodge podge of parties a turn anything could happen, depending on how small Labour gets, who is leading them at the time and what factions are dominant.

In the meantime dominating the news today:

Time to bring back…the moa

With “the science of de-extinction advancing quickly”, as he put it, the Hutt South MP has laid down a challenge for Lower Hutt and for scientists: Let’s work towards the possibility of moa one day striding again through the bush of Rimutaka Forest Park.

While admitting it sounded “a bit Jurassic Park”, Mallard said scientists had been making progress on techniques for using recovered DNA from extinct animals to reconstruct new life.

Fifty to 100 years from now, Wainuiomata could again be home to the moa, which would make an enormous difference to the environment, community and economy, he said.

“It would certainly give us international focus and, frankly, I can’t think of a better place. Those valleys [behind Wainuiomata] are accessible without helicopter, with a one-hour walk.”

I’d prefer “time to bring back Labour” as a serious political force but the party looks more like farce.