There have been reports and claims for months that the Greens would do a deal with Labour in the Ohariu electorate to improve Labour’s chances of winning the electorate.
A few days ago Labour confirmed that Greg O’Connor would stand for them – something also predicted months ago. Now the Greens say they won’t stand a candidate in Ohariu to try to increase the chances of changing the government, but they say they will still campaign for their party vote in Ohariu without a candidate.
One News from 29 November 2016
Good morning, @avancenz joins us soon with exclusive details of backroom deals between Labour and the Greens ahead of next year’s election
‘In Nelson the Greens feel like they can pick up a lot of votes’ @avancenz on backroom deals between Labour and Greens.
Green’s won’t stand a candidate in Ohariu, paving the way for a Labour candidate to battle with United Future’s Peter Dunne.
Green’s co-leader Metiria Turei will run in Te Tai Tonga, Labour candidate Rino Tirikatene told by party not to run.
This has now been confirmed as an election strategy by the Greens.
The Greens have dropped any plans to run a candidate in the Ohariu seat in a move aimed at giving Labour’s Greg O’Connor a better chance of winning the marginal seat – despite Green misgivings about his past views.
Green co-leader James Shaw said the decision was taken in the interests of changing the Government, which was the party’s priority.
“We have been very clear with our supporters and the public about that since we signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Labour last year,” he said.
“Not standing in Ohariu increases the chances that we will be in a position to change the Government in September – it’s as simple as that.’
But in a statement released to Stuff confirming the decision Shaw made no comment about O’Connor himself.
Green co-leader Metiria Turei has said in the past she does not agree with many of his stances.
Principles can become flexible when politicians and parties seek power.
The call was made “after many discussions” in the party, which would still campaign strongly for the party vote in Ohariu.
Greens have operated on the basis of using electorate candidates to campaign for their party vote. Without a candidate they will still be able to advertise for their party and put up party billboards, but they won’t have a candidate at campaign meetings or feature in candidate based media coverage.
The 2014 Green candidate Tane Woodley won 2764 votes compared to 13,569 for Dunne and 12,859 for Labour’s Virginia Andersen. National’s Brett Hudson won 6120 votes, with many National supporters swinging in behind Dunne.
National won 50.4 per cent of the party vote in Ohariu against 23.5 per cent for Labour, 15.07 per cent for the Greens and just 0.73 per cent for Dunne’s United Future.
It will be interesting to see how National deals with Ohariu now.