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.

US stock market slump

After soaring to record highs last week the US stock market took a dive today (Monday in the US).It recovered a little but ended the day heading downwards again.

It is still well up on where it was a year ago, but current momentum is drastically downwards.

One day movement:

One month movement:

One year movement:

Five year movement:

It’s impossible to know if this is just a sharp correction, or a sign of imminent financial collapse. There have been recent claims that world finances were precarious, and the US economy was on a knife edge, with lessons of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis not heeded.

Is it a good time to move Kiwisaver savings to a more conservative fund?


Poll paints a pall on Labour

The latest poll result is bad for Labour – Roy Morgan – National 51, Labour 29

Doom and gloom is being expressed in an aptly named Roy Morgan shocker at The Standard. Most state the obvious, but one of the most astute comments is from longstanding Labour Party stalwart Irish Bill.

Here’s the latest Labour release on the GCSB: PM clueless about GCSB’s snooping for Henry inquiry

In just a handful of paragraphs it manages to move from the claim Key is clueless to the claim he’s not only not clueless but is engaged in a Machiavellian plot to hide the truth. It’s not just not in line with any broader messaging (because there isn’t any), it doesn’t even have internal logical consistency. It’s the kind of thing I would use to illustrate what not to do when teaching basic media writing. And it’s gone out in David Shearer’s name on the most important political issue of the day.

It’s that kind of incompetence day after day after day that has got us to this point and I can’t see it getting any better. It’s not a matter of policy (left or right) that has determined Labour’s decline – it is simply the fact that nobody in there has any idea what they are doing.

I think this nails Labour’s biggest problem – nobody there seems to have any idea what they are doing. Or they keep having bad ideas.

Last week it was announced that Fran Mold was returning to Shearer’s office to replace his Chief of Staff who has been moved on.

Perhaps Mold hasn’t had time to stamp her nous on Shearer’s management but it wasn’t particularly good when she was head of his PR department until a few months ago.

And one of The Standard’s most prolific commenters and an increasingly frustrated Labour supporter Colonial Viper says:

Yep. It’s trying to play “gotcha” instead of expressing the practical application of consistent values and principles.

Yesterday Grant Robertson tried to piggy back on the Green Party’s success at holding National to account over the Vance data debacle, but the Greens have been diligently working away on that issue for weeks.

Russel Norman is being widely viewed as the Leader of the Opposition – but for all that Greens have nudged down in the polls too, down 1.5 to 10%. That may be more to do with Labour-Greens being seen as the opposition and Labour dragging their junior partner down.

What’s the solution? Some at The Standard think that Labour has to move left and be a proper old fashioned LABOUR Labour party and stand by it’s traditional principles.

But the proper old fashioned LABOUR members of parliament have long ago bolted from the Labour stable. And the proper old fashioned LABOUR voters have faded away with last century.

The dissection continues. McFlock:

So what the hell’s happened over the last two months to reverse a solid trend? I mean, that’s four consecutive drops in the RM, which hasn’t happened since goff.

I think at least some of it is garnishers and jonolists editing the truth, but it’s not like labour’s made a sudden change in its performance in that time period. Any ideas?


but it’s not like labour’s made a sudden change in its performance

Correct. They have remained consistently, reliably, steadily self-absorbed, uninspiring, divided, lazy and incompetent.

Remember: the customer is always right.

McFlock then launches into a fairly standard Standard retort to criticism:

Right, this is not going to end up being a derail argument. Fuck off. I will do what you are completely incapable of, you moron. So, go fuck yourself. bye bye.

That, sadly, is an extreme version of Labour Caucus responses to criticism, and worse – their reaction to offers of fresh ideas and input. In my experience they have been far from welcoming to anyone that wants to do more than be a docile MP admiring servant.

I think Labour’s first priority needs to be to look competent. With the current caucus and leadership and advisers that is not going to be easy.

Then they need to be open to an influx of new ideas, supporters – and MPs. But too many of the old guard of incompetents are viciously guarding their pay cheques.


Something that has crossed my mind recently: a negative side of MMP is that it actually reinforces political careerism, since one only has to gain the confidence of one’s colleagues and not necessarily the public.

A good point, but that might apply to Labour last term perhaps. There is an obvious lack of confidence amongst caucus colleagues. And the poll reflects a distinct lack of public confidence in Labour as a whole.


Labour seems to have forgotten how to ‘dance’ with the public.

Yes. All their MPs (and bloggers) seem to be able to do is stamp on each other’s feet.

The poll has painted a pall on Labour – another coat.