Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Where are all the polls at?

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  • simon g,

    A reminder of the Herald poll on page 4 of this thread.

    Relevant today as misinformation and misunderstanding of MMP abounds. Don't read Stuff comments - or a bunch of other outlets - if you'd like to believe that NZ voters understand their own democracy, and the system they chose in a referendum only 6 years ago.

    There's an MMP election in Germany today. Perhaps they could show us how it's done.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • Neil,

    If National do indeed get a 4th term then Key's resignation will turn out to be one of the more brilliant manoeuvres in NZ politics.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report

  • linger,

    Nah, just a less than brilliant opposition (with a surge coming too little, too late).
    Want to look back at the "lessons to be learned for Labour" comments after the 2014 election? Things like:
    (i) Labour should adopt a more collegial leadership structure, with co-leaders.
    (ii) Labour should visibly, consistently, and positively work with the Greens and other potential coalition partners throughout the term.
    (iii) Labour should do much more to express opposition to National's policies, and explain what they would repeal and do differently.

    Were those lessons learned? No, they were largely ignored for almost the entire term. The relatively amicable passing of leadership from Little to Ardern was about as close as they came to (i), and came only after 2 years of backbiting; meanwhile, partnership with the Greens wasn't pursued in any timely sense and remained sketchy up to the last, while any possible partnership with the Maori Party wasn't allowed to outweigh the battle for electorate votes.

    Sometimes it feels like being a Cassandra in a coalmine.

    (i.e. no-one listens ... but if you stop complaining,
    that doesn't mean things have gotten any better...)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Neil,

    Peters will have plenty of considerations but perhaps an important one will be setting up heir apparent Shane Jones.

    Thinking that through I'm not sure which major party is favoured.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to izogi,

    I guess there are a million ways to frame the outcome, but to me there are just a heap of people don’t want things to change.

    And they very much in the main live in Auckland;


    Despite all the talk of unaffordable housing, unchecked immigration and gridlocked roads, their is no mood for change in our biggest city. Or if there is, none of the other parties are doing anything to capture it.

    National's party vote held firm or increased in all but a handful of Auckland's electorates.

    The main exceptions were Mt Albert (Jacinda Ardern's electorate) and Auckland Central, which saw one of the biggest swings to Labour in the country.

    All 10 of the electorates in which support for National increased by more than 2 points were in Auckland.

    Many of those were heartland Labour territory in the south and west of the city, where National's overall vote share is still small and Labour's is large, but they also grew their support in blue strongholds like Botany, Pakuranga and Papakura.

    I suspect its the size of the mortgages up there - across the political spectrum.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    If Winston really sides with those who aren’t getting the trickle-down, since he now has the opportunity to help shape a genuinely-progressive new government his negotiating strategy ought to prioritise that design.

    This is a great re-read;


    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    What I'm seeing suggests that the Greens are in fact electoral poison with the non-Left bloc. "Centrists" might consider voting for a right-dominated Labour Party if the other options have lost all credibility, but they won't countenance voting for a Labour Party that would go into any form of coalition with the Greens.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report

  • simon g, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    I think the Metiria story makes any broader conclusions about the Greens pretty shaky, really. It was a double self-inflicted wound (the original story, but more so, weeks of the not resigning/then resigning follow-up, which was more or less the worst way to handle it).

    More generally, we've had a problem ever since the first MMP election, with "centrists" found in other multi-party democracies being represented here by NZFirst (which has little in common with the usual centrist parties overseas) and by United, which was formed by Nat/Lab MPs to be sort of euro-liberal-centrist but then got sidelined and reinvented by several increasingly desperate mergers.

    There should be room for MMP parties that can coalesce with National or Labour, but god only knows when a credible one is going to emerge. We need a better option than just waiting for the next rich man's toy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to simon g,

    For all practical purposes, unless the threshold is reduced to <1%, that better option would have to involve a locally popular sitting electorate MP forming their own party. Any takers?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • simon g, in reply to linger,

    Too true. History of minor parties getting into Parliament under MMP (some predated the change of voting system), and how they first got there:

    NZF - sitting Nat MP. Alliance - sitting Lab MP. United(Future) - sitting Nat and Lab MPs. ACT - recycled Lab MP (Prebble) who was quasi-gifted a seat by National (they did also get over 5%). Maori Party - sitting Lab MP.

    The Greens got in as part of the Alliance, and then broke free. So real outsiders breaking in: none. Have I missed any?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to simon g,

    Social Democrats pre-MMP, maybe. The Bob Jones vanity project got to double-digit support back in the day, too, but again, rich man's hobby, and guess which two digits I'm raising to that.
    Anybody starting without a representative already sitting has a huge disadvantage. Maybe someone with a massive media profile could break in, but you look at the possible contenders there, and you think, how could they be any kind of force for change?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • tussock,

    Mana party got in under a sitting Māori party MP, though he won a by-election first when he switched to Mana.

    Greens had sitting MPs from the Alliance, and won a seat their first time on their own, though only just on special votes. They also trace back to the Values party that used to split the left vote in the 70's, and has had seats on and off for a rather long time. Bloody splitters.

    I liked Gareth Morgan's comment that people vote on self-interest, in that 1: no they don't (it's complicated), and 2: that is how it's supposed to work, if your policies won't help most people, maybe just fuck off.

    But vanity parties that go nowhere will always be a thing because rich people aren't especially smart. It's obviously cheaper to just buy policy off the National party.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to tussock,

    Values (1972-1990) never won a single seat in any election. Their best showing was in 1975 (5.2%, which under FPP still got them nothing).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to ,

    …and Epsom – what’s wrong with you people?
    (is there something in the water?)

    They where told how to vote.

    True, though for whatever it might be worth, Barry Humphries in a 1980s interview was moved to mention how he'd been struck by an overwhelming sense of sadness while driving through Epsom after dark. The existential hell of the grammar zone?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to simon g,

    So real outsiders breaking in: none. Have I missed any?

    The 5% threshold seems, to me, like a statement that we don't want to risk any weirdos whom we don't know getting in. Only the people entitled enough to be there, thanks.

    The likes of TOP and Conservative have demonstrated it's an extremely hard ceiling to break through. Even with the resources and (often) the apparent sympathies of many voters, many people simply won't vote for a party they see as at risk of not reaching the threshold, presumably(?) because they want to feel like their vote's counted for something.

    The sooner a government seriously considers lowering that, as was recommended by the MMP review that Judith Collins binned, the better. Another idea I saw the other day, which I'd not seen before, is an Alternative Vote type of thing for the Party Vote. (ie. If your first preference of party doesn't break the threshold, let people assign it elsewhere.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen,

    If he threshold was 1% more people would vote for those minor parties BECAUSE their vote would count.

    Same applies to a transferable vote system.

    But it won't happen because those votes would come from National and Labour and they won't allow such a change to be made.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The reactions to the review in this article really highlight that attitude.

    Labour "backs the changes", but only makes a deal of getting rid of coat-tailing (something that National's been taking lots of advantage of lately to foster coalition partners).

    National opposes lowering the threshold (no reason given).

    ACT opposes the changes, especially removing coat-tailing. (At the time, it was allowing ACT to have lots of MPs whilst more popular parties had zero MPs.)

    Greens support the proposed changes entirely.

    NZF doesn't support lowering the threshold.

    Jordan Williams, who was queried for no obvious reason, just hates MMP. I guess that's because it gives people some degree of representation by those who govern them. In line with that he supported getting rid of coat-tailing but not to lower the threshold. (How dare it be practically possible for smaller parties to be elected in any form!)

    I think I'd need to be convinced about lowering the threshold as far as 1% for similar stability concerns expressed by the Chief Electoral Officer, but right now it definitely seems much too high.

    But I also hate the idea of people whose votes get obliterated by the system, after the count, not having an opportunity to reassign them. Has a transferable vote idea ever been seriously considered under MMP that anyone's aware of?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • simon g, in reply to ,

    Even If Labour and the Greens had been given a mandate to govern without NZ first, that’s not change. That’s more or less the same government we already had, but with much more capable professionalism.

    Steven, that really isn't true. A Labour-Green government would have been (will be next time?) markedly different, in a vast number of policy areas. Not just different from National, but from Clark 2002-08, when the Greens were on the outer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to linger,

    Values (1972-1990) never won a single seat in any election. Their best showing was in 1975

    Didn't they metamorphose into The Greens?
    That has to be a plus!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • linger,

    Yeah, kind of, via the somewhat misnamed Alliance. And it has continued to evolve since. As of last term there was as much ex-Macgillicuddys as ex-Values in the Green genome.
    Actually, not sure steady genetic inheritance is the best image for it: the progress of the core personnel and ideas over decades has been more like a rolling maul.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • simon g,

    Meanwhile we can enjoy the Blue-Green coalition fantasies being circulated on social media. Possible motivations include blatant mischief-making, genuine fear of Winston destroying the Nats yet again, the prospect of Ron Mark ("Go back to Korea!") sitting next to Melissa Lee with 3 years of the government saying "we're not racist but ...". Oh, and we can't rule out simple delusion, where the environment is miraculously saved and nobody has to pay for it at all.

    I'd love James Shaw to say "OK National, let's talk, but first you have to gift us an electorate, because this deal will kill us otherwise. So who's it gonna be?".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • tussock,

    The National party ain't much like it was in the 70's either, and Labour even further away. They just never changed their names, even though a few in National used to fly other colours.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • linger,

    True that; I could countenance voting for 1970s Labour.
    (And you can draw a fairly direct line from 1980s National to NZF, in fact that’s probably what most NZF voters think they’re actually supporting.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    James Shaw has made this release to members:


    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Neil,

    The Greens didn't need to align with National in order to recently bring them to the point of extinction.

    That was with an MOU with Labour.

    With MMP it's just that smaller parties have been at the mercy of the larger ones.

    Although Peters has been with both National and Labour and he's still around and look at how much power he currently has. It's unlikely the Greens will wield such influence.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report

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