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Auckland Central; Should Chloe Swarbrick Stand Aside?

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, July 16th, 2020 - 127 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, election 2020, greens, labour, Politics, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

One day the rooster, next day the feather duster.

Nikki Kaye has shown her total faith in temporary Tory leader Judith Collins by abruptly announcing her retirement from Parliament.

This squarely brings the seat of Auckland Central into play.

Kaye won the seat four times thanks to the assistance of the Green Party.

Four elections in a row, Kaye’s vote was less than the combined vote of the Labour and Greens’ electoral candidates. Four times in a row, Kaye’s majority was less than the Green’s electoral vote.

The Green’s long time candidate, Denise Roche, is not standing at this election. She became a list MP anyway, and served NZ well until the Green’s leadership meltdown in 2017 cost her a place in Parliament.

In 2020, the Greens have put up the excellent MP Chloe Swarbrick as their candidate. Labour have put forward the equally excellent workers’ advocate Helen White, who came a close second to Nikki Kaye in 2017.

There is a good chance that both will make it into Parliament this election, as both have winnable list places (Swarbrick 3rd, White 50th).

While we don’t know who the replacement Tory candidate will be, the odds are it will be someone high profile, because National cherish the seat.

To bang the drum yet again, electorate seats are important.

The party vote determines the overall numbers in Parliament, but it’s the results in individual seats that make the difference on the ground.

Electorate MP’s are often the place of last resort for Kiwi battlers. When you’re doing it tough, a sympathetic ear and practical assistance from your local MP can make all the difference.

If your local MP is a Tory, well, you’re on your own.

However, if the electorate MP for Auckland Central is a hard working, clever and articulate advocate for the rights of working people and their families, you’re in with a chance.

That’s Helen White.

The choice for the Greens is tricky. They really do need to max out their party vote, but they also do need to get their heads around MMP and recognise that they are a list party only.

The Greens should do the right thing by voters in Auckland Central and give the nod to the Labour candidate.

It won’t harm their overall result and it will absolutely show that they have matured to the point where being a genuine partner in Government is fully deserved.

Or they can help elect a Tory MP for the 5th election in a row.

It’s not a hard call.

 

(Disclosure: both Denise Roche and Helen White are people I have worked with in the past. They’re both great.)

 

 

 

 

127 comments on “Auckland Central; Should Chloe Swarbrick Stand Aside? ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    The Greens have been more than happy to put Nikki Kaye in as the MP for Auckland Central for several elections. They have been spinning the "Labour should stand aside for Chloe" for weeks already. Not holding my breath waiting for a change.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      But, Labour standing aside for Chloe would show that Labour is a genuine partner.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Nope, she can either win on her own or she can't.

        Full stop. Or else she is gonna be just another hologram no matter what.

        Or is politics now a game where people get a trophy for participating if they can't win the race?

      • Brigid 1.1.2

        QFT

    • Andre 1.2

      I've never understood the idea that Auckland Central is an electorate where it might be sensible to try to gift a seat to the Greens. Orc Central's combined Lab/Green party vote in 2017 was 15,943 (4170 of those were Greens) vs Nat party vote 11773. There isn't much of a cushion of excess Lab/Gr votes, so it's easy to split in a way that lets the Nat in.

      Now look at Wellie Central. Combined Lab/Gr vote 25,698 (9198 Greens), vs 13,156 Nat party vote. Not only are the Greens already much stronger to begin with, but the combined Lab/Gr vote is very nearly double the Nat vote. So it would be very unlikely for the vote to split in a way that let the Nat slip through.

      • Chris 1.2.1

        So Swarbrick stands aside and gets in on the list; Robertson stands aside and gets in on the list. Easy, clean and simple swap, which means of course…

  2. roy cartland 2

    It won’t harm their overall result

    It will if they dip below 5%, due the Labour's juggernaut of exposure lately. Maybe Labour ought to stand aside for Chloë? Or is the onus only on the Greens to show they can be mature and genuine?

  3. Shanti 3

    Placing the blame on the Greens doesn't really tell the whole story.

    First and foremost, the electoral system plays a major factor. A FPTP system means this sort of thing is inevitable.

    Second, having strong candidates for electorate seats ups party votes. So if the Greens started stepping aside for electorates, it could weaken their total vote share. Not a good thing given the current state of affairs.

    Third, it isn't like Labour would be willing to reciprocate and give a seat to the Greens.

    Fourth, the Greens still have the role of holding the government to account. Just handing over electorates kind of bypasses the voters, a key part of our electoral system.

    In short, electoral reform is a better answer to this problem than the Greens rolling over.

    • Aaron 3.1

      Shanti, that makes total sense – maybe you should have written the main article.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    TRP has it posterior about face. If anyone should pull, or ‘under promote’ their Auck Central candidate, it is the NZ Labour Party, but they won’t-anymore than they would consider not running in Epsom and very likely dispatch ACT as a consequence.

    Whangarei and Northland are also electorates that need sorting, Emily Henderson and Willow Jean Prime are worthy Labour candidates that will likely be subject to Labour head office machinations again.

    At base, Labour tops like their National counterparts, seem to have have never truly embraced MMP, and still want to be “the one to rule them all”.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      TMountain a well put reasoning. Is there anything else to say that counters it?

  5. observer 5

    The Greens have got their heads around MMP. They know that they have always retained their independence and (therefore) always got over 5%.

    Sure, there was Coromandel back in 99, but MMP was brand new then and everyone was working it out.

    Electorate deals = ownership by a major party.

    Disclosure: helped hand out leaflets for Chloe at Auck Uni in 2017, very minor involvement but enough to see how important her profile is: students have to be encouraged to vote, and that means prominent candidate, on the billboards and ballot paper. Worth one extra MP on specials, most elections.

  6. Matthew Whitehead 6

    No.

    Oh, sorry, I was supposed to read the post first? Okay.

    Let's see:

    If Labour doesn't want the spoiler effect in electorates, that's a matter for electoral reform and needs to be kicked to the Electoral Commission or brought to a referendum. (I endorse STAR voting- Range Voting but with a runoff, for single-winner electorates, and Re-weighted Range Voting, or STV, for multi-winner ones) Until then, the Greens will run in whichever electorates we would like to, and have absolutely no obligation to stand down without concessions from Labour in return. Thanks.

    (Besides, at current polling, both Swarbrick and White will handily be in on the Party List, so it objectively DOES NOT MATTER who wins Auckland Central. It might even be beneficial if National win it, as you’ll see in the Pollwatch update I’m about to write)

    • roy cartland 6.1

      Excellent point. STV for electorate seats.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Green party policy.

      • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.2

        We should only use STV in electorates which are sized to have more than one winner. STV is a very bad single-winner voting system.

        • Sacha 6.1.2.1

          Do you mean bigger seats with more than one member each?

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.2.1.1

            Yes. STV is technically only the correct name when an election can have more than one winner. The system becomes IRV (Instant Runoff Vote) when there's only one winner, and the sacrifices needed to make it a near-proportional system become unnecessary and perverse.

            So you might, say, merge Wellington Central, Rongotai, and Ōhāriu to make a Wellington City seat with three potential winners- who would most likely be Labour, Green, and National, which would be much more proportional to the vote within the region.

            The STAR system I mention is essentially where you might rate as many candidates as you like between 1 and 9. You disqualify any candidates who don't meet a minimum threshold of ratings, then take the highest two scoring candidates on average, and do a runoff between them based on how many voters scored each candidate higher. The winner of the runoff wins the electorate. No spoilers, room for third parties or compromise candidates if they're genuinely better, and a much fairer system by many important election criteria and modelling outcomes.

            • swordfish 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Back to the Future

              The Major Cities had multi-member seats in NZ up to the early 1900s … the Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch & Dunedin City seats each had 3 or 4 members IIRR.

              Simple FPP-style top 3, though (no ranking / preferences).

              • Matthew Whitehead

                Yeah, that's how at-large constituencies used to work. It's called Block Voting and it's a terrible idea, it's actually worse than single-winner FPP.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  To clarify this a bit:

                  Any multi-winner system, even a candidate-based one like Block Vote or STV or RRV, has to worry about how proportional it is to each district that candidates are awarded to, or if there are no districts, to the popular vote or party ideology of the nation as a whole.

                  If there's a simple plurality in a district of any one political opinion, they get to decide all three winners if they can agree on them, even if the district is forty percent National-supporting, one third Labour, and twenty five percent Greens supporting, for example, you'd end up with three National MPs under a block vote if three chose to run- and if Labour and Green voters tactically voted for the same two Labour MPs and one Green MP, they could lock out all three National candidates. In technical terms, this would be “not being proportional at all.”

                  Before we started doing monte carlo modelling in political science, proportionality was the gold standard in measuring how good an election system is. It’s still very important even after the discovery of how to analyse single-winner contests.

                  STV and RRV solve this problem by electing candidates in rounds. STV does rounds until it finds a candidate that meets or exceeds quota, then redistributes the fraction of remaining votes according to the ratio of overall preferences. RRV finds the highest-rated candidate, and reduces the weight of all voters who supported them by a certain fraction, which is normally a multiplier of how enthusiastically that voter supported them, and then they both iterate until they've chosen the appropriate number of winners.

                  There’s debate as to whether STV is proportional or semi-proportional, but it tends to perform as well on average for proportionality as MMP does after we add things like the 5% threshold rule to it to water down how representative it is. It is certainly a lot more proportional than most other candidate-based methods of election, although re-weighted range voting hasn’t been trialled at a local or national level yet and might do better.

                  This round-based approach is how you do proportional elections while also allowing direct voting for candidates. It's also the reason why IRV (STV for one winner) is such a terrible system: It uses the same round-based approach in an election that cannot be proportional, and therefore has no need for a round-based approach, and as a result can do very weird things for a single-winner election, like cause your preferred candidate to lose the overall contest by ranking them first instead of second in a close three-way round. It also performs quite badly under bayesian utility modelling compared to any other single-winner method than FPP. (bayesian utility modelling is a kind of monte carlo simulation to evaluate the strengths of electoral methods without using pass-or-fail binary criteria as to whether an election method is mathematically guaranteed to meet a certain desirable criteria, but instead measuring how often in practical examples a voting method passes or fails important criteria)

  7. observer 7

    " Or they can help elect a Tory MP for the 5th election in a row."

    And you're saying the Greens don't get MMP? Let me help you get it.

    The party vote decides how many National MPs (I'm guessing you know this already). The electorate votes help decide who they are.

    When Nikki Kaye wins the electorate, she takes one of those slots. If the voters got rid of her, she would be replaced by another Nat on the list. Probably some caveman in a suit. There is no change to how many, only to who.

    For the same reason, it would be OK by me if Greg O'Connor lost Ohariu for Labour. He would be replaced by a better Labour MP.

    (We don't yet know who National will chose now for Auck Cent. If it's a caveman in a suit, low on the list, then we can vote to keep him out. That's how it works).

    • Hi, Observer. You should probably read the entire post. I give my reasons for why electorate MP's are important about halfway through. And you are wrong about Ohariu; if O'Connor loses the seat, a candidate for another party wins it, not another Labour MP.

      • observer 7.1.1

        It is remarkable that you do a post on MMP and still do not understand it.

        One more time …

        If Labour get X per cent of the party vote, they get Y MPs. Electorate results will NOT change that number of Y MPs.

        If Labour lose Ohariu, then Greg O'Connor will not be one of those MPs.

        Somebody else will be that MP. From the party list. Perhaps a better Labour MP.

        I don't know how I can make that any easier for you to understand.

        Labour will not gain an MP. Labour will not lose an MP. But a voter can choose to influence who those MPs are.

        • te reo putake 7.1.1.1

          Read the post, Observer. The answer is in there. Alternatively, you may have read it, but simply lack empathy. Regarding Ohariu, you’re still wrong. The MP for Ohariu will not be a Labour MP if O’Connor loses. He’s the only Labour candidate standing in that electorate.

          • observer 7.1.1.1.1

            You tell me to read the post but you can't even grasp the meaning of the comments you reply to.

            I honestly don't know how I can make it any clearer. I have explained what happens if a party loses an electorate, and the losing MP is not on the list. They get a different MP, from the list. You do not understand this. I give up.

            • Shogun 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Observer, you're technically correct but explaining it wrong.

              If O'Connor wins Ohariu, he is in and Labour have one less list MP to chose from.

              If he loses Labour get to pick someone from the list to enter parliament.

              That MP does not represent Ohariu

              • observer

                Of course that MP doesn't represent Ohariu. And if a Labour voter thinks O'Connor isn't a good MP, and doesn't want to vote for him, it doesn't matter. That voter is making a logical choice and not affecting Labour's chances in any way.

                Only an overhang would change that, caused by National getting a terrible party vote and winning too many electorates. Chances – nil.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Four elections in a row, Kaye’s vote was less than the combined vote of the Labour and Greens’ electoral candidates. Four times in a row, Kaye’s majority was less than the Green’s electoral vote.

    And four times in a row the Greens only asked for the list vote. Nobody can dictate how the people will vote.

    If you want to improve that then vote Green and get preferential voting for electorates:

    Instituting the use of preferential voting within MMP for both the electorate vote and the party vote, so that voters can indicate not only their first choice but, if that candidate or party is unsuccessful, also have their next preference(s) taken into account, to create more accurately representative governing bodies.

    Electorate MP’s are often the place of last resort for Kiwi battlers. When you’re doing it tough, a sympathetic ear and practical assistance from your local MP can make all the difference.

    And people have always been able to go to the local Green MP and talk to them even if they're not the 'electorate' MP.

    The choice for the Greens is tricky. They really do need to max out their party vote, but they also do need to get their heads around MMP and recognise that they are a list party only.

    And standing in an electorate allows access to more advertising to encourage people to vote Green.

    Its not the Greens that are the problem but the our electoral system and how the rules curtail spending for list only parties.

    EDIT:

    The Greens should do the right thing by voters in Auckland Central and give the nod to the Labour candidate.

    It won’t harm their overall result and it will absolutely show that they have matured to the point where being a genuine partner in Government is fully deserved.

    That wouldn’t show them as being a genuine partner but as a party subservient to Labour and, well, we’re not.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    You forgot the best reason to support your advocacy, TRP; parliament ought to be chocka with lawyers. 😉 Personally, I don't mind either way. May the best woman win!

    Labour is promoting the lawyer because Chloe is a social justice warrior and Labour absolutely hates leftists who occupy the moral high ground. Fudging moral issues has always been trad Labour practice. Splitting the leftist vote only makes sense for Labour given that traditionalism.

    • I think you'll find Helen White could also be called a social justice warrior, and for many, many more years than Chloe Swarbrick has been an activist. I'm pleased both of them will be in Parliament, however I'm swayed by knowing how good Helen White is at advocacy, which is a primary skill needed by an electorate MP.

      • Dennis Frank 9.1.1

        Good to know. 😊 Will be interesting to see how the three-way split pans out. I suspect the Nat vote will collapse somewhat (unless they have a good candidate).

    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.2

      "Labour absolutely hates leftists who occupy the moral high ground. Fudging moral issues has always been trad Labour practice."

      I'm old enough to remember at least one specific example of a Labour party PM occupying the moral high ground – ground so high that some here have elevated it to "virtue signalling". So maybe not "always" Dennis, although politics is the art of the possible, in praxis.

  10. Ad 10

    Greens will get the same or less as last time.

    White will get in easy.

    • That_guy 10.1

      If the greens get 4.9 % and labour gets 49.9%, what is their route to power?

      • observer 10.1.1

        Labour win a comfortable majority in Parliament.

        Because wasted vote.

        • That_guy 10.1.1.1

          Deliberately missing the point there. I'll rephrase. What is Labour's route to power if they do not get an outright majority of MPs and the Greens aren't there?

          • observer 10.1.1.1.1

            I addressed your point precisely.

            On the bigger picture, it would be terrible for the broad left if the Greens are out of Parliament. That's why I volunteered for them in 2017. I party voted Green and gave Helen my candidate vote (I live in Auck Cent and know the electorate very well. It is not a Green electorate, as a study of the details would show).

            The question is what will work? And this wouldn't. It would be counter-productive, in both short and long term.

            I don't have time to make this a seminar on what influences voter behaviour, but rule one is: consider all the wider consequences.

          • Andre 10.1.1.1.2

            You really don't understand how votes get turned into seats in our system, do you?

            Labour gets more party votes than combined opposition parties, Labour gets more seats than combined opposition parties, Labour wins power.

            Lets say Labour 46%, Nat 40%, ACT 4% plus Epsom. Greens, WinnieFirst and all others below the threshold adding up to 10% wasted vote. That gives Labour 61 seats, Nats 53 seats, ACT 6 seats.

            (if my off the top of my head guess that the Sainte Lague formula would award the round-off seat to ACT is correct)

            https://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2017/statistics/sainte-lague-formula.html

            • That_guy 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks, yes, I understand MMP. I can do without the condescension. I'm just saying that Labour can still lose this and the main reason why they'd lose is if they don't have enough votes to win outright and don't have a coalition partner.

              Let's slightly adjust your own scenario. Labour 44%, Nat 40%, Act 5%, all other parties out. What's the result?

              • Andre

                What earned you the condescension was your obviously incorrect assertion that 49% Labour plus 4.9% Greens delivered a National government. Which anyone with even the most rudimentary grasp of arithmetic and how MMP works should have immediately realised was incorrect.

                But I'm relieved that after the situation had been explained to you, twice, you are indeed able to work out a different scenario where Labour gets the largest party vote share but does not result in a Labour government. Much like National got the largest party vote share in 2017 but did not get to form the government.

                Now try and think really really hard and see if you can follow the reasons why trying to do an electorate deal to gift Chloe Swarbrick the Auckland Central seat is very unlikely to actually work, even if Labour and Greens got together with the idea as enthusiastically as the Nats and ACT use Epsom to rort our electoral system.

              • greywarshark

                That-guy

                Did you originally mean to say that if Labour go under the winning percentage of National and ACT combined, and lose the Greens for lack of getting a Party vote of 5% then the left misses out completely?

                And if Chloe can get all the Labour party votes and Green party votes in the electorate then the left have the winning numbers for the Party votes and win the election. Could Chloe lose the electorate vote but if she was a list MP, she could still represent the left vote in the electorate though a popular right-wing candidate won the seat?

    • froggleblocks 10.2

      So you think Chloe Swarbrick is the same or less attractive to voters as Denise Roche was? Who was left out of Parliament in 2017 due to being too low on the list, and Chloe is at present #3 on the list and shaping up to be a future leader?

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Yes.

        Roche had a strong and loyal base. Despite ample profile, Swarbrick hasn't made much voter impact anywhere

  11. swordfish 11

    .
    Kaye's 2017 majority was 1581.

    Didn't help Labour's Helen White that only 73% of Labour Party-Voters remained loyal to their Candidate (compared to 92% of Nats giving 2 ticks to their Party). More than 1000 Labour voters cast a Candidate-Vote for National's Kaye (& another 1400 voted for the Greens' Roche).

    A large majority of Green Party-Voters, meanwhile, did the sensible strategic thing, choosing Labour's White (62%) with little more than a quarter (26%) backing their own Green Candidate.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Ah, so the problem was actually Labour voters preferring the Green candidate.

    • observer 11.2

      Not surprising that some Labour voters chose Nikki Kaye.

      Voters are not party activists, or pawns to be moved around the chess board for party convenience. They are never gifted (thank goodness).

      • swordfish 11.2.1

        Absolutely … and too often staunch partisans assume you can just order your voters to swing one way or another … but it's interesting that the Nats enjoyed much greater loyalty (92%) than Labour (73%) … probably (as I state below) because a much greater segment of the 2017 Labour Party-Vote comprised swinging non-partisans: 2014 Nats moving to Labour but sticking with Kaye.

    • swordfish 11.3

      To be fair, it's possible that quite a few of those "disloyal" 2017 Labour Party-Voters were 2014 Nats who swung to Lab in 2017, but stuck with Kaye in the Candidate-Vote.

    • Peter Barrett 11.4

      Difficult to call those who voted Green with their party vote "Green Voters" in any durable sense – Labour voters often gift the party vote to Green if they feel the chance of a non-Nat government hangs on the Greens breaking 5% – I know I have, and it doesn't mean their candidate vote has gone against the grain in an act of selfless generosity – quite the opposite. Greens will struggle to gain traction in Central. Half of Swarbrick's base are students registered elsewhere. If left leaning voters in Auckland Central want an MP at the CRL ribbon-cutting ceremony, it's Helen White.

      • swordfish 11.4.1

        Difficult to call those who voted Green with their party vote "Green Voters" in any durable sense – Labour voters often gift the party vote to Green

        Au contraire mon ami, in 2017 the Greens were pretty much reduced to their core vote (which New Zealand Election Study data suggests is probably around 5%).

        Certainly true that a hefty chunk of Green Party-Voters were Labour-identifiers during the Key Years … Green support inflated to 11% or thereabouts, with significant reciprocal swings going back & forth between Labour & Green voters over those 2 Elections (2011-14).

        But in 2017, core Greens comprised the vast majority of the Green Party-Vote, with only a relatively small strategic vote from Labour-identifiers.

        I think you can be pretty sure, then, that in 2017 Auckland Central, more core / genuine Greens strategically chose Labour's White than opted for their own Green Candidate.

  12. That_guy 12

    I don't understand this idea. The opposite should happen. This election and the prospect of a center left government basically hinges either on the Greens getting in or Labour getting an outright majority. If either of those two things don't happen there's a real chance of a ACT-NAT government.

    So since Labour will be in but the Greens might not be, stepping aside in Auckland Central would practically guarantee that Labour will have a coalition partner and will not need an outright majority.

    • Andre 12.1

      Wellington Central is a much smarter choice for trying to gift an electorate seat to the Greens. As explained in comment 1.2

      • That_guy 12.1.1

        On paper yes, but not with the preparation and effort that's already gone into AC.

        • Andre 12.1.1.1

          It's preparation and effort that is wasted because it is never ever going to go anywhere, because the chances of it working are negligible. Better to give it up now as the lost cause it is, and move on to an alternative where there is actually a chance of success.

    • Muttonbird 12.2

      That is true, it would be an insurance policy, but insurance policies cost and the cost would be damaging the Labour/Greens brand by entering into shady electorate deals.

      This is something we hate NACT doing so better to stand on principle.

      • That_guy 12.2.1

        How is it shady? Everything is public. I just see this as politics. I don't agree with the concept of the center-left refusing to use political tools because we're afraid of what the right might say about it.

    • observer 12.3

      It's wildly optimistic to believe a Green candidate (even Chloe, an excellent one) can get close to 50% of the vote in an electorate – which is what she'd need.

      All the tactical talk of "gifting" etc ignores one essential point, which is more about political psychology than any tactics: conservative voters are deferential and are more likely to do what they're told, leftie/liberal voters less so.

      Especially true when there is no Bogeyman to unite against. "We've got to bury our differences or we get Trump" is a strong incentive, but "we've got to do this but Jacinda will win anyway" doesn't resonate.

  13. Brian Tregaskin 13

    Yep if the polls tighten and the Greens are under 7% Labour has no choice but to step aside in Auckland Central –the play fair is fair just like the Nats step aside in Epsom.

    • observer 13.1

      Not the same at all. Goldsmith still stands in Epsom, because National know they can afford to waste the votes he gets.

      Labour would have to have no candidate at all. Losses outweigh gains (nationwide far more people want to Party Vote Jacinda than vote for Greens in government).

      • That_guy 13.1.1

        Greens 4.9 % + no electorate + Labour 49% = National government.

        • Andre 13.1.1.1

          Erm, Labour 49% plus Greens 4.9% means there's an absolute maximum 46.1% to divvy up between all the other parties.

          If they all went to Nat and ACT, that still only results in 46.1% (56 seats) for them which is less than 49% for Labour (64 seats). Labour becomes government.

        • observer 13.1.1.2

          @That Guy

          It would be helpful if you didn't keep assuming nobody here has ever thought about this stuff before, and we all need a lesson in the obvious. Read the comments. There are many factors in play.

          • That_guy 13.1.1.2.1

            Thanks yes I do know all that. It would be helpful if you'd try to understand the wider point I'm making. The maths was just a throwaway line to make a point, which is that the only believable situation in which Labour loses is where they don't get an outright majority and don't have a coalition partner.

            • observer 13.1.1.2.1.1

              True. I'm sure we agree on that. And sure, it's possible, and would be terrible.

              The problem with these mathematical exercises is that they assume we change one factor (i.e deal in Auckland Central) but that all the other variables are unchanged. We should not assume that, at all.

              I would suggest that the support among swing voters (who previously voted for National, obviously) for a "Jacinda Government" is much higher than for a "Labour-Green government". Even if they turn out to be the same thing.

              The effect of any deal on the party vote nationwide has to be considered. Labour and the Greens are appealing to different voter segments, and it's in both their parties' interests to keep a distance.

  14. mickysavage 14

    I think let both parties go for it. National will not win, no way and no how.

    For their candidate I think they will have to think about Sarah Trotman who is a member of the Waitemata Local Board and who does traditional tory things like complain about bike lanes.

  15. froggleblocks 15

    What high profile candidate is National going to stand?

    Wouldn't all of the good National candidates already have winnable seats, having been selected months ago?

  16. Jawnbc 16

    Under MMP electoral seats have zero impact on the makeup of Parliament. They matter for constituency-level public advocacy, but list MPs routinely set up offices in seats held by other parties. There is, however, a vanity aspect of it.

    People in Auckland Central need to give their party vote to Labour if they want Jacinda Ardern as their PM. Everything else is secondary.

    • Peter Barrett 16.1

      Yes but electorate representation matters when your seat is the engine room of the NZ economy. Kaye always made good use of that, and Helen White is a natural fit for a left-leaning electorate, which with Ardern at the helm, it should again become. The Key years were an anomaly in almost a century in Central for Labour.

    • solkta 16.2

      People in Auckland Central need to give their party vote to Labour if they want Jacinda Ardern as their PM.

      That is not true at all. A Green party vote is a vote for a Labour led government.

  17. Peter 17

    Why doesn't the Labour candidate stand aside? I know who Chloe is and that shes standing for AKL central, but no idea who the Labour candidate is at this stage… A green MP for central makes sense.

    • Peter Barrett 17.1

      That's all about your level of awareness, not Helen White’s suitability for the role. Swarbrick is in on the list, no worries there. White is a fighter for the left in Auckland Central. That works for me, whether you've heard of her or not! Let Swarbrick look after herself. I’m backing Helen. You should find out more before you cast your celebrity vote!

      • froggleblocks 17.1.1

        Swarbrick is in on the list, no worries there.

        What bizarre logic. She's on the list for a party that has a genuine chance of not meeting the 5% threshold and therefore not being in parliament. Swarbrick winning that seat entirely removes that problem.

        Helen White is also on the list (so your trite argument works equally against Helen as it does for her), at #50, so she's quite likely to get into Parliament on Labour's recent polling.

      • Peter 17.1.2

        Celebrity vote? I put more thought into my vote then most people I have observed. I don't know much or anything about Helen, but I will find out more closer to the election. I already know what Swarbrick is about after seeing her run for mayor, and her work in the current parliament – so Helen is likely to be a hard sell for me.

  18. It's a bit stupid repeated referring to a UK political party that has nothing to do with our election. I know it's supposed to be some sort of smear here but all it's likely to do is confuse people who you might be trying to influence.

    In contrast Swarbrick shows some class in her response to Kaye's announcement today

    • Just Is 18.1

      NZers are starting to see that good politics doesn't have be combative, kindness and respect are replacing the "old attack style" that we saw from Bridges.

      NZ is in an unusual time, the Global pandemic has made us a little more sympathetic and protective of our society more than ever before, not everyone's on board, but they appear to be in a minority.

      Swarbrick is an excellent MP, one of the new breed of kindness kills evil.

    • Nobody referred to a UK party, Pete. Tell any more lies and you know how it'll end up.

      • Pete George 18.2.1

        I haven't lied as you well know so that's a pathetic threat. Labeling a New Zealand party as Tory is closer to lying,and quite deliberately. There has never been a Tory party in New Zealand as far as I'm aware. We haven't even got a credible Conservative Party here.

        Using Tory in a New Zealand context is nothing more than petty name calling. Surely you can be better than that?

        • McFlock 18.2.1.1

          Ah, so you were being intentionally obtuse in order to semantically-segue into a complaint about name-calling.

          Seems a bit dishonest to me… /sarc

          • te reo putake 18.2.1.1.1

            Gotta feel sorry for Pete. I think the reason he's upset about a term that is in common, if not wide, usage in various Commonwealth countries is that he thinks he's the only High Tory left here in NZ and therefore has some sort of droit du seigneur over the word's usage.

            If only there was a song that referenced pompous gits. Oh, wait …

            He thinks he is a flower to be looked at
            And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight
            He feels a dedicated follower of fascism, er, fashion

            • Pete George 18.2.1.1.1.1

              You're the one that appeared upset, even more so now.

              I don't think the term Tory is in common use anywhere but in the UK and Canada. I've never heard High Tory used at all, that's a funny attempt at whatever you're trying to do.

              Tory is occasionally used as a pejorative term by members of the Australian Labor Party to refer to conservative members of the Liberal Party of Australia and National Party of Australia parties.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tory

              Looks like your intent is similar here. It's your business if you want to resort to foreign petty pejoratives that make no sense here. Mildly dirty reactions aren't likely to help your credibility, case or cause. Your call of course.

              [Piss off, Pete. You’ve used Cindy as a misogynist insult and I don’t recall you ever stopping commenters at your own blog, Yawn NZ, doing the same, nor, as far as I know do you correct them when they call Labour socialist or communist. No more comments from you until you grow up. TRP]

              • Alice Tectonite

                The phrase "what's the story, filthy Tory?" has been used at many NZ protests over several years. Funnily enough all referring to a particular NZ political party…

              • The Al1en

                Tory is often used by my circle of non UK acquaintances to describe the national party in NZ, more so the political bodies amongst them. I've heard it used to denote many right wing political parties around the world, whether it be an accurate observation based on historical fact, or not.

                Really, at your age and being pedantic for such a while now, one would think you'd choose better as to what hills you're prepared to die on. Why cry about it in public is beyond me. 🙄

              • Robert Guyton

                Thank you, TRP, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

                • In Vino

                  + 1. "Tory' in NZ includes those ACT people too, by the way. Very common slang here, Pete. You are way out of touch.

              • Anne

                You must have a very insular group of friends and acquaintances Pete G.

                The word "Tory" is widely used in English speaking commonwealth countries. It denotes politically conservative parties who have a strong resemblance in word and deed to the British Conservative Party.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "You must have a very insular group of friends and acquaintances Pete G."

                  Have you followed his blog?

                  Not so much a chamber of echoes, more a ping-pong ball.

                  • Jack

                    When Robert was there, he was the ping and the pong. I've persevered with Pete's blog because it's politically interesting and educational. Left and right are allowed debate. Pete's posts invite partisan involvement. The only thing I worry about with Pete is that he might exclude me for being a Christian. Why not debate political topics, as folk do on Pete's blog?

                    • Jack

                      Oops, meant to say non partisan. Political blogs are entertaining if nothing else. Like I said, it's a bonus when it's educational as Pete's is. It's a great service to Kiwis. Probably, many people read YourNZ but shy away from commenting whereas, probably, your site here attracts partisan participation. Not so informative and helpful. Not so Kiwi.

        • Red Blooded One 18.2.1.2

          John Key on National Standards - YouTube

          Sorry Pete George, You’d better tell the Herald on Sunday to stop Name Calling then

        • Gabby 18.2.1.3

          The gnatsies are about as Tory as you can get. Tories to their rotten cores.

  19. Peter Barrett 19

    It's not Labour's job to get the Greens back into Parliament – they have to win their own party vote, and always break 5%. They do best under National governments when they're a non-Labour protest vote for pale blues, but will be back this time.
    Helen White is an amazing candidate who's been stupidly ignored by those pushing a celebrity contest between two MPs with national profiles. Helen lacks that prominence but has been out there strongly in the electorate for weeks and is, on 2017 numbers, only 800 former Kaye supporters short of a win, and a seat at the table for the left in Auckland. Swarbrick, despite her profile, inherits a voter base that's more than 10,000 votes short of where it needs to be to take the electorate. And she's well in on their list.
    It was always silly for the Greens, with their wealth tax in the wings, to try to take Herne Bay. It might help Swarbrick's substantial political ego, but it won't win the seat for them, and the better she does, the worse it gets for either party of the left.
    Helen White is the woman of the moment in Auckland Central.

    • swordfish 19.1

      They (the Greens) do best under National governments when they're a non-Labour protest vote for pale blues

      New Zealand Election Study data suggest not.

      Green support in 2011 & 2014 was inflated to 11% first & foremost by Labour-identifiers who had voted Labour at the previous General Election. Significant reciprocal swings going back & forth between the two Parties of the Left during the Key years.

      In 2014, for instance, those swinging to the Greens were principally 2011 Labour voters, followed by 2011 Non-Voters, with 2011 Nat voters trailing well behind in a pretty poor third place. Or, to put it another way, the number swinging from Lab-to-Green was around two & a half times the size of the Nat-to-Green flow.

  20. Just Is 20

    Here's Katie Bradfords take.

    Labour and Greens should be very worried is her message.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/labour-nz-first-should-worried-nationals-change-in-leadership-katie-bradford-v1

  21. observer 21

    An advance tip for election night: there will probably be more special votes than ever this year, and so the premature declarations will be even more stupid than ever.

    I bet any money that Labour and/or the Greens will pick up seats on specials (last time they both did).

  22. esoteric pineapples 22

    I think the Labour candidate should step aside to insure that the Greens remain in Parliament. One can't assume the Greens will get over five percent of the vote based on current polling

  23. Breanna 23

    Can we also please stop pretending that the greens have never tried for the candidate vote in Auckland central before? Denise ran a two ticks campaign.
    I think a lot of people also forget that Chloe is a divisive candidate (and the greens a divisive party), and there are plenty of labour voters who would rather vote national than green. Hell, there are plenty of labour voters who would rather a coalition with NZ First.
    The green membership has also resoundingly voted that they don’t actually want to be in government, voting down their ministers who achieved things like massive increases in conservation spend in favour of the protesters with no actual plans – so why not give them what they want and knock them out of parliament?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 23.1

      Green party candidates have been voted into parliament in every general election since 1999. In a couple of months I'll be giving my party vote to the Green party – vote for a different party if you want to knock them out of parliament, and good luck with that.

      • Breanna 23.1.1

        If you’re so confident the greens will get in, maybe they can stop being straight up nasty to Helen and actually get in on their own merits then. Although that would require them to actually know how to do anything but whinge…

        • Drowsy M. Kram 23.1.1.1

          Confidence is immaterial – the Greens have my party vote [Party Vote Green!]

          Who is Helen (Clark?); why/how are the Greens being straight-up nasty to her?

          And why are you, Breanna, being straight-up nasty about the Greens?

  24. Paul Campbell 24

    Let me be a contrarian, this election National may only get one or two candidates in off of their list, letting a no name National candidate win Auckland Central may force a high ranked list only candidate out – say Woodhouse or Goldsmith …..

    • Andre 24.1

      Seems a bit unlikely. In 2002 they still got 6 list seats off a vote share of 20.93%.

    • froggleblocks 24.2

      Goldsmith is #3 in the cabinet rankings so they'd have to get literally 0 list seats for him to lose out.

      • Paul Campbell 24.2.1

        Yup, people have been talking about a National overhang where they get more local seats than their share of the party vote (which would give other parties more seats off of their lists) – Goldsmith and Woodhouse are likely shitting bricks right now, it does explain why Woodhouse in particular has been so nasty over the past few months, he's scared he'll lose his job

  25. Rae 25

    A much, much cleverer tactic would be for Labour to stand aside in Epsom, then all Labour voters vote for Goldsmith and get Seymour and the NRA out

  26. Corey Humm 26

    One of them should back out. Labour give the greens Auckland central if the greens back out of Nelson or likewise.

    The greens very possibly will need an electorate seat to return to parliament (I hope they get 5% but it's possible they won't) I think Collins knows labour needs the greens just like labour zeroed in on the Maori party and Dunne you might see national making the greens look like a bunch of perpetually offended entitled woke rich people. I honestly think if she's smart she should bleat on and on about the upcoming hate speech legislation, the idea of woke sjws being judge jury and executioner on free speech (even if that's not the case) will scare plenty of middle NZ.

    The greens and NZf should both get seat deals. Nzf should scream and shout about leak gate, the emails, national wanting to raise the pension, dirty politics, and Judith and national's relationship to China.

    Jacinda should either give Nelson, Wellington Central (the finance minister shouldn't have to be a list mp) or Auckland central to the greens and the greens and labour should basically disappear in Northland (we've got zero chance there)

    And…. Perhaps it's worth losing a Maori electorate to the new left wing Maori party.

    I mean the new consersatives have been polling consistently at 1% if I was Judith I'd think about maybe giving them a deal , why can't the left be as strategic… Do we wanna be in govt or do we wanna be morally superior from opposition while I psychopath in a blue pantsuit makes arms cops sucks up to Trump and potentially follows him into war (while ironically at the same time being so in the pocket of china that our allies don't trust us )

  27. Sacha 27

    When Labour is that far ahead of the Nats who are in disarray but the Greens have been polling close to the threshold only a political dimwit would suggest the Greens stand aside a strong candidate in a left-leaning seat so that a Labour candidate can prevail.

    Does not matter that Swarbrick is at #3 on the Greens list if her party does not crack 5%. White on the other hand is comfortably placed on the Lab list no matter what happens in the electorate.

  28. Paul Clark 28

    Perhaps it's time that the electorate vote moves to a preferential vote, as in Australia, so all winning candidates have to get more than 50% of the vote. That would help remove the distortion that currently gives most electorate seats to National.

  29. Michael Smythe 29

    Two obvious reasons for the 2017 result:

    1. Jacinda had built a strong personal following during the previous two elections
    2. The suburbs of Grey Lynn and Westmere were moved from the Auckland Central electorate to Mt Albert while Grafton moved into Auckland central from Epsom.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/96521204/electorate-boundary-changes-causing-frustration-in-auckland

    In 2020 Nikki Kaye’s strong personal following will not be a factor.

    In 2020 it will only require a small swing for Helen White to win the seat, while it will take a massively unrealistic swing for Chlöe Swarbrick to win.

    An electorate vote for Swarbrick will be a vote for the National candidate.

    • Sacha 29.1

      An electorate vote for Swarbrick will be a vote for the National candidate.

      As mentioned above and elsewhere extensively, that is true only if the electorate is a vacuum and party vote thresholds do not come into play. People will pay attention to trends when they vote.

      • te reo putake 29.1.1

        Hmmm, that reply misses the central point of the post, Sacha, which is that electorate MP’s matter. And they matter particularly to the poor and downtrodden, who, as lefties, should be front and central in our thinking.

        Nikki Kaye, a National Party candidate, has been elected in Ak Central 3 times, each time with a majority smaller than the votes wasted on the Green candidate. So Michael’s point is valid; an electorate vote for the Greens helps National win the seat.

    • swordfish 29.2

      Michael

      Two obvious reasons for the 2017 result:

      1. Jacinda had built a strong personal following during the previous two elections
      2. The suburbs of Grey Lynn and Westmere were moved from the Auckland Central electorate to Mt Albert while Grafton moved into Auckland central from Epsom.

      The boundary changes happened before the 2014 Election … not 2017.

      Still not clear what you're arguing here in terms of boundary changes … reason for Kaye winning with larger maj in 2017 ? … reason for gap between Lab & Green Candidates closing in 2017 ? … what's the import of moving Grafton, Grey Lynn & Westmere … What do you see as their respective political profiles ?

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