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Boilover in Northcote?

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, June 5th, 2018 - 57 comments
Categories: by-election, elections, labour, national, nick smith, same old national - Tags: , , ,

The Northcote by election ought to be a walk in the park for National. It has been a Nationally held seat since 2005 and Jonathan Coleman’s 6,210 candidate vote majority ought to be plenty.

But things are getting quite strange in Northcote.

There is clearly local resentment that so shortly after being elected to a three year term Coleman has jumped to a well paid job in the private sector leaving the area without representation.

National’s candidate, Dan Bidois, is struggling being coherent and his infatuation with solving One Road’s congestion issues by attacking the T3 lane is really uninspiring.

And National’s on the ground work is poor, with Chris Finlayson being flown up to Auckland to deliver pamphlets and Nick Smith to wave billboards you have to question both the state of the local National organisation as well as the utility of the Parliamentary Services spend.

With Labour’s polling showing that Shanan Halbert is only just behind Dan Bidois everything will hang on the last week.

And something interesting is happening with early voting with the daily return so far being well above the same return at the general election last year.

With the horror show that is the Housing Corp methamphetamine policy fiasco running daily and damaging the perception that National are competent managers anything now appears to be possible. It is no wonder that National played the law and order card.

Saturday could be an interesting day …

57 comments on “Boilover in Northcote?”

  1. Ross 1

    An upset would be enhanced if the Left vote wasnt split. But some voters will vote Green thereby ensuring National retains the seat.

    • roy cartland 1.1

      Oh don’t forget Act and that ‘drain the swamp’ lady.

    • Bearded Git 1.2

      While I agree Ross that the vote will be split, in this weird and wonderful world some people who might have voted National (or not voted at all) will vote Green.

      I would have preferred the Greens to stand down at this by-election but they are an independent party with independent policies and you can’t blame them for wanting to show this.

    • Anon 1.3

      Yes, well, electorate votes should be STV…

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Getting Dr. Nick to campaign for you seems an exercise in stupidity.

    • Louis 2.1

      And sheer desperation.

    • ScottGN 2.2

      And why not 2 of National’s so-called stars Maggy Barry and Paula Bennett who are the 2 neighbouring MPs.

      • Muttonbird 2.2.1

        I suspect with Finlayson and Smith they are going for the same vote which Dr. Death got. These two clowns are the closest high profile mps in their caucus to Coleman.

        • ScottGN

          You would think though, that lovely Maggy Barry would be a better bet at motivating the oldies?
          Where is she? In the dog box perhaps for supporting Amy Adams too enthusiastically? Adams, who incidentally, has been next to bloody useless as Shadow Finance spokesperson.

          • NZJester

            To be fair though she is likely better than the real Finance person they had while they were the Government. Hell a high school student could have likely done a better job at that for National.

          • Pete

            Maggy did a great job in Dargaville in the by-election which saw National ousted.

    • ScottGN 2.3

      And it’s hard to imagine Chris Finlayson swinging even 1 vote…

    • Gosman 2.4

      Yes and we all know that the National Party has no clue when it comes to running successful political campaigns /sarc

      • Muttonbird 2.4.1

        They suck at by-elections. Northland, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert…

      • ScottGN 2.4.2

        Their track record on by-elections is pretty abysmal Gos.

      • McFlock 2.4.3

        Actually, they are.

        When they finally ran against a coherent and motivated opposition, they shat their pants and tried to eliminate their only likely coalition partner. And then believed their own hype that bribing him with enough baubles would heal those wounds.

        edit: and their previous general election campaign was benchmarks with a stolen leitmotif.

        Their shit performance in by-elections is simply the result of the same lack of imagination and contempt they have for the people. It just shows more because distractions like fearmongering about the economy matter less in by-elections than actually connecting with people.

      • Tricledrown 2.4.4

        Gosman for a knighthood for fact free Trolling.

    • Hooch 2.5

      Weird, a polarising choice. And Finlayson, fairly unknown and uninspiring.

    • AB 2.6

      Ah – so it was Nick Smith who accosted me at the bottom of the elevator. I mistakenly thought it was ‘Croaker’ Coleman, then afterwards thought that it looked more like Nick Smith…
      As it was hosing down outside at the time I missed the chance to say – “pretty swimmable out there Nick”. Damn (or possibly Dam)

    • mary_a 2.7

      Sad and pathetic. Beginning to look sad, pathetic, stupid as well as desperate for Natz.

      Oh dear, what a shame, never mind, get over it.

    • tracey 2.8

      That Mr Finlayson is airdropped in shows how Nat voters refuse to hold their Reps to account. He should have resigned after his appalling abuse of power as AG. Instead he is seen as soneone who will attract votes!

  3. ianmac 3

    Not sure that the Housing Corp decontamination would bother many National voters as they would be above worrying about those poor people.
    (Incidentally the last time I did the door to door work for Census I was impressed with the friendliness of the State House tenants and the way that neighbours appeared to cooperate.)

    • Bearded Git 3.1

      But surely it will bother some of the Nats 44%?

      • tracey 3.1.1

        If the polls are accurate it wont bother the 44% one iota. Personal Responsibility is not for Nat MPs

    • NZJester 3.2

      You have to remember a lot of landlords got stuck with big unnecessary cleanup bills to for private rental properties, not just Housing Corp. Some National supporters might have lost a lot of money due to having to do that and have houses unnecessarily empty for a while or had to sell at a loss.

      • tracey 3.2.1

        They will swallow tge ‘dud advice’ baloney so tgey can keep voting Nat

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    What are they saying !

    If national could get some persons who can talk English they might get some voters.

    Poor old Simon is incoherent. So is young Bidet Bidois. You wonder whether either of those two can button up their pants.

    Poor old Nick Smith. He stumbles around. Profoundly disoriented. The twins Collins and Bennett are snug and dedicated to their own twisted britches. Amy Adams mixes things up like a piss weak molotov cocktail – but leaves out the cock. Hopeless.

    Crikey NorthCote. A blind dog with a septic tail would be a better representative for you than a National. Talk about congestion !

    Long live Queen Victoria.

    • Anne 4.1

      Enjoyed that diatribe OT.:)

      I have some young-ish relatives who live in that electorate and if they are typical of many Northcote voters (and I think they are) then I can tell you what is the problem. They are political illiterates who don’t bother to watch any news and don’t read newspapers. They live in the here and now and leave the future to take care of itself. They’re in for a rude awakening one day when the future arrives and they are not prepared for it.

      They are vulnerable to all the political tricks in the book because their ignorance means they don’t recognise them. One voted Green last time but didn’t really know why except she liked Jacinda Ardern. Her soon to be husband went for the status quo and voted National because they were the government. 😕

      When you’re dealing with that level of political stupidity it’s not surprising they tend to vote for the very party which actually operates against their own interests. They just don’t know it.

    • paul andersen 4.2

      great post tokoroa

    • Wayne 4.3

      From what I have seen Bidois is a pretty impressive candidate. He is a quick learner. A few mistakes initially, but he soon steadied up. And not many MPs have as good a CV as Bidois.

      I also think the Labour candidate is pretty good as well.

      In many respects they are so alike (looks, style, qualifications) they could almost be brothers.

      6,000 is a big majority to claw back (and that was quite a bit less than in 2014) so pretty hard to see a Labour win. May not even be very close.

  5. Phil 5

    With Labour’s polling showing that Shanan Halbert is only just behind Dan Bidois

    When someone’s releasing internal polling showing their candidate is behind the opponent, that is almost always a bad sign for their campaign.

    • mac1 5.1

      On the other hand, Phil, as the All Blacks well know, going into a match as the self-proclaimed underdogs has the effect of revving up support for the team, especially when the difference is not great. The supporters of the team expected to win might also stay away if they think it’s in the bag. This by-election is National’s to lose. In his untimely leaving, Coleman has given an unwanted risk to his friends- win an expected result, and just cost money, or, as in Northland, lose and point out National’s precariousness especially when contemplating 2020.

      Watch what the All Blacks say about their chances on Saturday.


      The headline reads, “Rugby: Why France have the All Blacks worried.”

    • Louis 5.2

      No its not Phil. Despite Shanan eating into Coleman’s majority last year, National still had over 6000 majority. It means the contest is close, its not such a Nat walk over like it was believed to be.

  6. ianmac 6

    Even a narrow loss for Shanan Halbert would be shocking for National. Mind you would it be better to elect an MP who is in Government than a lone voice from the wilderness?

    • mac1 6.1

      This is a good question, ianmac. Is it better to have someone who can have a quiet and trusted communication with a Minister or to have someone freed from the restraints of being on the government side, and therefore unable to criticise their team publicly, using the full force of the media to advocate for constituents? Two of Kaikoura’s MPs, Scott and Smith, argued the latter.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Not a fan of this standing on busy intersections waving placards. It’s distracting for drivers.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      Huh look at that, something we both agree on

      • McFlock 7.1.1


        Placards are ok, but waving them (like a pizza place used to do down here) was bloody distracting in rush hour traffic. A dozen things to look out for, then this little shit is waving cardboard at me…

    • mary_a 7.2

      I agree Muttonbird (7) … Natz obviously on its knees now. The rolling out of Nick Smith to “assist” Bidois’ campaign definitely proves that point! And po faced Finlayson as well? It’s become a hideous farce.

      Desperate means calls for desperate measures I guess. And in this case, the old saying definitely has some substance where Natz is concerned. It’s just so in your face obvious now!

      • Bearded Git 7.2.1

        It’s weird how Smith Finlayson Bennett et al now look so incredibly crap without the shield of Key English Joyce…..I know they were always crap but the public didn’t used to get to see it much, now they do.

    • paul andersen 7.3

      run them over

  8. Ad 8

    Hopefully the rest of them will be too busy on Saturday getting to the All Black-France test at Eden Park.

    Looking forward to being surprised on the night.

  9. dukeofurl 9

    More up to date advance voting numbers.
    My reckoning is that higher turnout favours labour


    • Bearded Git 9.1

      @duke…..blimey 8000 have already voted and only 11000 voted in total last time….this favours the Greens….now that would be a boilover.

      My guess is there will be some tactical voting by Greens for Labour and the press will then attack the Greens because their vote is so low, saying they are finished due to their association with Labour.

      That seems to be the Nats best hope and the MSM keeps screaming it -but the Greens have too strong a brand to disappear. Its called good policies. Other parties catch up later by adopting Green policies.

      • tracey 9.1.1

        Or Nats have cottoned on to early voting.

        • ScottGN

          Or everybody has cottoned on to early voting cos they’ve got shit to do on a Saturday?

      • mauī 9.1.2

        BG, this is the electorate that voted in Coleman 5! consecutive times with quite large majorities…

        • dukeofurl

          Colemans numbers had been falling each year and is now gone of course- going so quickly after the election has upset some and the new candidate has been banging on about ‘lack of investment in roading’…hello ?

        • Bearded Git


          I know, it’s probably wishful thinking hoping for a Labour win. The 24% Asian population tends to favour the Nats.

          Still, from what I just heard on Morning Report Labour’s candidate is more credible. He also genuinely lives in the electorate where Bidois only moved in as a renter when he was selected to fight the seat.

          Things like the National Party clusterfuck over the P tests in state houses have to be helping Labour. The Housing NZ chief executive McKenzie’s hollow apology this morning was laughable-as Morning Report said it was obvious that the tests were rubbish from interviews conducted on that programme 2-3 years earlier, yet somehow Housing NZ was not informed. Yeah Right. Sack him.

          Just heard the East Coast rail line has been re-opened under the Labour-led coalition after the Nats mothballed it (in favour of roads, roads, roads). Another issue sorted by this government-Northcote voters should take note.

          • prickles

            The Nats may be in for a surprise if they really do believe that the “Asians” will vote for them just because they have in the past. They may well find that the vote will go with the current government as that is where they are likely to have the most influence. As was said on RNZ this morning, it is hard to exert influence when your man is the one on the back bench in opposition.

  10. Pete 10

    It is all down to the turnout.

    If enough National voters are desperate enough Bidois will get in because they’ll vote.
    In the Peters’ Northland by-election upset more than 60% voted. The strong Sabin back story meant there was enough emotion to get people out.
    In contrast Mt Albert and Mt Roskill were under 40%. Is there enough feeling in Northcote to motivate people?

  11. Tamati Tautuhi 11

    With a strong leader like Bridges now as leader of the opposition, Bidois should bolt in.

  12. Cinny 12

    On RNZ this morning, starts around 30secs in, conducted by Espiner.

    “Watch national’s dan bidois and Labour’s Shanan Halbert go head to head in a debate”


  13. Ross 13

    Bidois was a no show at a televised debate yesterday. Not a good look.


  14. DS 14

    The last time Labour gained a seat from National in a by-election was 1970.

    The last time an incumbent Government gained a seat in a by-election was 1932 (from an independent).

    The last time an incumbent Government gained a seat from an Opposition in a by-election was 1930.

    Let’s see some history being made…

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