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Labour crushes election – now what?

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, October 18th, 2020 - 79 comments
Categories: greens, jacinda ardern, labour, national - Tags:

This is a truly remarkable result.  Not in my wildest dreams did I think that Labour would gain a majority.  I thought the good old kiwi habit of wanting to share the love around would prevent this from being achieved.

The electorate map is now a sea of red.  Can I claim bragging rights by pointing out that I predicted that National could go down to 25 electorate seats.  They ended up with 26 with Whangarei being, remarkably, still a possible loss.

I thought that Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Invercargill, Northcote, Otaki, and even Upper Harbour could be vulnerable.  Only Invercargill stayed blue.

In the most satisfying result Gerry Brownlee was defeated in Ilam.  Christchurch is now completely red.

The Greens also did well.  Chloe Swarbrick winning Auckland Central.  It seems that a more senior leadership role for her is just a matter of when.  The party gained 10 MPs.  This is especially significant given that it is the only support party to increase its MMP share in the following election in the country’s history.

I do hope they manage to get one more seat so that Steve Abel can make it.  He is just the sort of representative that we need in these times of climate change.

The big issue will be should Labour seek to govern alone or should they enter into a coalition or arrangement with the Greens or the Maori Party?

There is one problem.  The Maori Party seat is not in the bag yet and specials need to be counted.  Last election Tamati Coffey improved his majority by 418 votes after special votes were counted.  Rawiri Waititi’s current majority is 415.  This could be close.  I can’t see Labour wanting to negotiate any support agreement until the result is known.

The Green negotiation will be more complex.  My personal preference is that they enter into a formal coalition.  The Greens will give the Government much needed focus on climate change and transport.

Overall this election was a significant move to the left.  No pressure but Labour and the Greens have the mandate to achieve dramatic and fundamental change.

Micky Savage and the first Labour Government changed New Zealand for the better.

Jacinda Ardern and the sixth Labour and hopefully Green Government now have the mandate to do the same.

Let’s keep moving.

79 comments on “Labour crushes election – now what? ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Collins fat shaming was the last straw she has to take personal responsibility for this disaster.

  2. James 2

    I rarely come on here anymore – mainly because it’s the same few people arguing the same things and well, it became very boring.

    but I thought I’d pop in and lose gracefully.

    As a National supporter last night hurt. But wasn’t surprised as the party really did bring this on its self.

    so what next? three years of rebuilding. Although it may take longer – our party is in a mess. I’m picking Mitchell for the next leader.

    Congratulations to Jacinda and team. I don’t like it but wish them the very best and hope they do good for NZ.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Thanks James. If National sorts itself out it will be back. But it will have to become more urban liberal friendly.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        It will have to start supporting popular measures like…. oh, stopping massive farming operations from polluting our water, and supporting fair pay for workers….

    • RosieLee 2.2

      Mitchell's back story is just about on a par with Collins'.

    • Ad 2.3

      James it's great to have your voice here and you're not boring.

      There will be a lot of people really concerned about the policy ambition of a strong Labour-Green government.

      It's up to the PM and her leadership team to ensure they land this well without a note of triumphalism.

    • Morrissey 2.4

      I rarely come on here anymore…

      So where do you go now? Kiwiblog? Not the most upbeat place at the moment, one imagines. crying

    • weka 2.5

      nice one James.

    • Wensleydale 2.6

      There is honour in losing gracefully, James. We've all had to accept our fair share of dead rats over the years, and it's always disheartening. National will be back. Hopefully, their later incarnations will be considerably less unpleasant.

      • Morrissey 2.6.1

        Hopefully, their later incarnations will be considerably less unpleasant.

        Now there's an optimistic statement.

    • roy cartland 2.7

      National could start by becoming an actual "national" party, as in for the good of the whole nation, rather than winners and losers. I'd consider voting for them if they did.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8

      Thanks James – we must never forget that stunning victories like this are only possible because there is an opposition. Enjoy the game.

    • Sacha 2.9

      Thank you.

  3. Tricledrown 3

    Magnanomous James

  4. Anker 4
    • Yes magnanimous James. I think we all know how you are feeling on today.

    mark Mitchell not taking too much responsibility for their own defeat.

    if anyone says that Jacinda got an advantage because of Covid I will scream! It wasn’t covid that got Labour re-elected. It was Jacinda and her teams response to covid that allowed kiwis to see their stunning competence

    • froggleblocks 4.1

      So what you're saying is that they got an advantage because of COVID.

      • Immigrant 4.1.1

        How the government dealt with covid is what they picked the rewards for. Had they not achieved so well, this election would have had a very different outcome….because of covid.

        I suggest that a different government (just imagine Brownlee managing the border!) Would have suffered a huge loss because of covid. (if we'd even had an election)

        Nicky Kay (and others) going on and on about the reason her party lost so dramatically was a result of covid, is ridiculous and o, so simplistic.

  5. ScottGN 5

    Labour majority govt. C & S with the Greens and they get ministries outside cabinet.

    But that means some Labour ministers are going to have to step up real fast.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Under present conditions if Labour form a government with the Greens then the Greens need ministers inside cabinet. And that would apply even if they're only associate ministers.

  6. Treetop 6

    The policies which align well with Labour and the Green Party will do well.

    The opposition need to start being realistic when it comes to being taken seriously so they are believable and relevant.

    I want to see some changes in the cabinet and for cabinet ministers to be more accessible for people with complex cases where the legislation is not fit for purpose.

  7. swordfish 7

    .
    Advance Vote … Vs … Election Day Vote

    Lab …… 51.0% ……………. 45.2%

    Green … 8.1% ……………… 6.4%

    (L+G) …. 59.1% ……………. 51.6%

    Nat …… 25.5% ……………. 30.3%

    ACT ……. 7.5% ………………. 9.3%

    (N+A) …. 33.0% ……………. 39.6%

    NZF ……. 2.3% ………………. 3.5%

    According to calculations conducted by my own fair hands.

  8. Cricklewood 8

    Let's see now how left this Labour party really is now Winston is out of the picture.

    Start unpicking Rogernomics?

    Unpick the Bradford reforms and nationalize electricity?

    Kick Ruthenasia for touch and restore benefits to a liveable amount?

    Proper tax reform?

    Now is the time and the mandate us clear.

  9. joe90 9

    Results in the true blue booths of south Taranaki and local knobs rocks shows just how unpopular Harete Hipango was in Whanganui.

    https://www.electionresults.govt.nz/statistics/pdf/62_ElectionDay.pdf

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    Well, if Labour were awaiting a mandate they've run out of excuses.

    Particularly pleased to see Chloe made it – gives the Greens a bit more heft.

    Even the resurgence of the Maori party is healthy – the issues dear to their constituency cannot be neglected with impunity.

    Smart transformation for a probably warmer post-Covid world looks like the job. Vanity projects like hydrogen are best shelved, and massive infrastructure concepts like Onslow need to be weighed very carefully – they're not a magic bullet.

    The management of transitions is always challenging. Moving away from a dependence on commodity production and cheap third world labour, and real estate bubbles, to make creative use of our skills and assets. Planning sensible production strategies for a warmer drier climate might be a good investment, as would restoring rivers instead of greenwashing the status quo.

    Above all, avoid tragic compromises.

  11. Was indeed a spectacular win, I had a gut feeling it would go this way, including the Greens gaining around 9-10 seats and Chloe's amazing taking of Auckland Central. But now the work begins on that 'transformational' thing. Has this govt got the consensus and the spine to truly dismantle neo liberalism, – or even its most pernicious aspects? Will it risk forming a coalition purely so the Greens and / or the Maori party can fill the role of scapegoat that was left by NZ Firsts demise from parliament? And one can suspect, if this govt does not fulfill its promises, and merely extends its promises to hope 'sometime in the future',…it risks that being translated into a far less spectacular political appeal at the ballot box in 2023…

  12. Sanctuary 12

    My thoughts

    1/ the end of a style of dirty politics that began with Muldoon and ended with the total rejection of Collins

    2/ The end of the road for the credibility of huge swath of MSM punditry. Too many of the commentariat were shown up to be out of touch and out of time.

    3/ On the MSM in general were big losers. An obsession with horse race politics and gotchas was exposed as totally out of sync with the public mood they pretend to know and interpret. Their should be some serious re-thinking of the click bait driven race to the bottom, heavy on reckons media stytle but the problem then is the business model is no longer viable – so what else?

    4/ 85% or so turn out with on the day enrollment and easy voting means a youthquake most likely happened – Chloe is the best evidence of that but Jacinda surely benefited as well.

    5/ The neoliberal settlement is basically dead. National have to go away and update their policies for the 21st century and permanent austerity and a fetish on doing less with more to fund tax cuts is now no longer politically viable.

    • woodart 12.1

      good post sanctuary. media need to learn they are there to REPORT the news, NOT make the news. good point about a youthquake. will be interesting to see the amount of young voters this election. think the nats have got huge problems going forward with very limited appeal to a changing ,more diverse population.after last night, there lineup is even more pale,stale and male.

      • roy cartland 12.1.1

        Very good points, sanc. Given the youth quake possibility, they should factor this in to their progressive planning. Less need to try to please that fusty 'centre', as millennials (with millennial ideas on climate etc) will be a much more powerful voting bloc in 2023.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      …but the problem then is the business model is no longer viable – so what else?

      Capitalism has the answer – private style MSM dies with a whimper.

      Time to go back to state funded journalism that only reports the truth and the facts. No opinions, no entertainment – just the facts and the research.

      Let the private media try to get by on failing entertainment.

      The neoliberal settlement is basically dead.

      It would be nice if the new government acted on that fact but Labour has shown that neo-liberalism is embedded in its bones despite Ardern saying that capitalism failed.

    • Gabby 12.3

      The Dirty Politickers will take the learnings that they have to lie bigger and smear harder, of course. If Hammish Proz and Democracymuck don't give themselves strokes at the exact same time I will be surprised.

    • newsense 12.4

      Think 1, 2 and 5 are not on the money.

  13. Bazza64 13

    Well done to Jacinda & the team. Act also did well & got my vote, I would have voted for National but thought a lot of what David Seymour did re the euthanasia bill & ensuring we continue to have free speech is worth backing.

    It may be that without Labour needing the greens to pass legislation the new government may be slightly more centrist than if the greens were required. There was some talk of National supporters voting Labour as a strategic vote against the greens, but in reality I think most voters trusted Jacinda & liked the fact that she really connected with the people.

    Judith was just a bit too matronly for most people, but I had to agree with her comment about weight loss being a personal issue.

    The big shock was the rural areas that were always safe for National, so definitely a change in the wind.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Judith was just a bit too matronly for most people

      Matronly:

      1. of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a matron; maturely dignified; stately.
      2. characteristic of or suitable for a matron.

      Yeah – no. Definitely does not apply to Collins.

      People are just sick of her Dirty Politics.

  14. @Sanctuary

    4/ 85% or so turn out with on the day enrollment and easy voting means a youthquake most likely happened – Chloe is the best evidence of that but Jacinda surely benefited as well.

    If it is true that a youthquake occurred that is wonderful news. That young people have been captured by not only Aderns magnetism and her party but also Chloe Swarbrick and the Greens. It was a magnificent thing to see Swarbricks controlled excitement last night and she demonstrated quite an assertive and insightful determination for the future. I think she will do Auckland Central, and the Greens exceedingly well.

    5/ The neoliberal settlement is basically dead. National have to go away and update their policies for the 21st century and permanent austerity and a fetish on doing less with more to fund tax cuts is now no longer politically viable.

    I sincerely hope you are right. But there will always be those who benefit from those conditions and will donate to ensure the neo liberal consensus is maintained. These are powerful lobby groups like the NZ Initiative who care not which party is in but only if their politico/ fiscal policy's are enacted. They are the 'sharks' circling the waters in the murky depths…

    I see the only way to dismantle neo liberalism is to do exactly what the 4th Labour govt and Douglas did, -in his view, – '' to keep moving quickly so any opposition has no chance of rallying''. Basically to keep any opposition off balance and ineffectual and basically again , – political Blitzkrieg. Ideally, now is the time, but … we will see.

    In fact, this massive win by Labour has now become their own publicly announced litmus test by which they will be judged on. If they don't perform in the manner expected and announced,.. we will indeed see just what the agenda really has been all along.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Labour/Greens have the mandate (and it is a true mandate) to undo Rogernomics and start making NZ a place where everyone can prosper and not just the few at the top. And, yes, they need to act as fast as the 4th Labour government did in giving us Rogernomics.

      And that change needs to drop the focus on farming that and be a full, integrated, development of the economy across all sectors. Manufacturing from local resources to supply NZ with what it needs and a little extra for export. R&D to ensure ongoing improvements and an educational emphasis that supports the R&D.

      A massive development that sees the destruction of many jobs as they're replaced by automation but comes with a corresponding increase in jobs in education and R&D.

  15. Mika 15

    I really want to see the Labour government take this incredible mandate and do something truly transformative. Health, housing, and poverty are all in desperate need of addressing. We need to grab this opportunity for substantive change without fear.

  16. swordfish 16

    .
    A few Questions for you avant-garde Auckland Types with your fancy Post-modern Hairdos (if you'd be so kind as to reply at your earliest convenience)

    I'm thinking of looking at the geography of the Vote (incl the swing). Amongst other things, I want to break Auckland down into its constituent regions … (1) Central/City …… (2) East …… (3) West …… (4) South …… (5) North Shore.

    Q1: Where the hell does Panmure-Otahuhu go ? I've tentatively stuck it under Central/City … but seems a liitle bit East & a little bit South as well.

    Q2: Upper HarbourNorth Shore or West ? … (have it under NS at moment)

    Q3: Whangaparaoa .. include in NS ? … otherwise would need to go under Upper NI Provincial

    Q4: Papakura = presumably South ? (given overwhelming majority of voters in this seat are located in southern extreme of Urban Auckland). But clearly larger rural component than other Auckland seats.

    Throw this parochial old Wellingtonian a friggin bone for Chrissakes ! Or I’ll have the Rozzers onto ya.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Thinking about it, we probably need to move away from the compass directions and actually start referring to areas by their names as each area is more diverse than the four points of the compass allow.

    • Molly 16.2

      Replied on the other post, but after reading DTB's comment agree with him that the division is probably unnecessary.

    • The other thing to dug into would be where the votes came from in Rangitata obviously a large part would have come from the farming community.

  17. Just Is 17

    I found Seymours interview with Tova Obrien a bit unusual, he claimed 10% of his support was from disenfranchised Labour voters, I don't have any faith in his mathematic ability when you consider his percentage of the vote coupled with National you end up with 37%, what you would have expected from National alone.

    Act have simply recieved Nats votes, for obvious reasons.

    The most interesting outcome for me was the fact that in all seats won by National, the voters in each electorate chose Labour in a majority for the party vote, that must have hurt, both Pakatanga and Botany had a huge majority for Labour in the party vote but the candidates won the seats.

    Sad to see Winstons lot go by the wayside, I feel it was semi self inflicted, when you complain about the efforts of a Govt that you were a part of, voters become confused about what they stand for which resulted in low support them.

    • Treetop 17.1

      Now that Seymour has a caucus, I gave it some thought on his party leadership being challenged in a couple of years. Interesting times ahead for Act and a laugh or two along the way for an unprecedented number of new MPs in a political party.

    • Andre 17.2

      … in all seats won by National, the voters in each electorate chose Labour in a majority for the party vote …

      Not quite. National won the party vote in Epsom handily, and just squeaked out party vote wins in Taranaki, Waikato, Tamaki. In these last three the margins are just a few dozen to a few hundred, small enough it's not inconceivable that specials will flip one or more to Labour.

  18. newsense 18

    Lot of talking about not taking the new votes for granted.

    Very important to not take your volunteers, members and long standing voters for granted either or they won't turn up to help you next time. Many Labour voters still remember the 80s and have been patient, but new votes gleaned from National shouldn't be given as a reason to sit still.

    You have to lead and take them with you, not leave us behind.

    • RedBaronCV 18.1

      Yep – looks like around 10% have come across from righter pastures – but that still leaves about 50% further over on the left.
      So there is now no excuse for not taking bolder action.

      My list would be:

      -moving the inequality lever back with a focus on higher taxes and employment laws

      -repurposing government welfare payments by cutting costs like power and rents – so house building and electricity market reforms.

  19. RedBaronCV 19

    And we could all look at any other organisations we belong to and challenge any narratives that belong to the neo lib era. And make sure that they are prioritising training our young etc.

  20. veutoviper 20

    The Green negotiation will be more complex. My personal preference is that they enter into a formal coalition. The Greens will give the Government much needed focus on climate change and transport.

    Micky, that may be your preference, but having watched Ardern's press conference this afternoon after her meeting with a number of her main Cabinet colleagues, I suspect that there may well be no formal negotiations with the Greens re coalition or any other form of agreement.

    Ardern made it very clear that she intends to form a Government within the next 2 – 3 weeks before the final results are known as Labour has a clear mandate to do so and she has discussed this with the GG. While she has had a quick talk with the Green leaders and will talk to them further in the next week, she was pretty clear IMO that Labour will be firmly in control of the makeup of the new Government and its direction, policies etc.

    Here is the link to the video of the press conference, but it does not actually start until 15 minutes in, and JA's part runs until about 33 mins when she hands over to Chris Hipkins to answer questions re the new community case of Covid-19 who tested positive yesterday.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/428621/government-will-be-formed-within-the-next-two-to-three-weeks-jacinda-ardern

    • weka 20.1

      if Labour intend to not negotiate with the Greens, why not form govt this week?

      • Mika 20.1.1

        "if Labour intend to not negotiate with the Greens, why not form govt this week?"

        I read situation more about waiting to see if the Maori Party are in or not, rather than around the Greens.

  21. mikesh 21

    I wondered if their might be any appetite in the new parliament for amending the electoral act to lower the threshold. Since it requires a 75% majority in favour National could, holding 35 seats, block such a move, but would they. In 2023 they may need support from ACT, who could fall below 5%.

    I can't see anyone wanting to change the 'coat tails' provision; or wating to get rid of overhangs.

    • Incognito 21.1

      On the current provisional result, it would make no difference even if the threshold was 3% and the same applies to 2017. The Candidate vote is essentially FPP so as long as one beats the other candidate(s) by one vote one gains a seat. Personally, I think this is inconsistent and it should be changed.

      • mikesh 21.1.1

        A 3% threshold may well have brought about different results in 2017 and 2020.

        • Incognito 21.1.1.1

          How do you work that?

          • hanswurst 21.1.1.1.1

            Probably by reasoning that some voters probably saw, for instance, NZ First on 2.5%, and concluded that a vote for them would be wasted. Such a voter might well think differently if the threshold were 3%.

            • Incognito 21.1.1.1.1.1

              In other words, a shift of votes towards minor parties? That would be a good thing IMO. As it stands, we’ll have only five parties in Parliament, and possibly only four, which will be dominated by Labour. In addition, we’re likely to end up with a single-party Government for three years.

    • froggleblocks 21.2

      Just make it a binding referenda. Difficult for National to argue against that.

  22. Stuart Munro 22

    Cullen has come out with a 'let's do nothing' recommendation no mandate to scare the centre. Odd, since little things like mandates have never troubled neolib Labour at all.

    • greywarshark 22.1

      What a disgraceful POV from Sir Michael Cullen. And Geiringer’s view is no doubt strictly legal. But when you are thinking about law-makers then you have to allow some flexibility. Everyone knows you can’t stand in the street yelling out the amendments needed or you’ll just scare the horses. After introducing neolib Labour can’t go all coy and say it wouldn’t be right not to stick strictly to what we said. Do it while you can, you ,,, write your own description!

      KCMGCan either mean "Knight Cross of the Order of St. Micheal and St. George" or
      "Kindly Call Me God"

      (From "Yes, Minister")
      Bernard Woolley: In the service, CMG stands for Call Me God. And KCMG for Kindly Call Me God.
      Hacker: What does GCMG stand for?
      Bernard: God Calls Me God.
      https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=KCMG

      One of the things that we need to do is to limit the number of times that pollies can stand so that they don't start building their own comfort into their action plans. It's not what about the children, it's what about the citizens who give you power and you don't even try to use it on their behalf.

      • Stuart Munro 22.1.1

        Korean presidents get one term. They have to do it now – no second chances. Partly in response to Park's extended term – but in fact a very healthy rule.

  23. Sacha 23

    Nicky Hager's lawyer:

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 23.1

      100%.

      I know a few new / young voters who love Ardern and voted Labour, and they honestly thought Labour will alleviate poverty and lessen inequality etc. Most of them were completely unaware of any actual Labour policy, or of Labour's complete rejection of policies to address inequality such as the Wealth Tax etc. These same voters are actually supportive of things like wealth taxes too!

      I hope Labour will deliver better than their apparent policies and beliefs – you can't address poverty, disadvantage and inequality…..without actually doing something about them.

      Ardern and co handled the Mosque murders and Covid 19 admirably – and that is a good reason to give them a vote. But they are certainly not promising to materially alter poverty and disadvantage in NZ, so far as I can see.

      • Sacha 23.1.1

      • greywarshark 23.1.2

        PM Ardern seems so trustworthy and caring – the young ones haven't been disillusioned yet. If PM Jacinda can't get anything done by the end of the first year she ought to resign. It's a waste of time her carrying on putting her health and her parenthood at risk otherwise. She will have done her great achievement by winning twice, and then could leave or threaten to, if Labour wants to sit on its fat bum and not atone for its infantile rush to embrace Treasury's cold dogma.

        But a bustling on with the necessary policies putting people at the centre and rational ideas would mend some holes in belief. Srategy plans that have at the top of the page –

        * What is it we want to achieve, and what is the quickest and cheapest way to start a difference?

        * Can we get a monitoring group of citizens from varied and experienced, knowledgable backgro

        * What will make the most difference, and what are the next two lines that would support the first, and make it even more effective? That sort of 'outcome-based' practical grassroots approach would please those concerned I would think.

  24. Peter 24

    For the average punter was it about a 'significant move to the left?'

    I would have thought that for most it was from relief at the Covid handling, the fact that Judith was seen as a bitch, that being 'trusted with the economy and Hooton' was a joke, that on further reflection the Christchurch rebuild and longstanding cock-ups was too much, that some MPs like some Hamilton ones were dorks, that the 'team' they were in was strong and ready one not a rabble, and so on. And the Ardern factor.

    Next time around could it possibly be that merely having a number of those things different there is a parallel significant move to the right?

  25. Jackel 25

    We on the left should know the deal. Without a serious reworking of capitalism, risky for a small nation like NZ to undertake, the structural inequality embedded within society that we seek to remove will remain. Short of this all that can be done is various redistributive policies and attempts to reach ever receding emissions targets. Transformation, real change and delivery, I wouldn't hold your breath.

  26. Naomi 26

    If Labour intends on becoming a watered-down, slightly kinder centrist party determined to pacify those soft National voters at the expense of its left-wing base, then their biggest opposition in 2021-2023 could well be people like myself.

    Labour truly pissed me off during their campaign by outright rejecting (again) both the CGT and the Greens' wealth tax, which are essential to stop the property speculation madness, increase revenue for public services, and redistribute income to the poorest 50% of Kiwis, who collectively own only 2% of the nation's wealth.

    It's a weak excuse to claim there is insufficient support for such a tax – things have moved on since 2020, and now even mainstream economists are arguing strongly in favour of it.

    So for the first time in my life, I gave my party vote to the Greens in a bid to keep Labour honest and progressive, and I'm certainly not regretting that decision this morning. Perhaps other Labour supporters will regret that they didn't tack further left.

    • Mack 26.1

      Exactly Naomi, we need to get rid of those dumb, reactionary, fat, ugly, filthy rich, cigar huffing, mysoginist, capitalist pigs. oh yes. WHITE capitalist pigs.

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