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Nats not contesting Mt Albert

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, December 19th, 2016 - 120 comments
Categories: by-election - Tags: ,

https://twitter.com/toby_etc/status/810654063276589056

120 comments on “Nats not contesting Mt Albert”

  1. shorts 1

    fiscally conservative prime minister saves huge war chest for the election… ceding seat to Labour and saving face in what could have been an embarrassing contest

    kinda weird but hey

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      He may be thinking that way but it’s not how the voters will see it.

      • billmurray 1.1.1

        Draco T Bastard,
        you are right, cowardly and gutless, in IMO.

      • fisiani 1.1.2

        Voters will get the chance to elect the national candidate at the general election

        • Chris 1.1.2.1

          They’ll get the chance to elect the McGillicuddy Serious Party candidate at the general election, too. You’re beginning to sound like Pete George.

  2. Ovid 2

    Reposting from Open Mike:

    Bill English has announced National won’t stand a candidate in the Mt Albert by-election. Which makes sense given the large majority of over 10,000 in 2014. It also allows them to shrug off an attempt by Labour to use the by-election to set the political agenda next year.

    It still gives Labour the opportunity to test out their campaigning system and continue rebuilding connections with Aucklanders, though. But winning’s not much fun when your opponent has taken the ball home.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I thought they would take the chance to try and bleed Labour of money. By elections are not cheap and would have demanded a lot of activist time. Doing this only makes them look defensive. Very strange.

      • Ovid 2.1.1

        It also makes the Nats look like they’re giving up on Auckland. Especially combined with the abolition of the housing portfolio.

  3. BM 3

    Very clever move.

    • Paul 3.1

      Wonder what Farrar’s polls are telling Blinglish and Paula Benefit.

      • BM 3.1.1

        That it’s a waste of time and money campaigning in Mount Albert, it’s a forgone conclusion.

        Labour could have definitely used this by-election to give itself positive momentum going into the next election, but now instead, it’s just become an annoyance.

        Well played Bill English.

        • Paul 3.1.1.1

          National got 14,360 party votes in the seat in 2014 – about 3,500 more than Labour.
          A forgone conclusion?

          • BM 3.1.1.1.1

            It’s not about party votes, this is about the candidate.
            The party votes will still be there come the general election.

            • Paul 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Strikes of complacency to me and disinterest in the electorate.

            • billmurray 3.1.1.1.1.2

              BM,
              I often concur to your opinion but in this situation I think English should have taken on Labour if only to show a fresh face and bleed their resources.

              Not a good look for English.

              • BM

                If it wasn’t an election year I’d agree.

                One thing Labour has always struggled with it getting positive air time, Mt -Albert would give them positive coverage in spades because they’ll be fronting with their highest profile candidate, Jacinda Adern in what is one of the safest Labour seats in the country.

                There’s only going to be one outcome and that is Labour winning in a landslide and then they’d be able to play the National is finished card for all it’s worth.

                You don’t want your competition having that sort of momentum going into a general election.

                English has now killed any chance of that.

                • billmurray

                  BM,
                  a balanced reply.
                  I shall ponder your rationale over the next few months.

                • Jo

                  Absolutely correct, but you haven’t factored in the outcome if the Greens stand a candidate. The Greens were only 2000 behind Labour and if National party voters voted tactically, it would be even closer. So Labour has to talk the Greens out of standing and they will want something pretty substantial in return.

                  But there is more! If the Greens don’t stand a candidate, what about NZF (Shane Jones?)? They won Northland and a bolt hole in Auckland would be huge, plus I can see plenty of National party voters having some fun.

                  This is very clever tactics by National and it could be an absolute nightmare for Labour!

                  • Phil

                    The Greens were only 2000 behind Labour and if National party voters voted tactically, it would be even closer.

                    Maybe that’s Bill’s plan?

                  • BM

                    That would certainly be a test of the MOU if the Greens beat Labour.

                    Can’t see it happening, but it if it did, the lols would never end.

                    • greg

                      lets face it nacts are quitters .when times get tough a nact will bolt eg john key, you wouldn’t want a nact at El Alamein or Tobruk they turn yellow and run ,when the property bubble bursts it will be nacts jumping off bridges nacts like BM have no staying power !

                    • alwyn

                      For Greg.
                      There were a lot of people at El Alamein who became National MPs after the war.
                      People like Marshall, Muldoon, McIntyre and Thomson.
                      One New Zealander who wasn’t there of course was Norman Kirk. War was not for Norm. I was told by someone who knew him well that he would not eat iodised salt and thereby ended up with a goitre that made him medically unfit.

                  • Mike the Lefty

                    National voters won’t vote tactically unless John Key tells them to. Oh wait, John Key is not the leader anymore!
                    Houston, we have a problem!

                • Chris

                  English might’ve killed off potential momentum coming from a loss at Mt Albert, but there’s still a whole bunch of other negative momentum he’s going to have to deal with. The narcissistic stupidity of his deputy is the source of one of them.

                  • Chris

                    And six months from February is ample time for the voting public to be reminded of the kind of leader Bill English presented himself as in 2002. That’s lost positive momentum from the phenomenon that was Key. Then add the ‘Bennett is a sociopath’ factor, and Little announcing categorically that they’ll go in to Pike River mine if elected, then it’s booyah!

                    • Fisiani

                      Bill English 2017 is not BE 2002. Yet again the Left are lazy and overconfident. Politics have changed and Labour will poll in the mid 20,s

                    • Chris

                      The problem with the left is that they’re no longer left. As for English, time will tell. There is, of course, the “when you think Labour can’t stuff things up any further…” factor, but if English’s first press conference with his narcissist mate is any indication I think he’ll manage to drop the margin to at least where it needs to be for the nats to lose next year. Simple fact is that Key’s gone and the nats are nothing without him. So given Labour’s and the nats’ lack of everything it’s a race to the bottom, and my money’s on English and his suicidal choice for deputy to manage it first. We shouldn’t underestimate the gift the nats have given the left, and to Labour also, by making Bennett the deputy.

            • Skinny 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Don’t worry there will be a contest of sorts. Adern, Genter & a NZF candidate. Got just the forum for them. Feeling spoilt for choice on the theme of the forum.

      • fisiani 3.1.2

        National 49% Labour 24%

    • Anno1701 3.2

      very predictable statement

    • Paul 3.3

      National got 14,360 party votes in the seat in 2014 – about 3,500 more than Labour.
      Must have lost some of the 14,360 supporters, I sense.

      • garibaldi 3.3.1

        In all fairness if the MOU has any teeth then Labour would piss in in a by- election, so I think it is a wise move by English. I’m sure the Greens in Mt Albert would get in behind Labour in this instance.

  4. Anne 4

    The decision comes after National candidate Parmjeet Parmar lost heavily to Labour’s Michael Wood in the Mt Roskill byelection this month.

    Scared of another lashing are they? What a bunch of cowards. Can you imagine the media uproar if the boot was on Labour’s foot? We’ll see how the media portray it this week.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11769732

    Labour and the Greens better use this to hammer the Nats over the coming few months.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      Labour response:

      National no-show gutless, but Labour is ready

      Labour is ready and keen to talk about the problems facing electors in Mt Albert despite the gutless decision of Bill English not to front a National candidate there, says Labour Deputy Leader Annette King.

      “English is running scared from his first test as a leader. He clearly doesn’t want another bloody nose after the Mt Roskill defeat.

      “We are more than ready for another contest and relish the chance to talk to people in Mt Albert about how Labour can help them deal with the problems around rising crime, health, public transport and housing affordability.

      “It’s typical of National. They don’t like building houses, so they don’t have a Housing Minister. They don’t like by-elections so they don’t run in them.

      “We take nothing for granted and will be seeking a mandate for Labour’s new candidate in Mt Albert. As we showed in Mt Roskill, we are ready to fight a by-election and a general election.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        It will be good for Labour to run a really strong campaign. They shouldn’t let National not standing a candidate prevent them from running the strongest campaign that they can.

        • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1.1

          Jacinda Ardern was just in Checkpoint saying, if she’s the candidate, she’ll take nothing for granted and campaign strongly.

    • Cinny 4.2

      “Can you imagine the media uproar if the boot was on Labour’s foot?”

      So true… media would be all over it like white on rice running them down, this will be an interesting test of media coverage and commentary.

  5. Oh dear-never mind. Great platform to spread the labour message widely whilst the natz put their efforts into muzzling the media

    • Chris 5.1

      What’s that message for beneficiaries and the poorest of NZ’s poor, I wonder? Labour won’t tell us. Haven’t told us for the last eight elections.

  6. Greg 6

    I think there scared of another mt roskill result
    It’s a no contest but labour and green can still us it as a platform to publise some policy a Nats no show could mean the don’t want the media coverage

  7. irascible 7

    Bill English is a resolute capitulator replaying 2002 as he passes up a chance to present policies to Mt Albert Voters.

  8. Cinny 8

    Dang, National voters will be pissed off, i would be if i was a Tory.

    Only an outgoing government would not contest a by election, saving themselves the embarrassment of another crushing defeat.

    Hey English I found your balls you left them hanging on the Christmas Tree

  9. Paul 10

    Judith could run for her new party.

  10. Ad 11

    National’s move is exactly the kind of tactical thinking that Labour and the Greens need to consider.

    It will be excellent to see Jacinda Ardern finally in her own electorate, but since she’s leaving Auckland Central ……..

    ………………….. a big consequential question will be who will stand for Labour in Auckland Central.

    In 2014 at 12,600 v 6,000, National creamed Labour in the party vote stakes – which is where elections are won and lost.
    The Greens got 6,200, but only 2,000 votes for their candidate.
    2,000 votes was more than enough to make the difference between Jacinda winning and losing.

    This is ripe for Labour and the Greens to come to an arrangement.

  11. mary_a 12

    Ahhh Nats not playing this time. Poor babies don’t want to be on the losing side of the game … losing again (Mt Roskill)!

    Not a good look to not stand a candidate, particularly in election year.

    • Anne 12.1

      They originally thought they had a chance in Mt Roskill but the result finally sent their former leader running for ‘dem thar hills’. And their focus groups did the rest. They’re now looking to events next year saving their bacon. Lady Luck might continue to come to the party. She may not.

      • the pigman 12.1.1

        I think the Key/National brand has become entire dependent on the optics of “looking like winners, never like losers”.

        They don’t want to be seen to lose anything, because it’s incompatible with the “oh ho ho Labour is a pack of clowns/train wreck” narrative, which the media duly repeats on cue.

        If people started realising the government isn’t covered in teflon and there is actually a chance of beating them, they may come out and vote, after all. That would be a disaster for the Right.

        • WILD KATIPO 12.1.1.1

          I think they are already starting to see the three stooges for what they are :

          Dipper, Benefit and Dildo….

          They didn’t get those names without a reason.

          Even the one they spurned – Crusher – has a dodgy past.

          Clowns?… trainwreck?… the current line up and the one prior which included Smith , Parata , Bridges , Brownlee … it was / still is the line up of a macabre ship of fools.

          With a leader who gave Nationals stunning defeat in 2002.

          Wow !… just wow.

  12. The Left of Left still fail to understand their voting public are way more savvy today than twenty years ago. They will see the fiscal commonsense the PM has displayed.

    • Delia 13.1

      No they will just think they handed it to Labour.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        In a nutshell. I can hear it can’t you:

        Joe Blogg from Mt Albert: What the bloody hell. Why aren’t they putting up a candidate? I vote National but I’m bloody well not going to this year of they can’t be fagged giving us a candidate. They can go to hell. 🙂

        • wellfedweta 13.1.1.1

          I live in Mt Albert, and that’s not what people are saying at all. But if making stuff up makes you feel better, then fill your boots.

          • Chris 13.1.1.1.1

            What are people saying in Mt Albert?

            • Fisiani 13.1.1.1.1.1

              They are saying that they will pv national at the general election

              • Muttonbird

                No, they’re not.

                They’re confused as to why National would pull out of Mt Albert and, if the seat is ‘unwinnable’ according to English, wonder if the same bizarre strategy will play at the general election.

              • Chris

                Where did you hear people saying this? At the Western Springs Rotary Club?

            • wellfedweta 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Two things.

              1. National have made the right decision not standing in a by-election. Let Labour waste their money, what little they have of it.
              2. They will party vote National because there is no reason not to. The country is doing well, and Labour are tired and listless.

              • wellfedinthemiddle – Mt Albert people are not saying what you claim they are. They are in fact saying, “National under English are looking like losers”. They are also saying, “Key showed how to cut and run and English is following suit”.
                In Mt Albert, mockery is the rife.

                • wellfedweta

                  No. I live in Mt Albert. I work in Mt Albert. I am active in the community and what I hear is that Labour offer nothing.

    • Blackcap 13.2

      Maybe the Nat voters are going to vote for the green candidate?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.3

      Weren’t bothered blowing a pile of cash on the worthless flag debacle.

      This is all about political expediency, nothing to do with fiscal responsibility.

  13. tas 14

    This is a surprise to me. English must have a reason, but we can only speculate. If no one stands against Jacinda, then it will simply not generate any news cycles (positive or negative). Perhaps he is hoping that Mt Albert will become a Labour vs Green contest or similar, which would only generate negative headlines for the opposition while he looks to be above it all.

    • Nick 14.1

      I think people will see it that he thought he would lose, so the natz couldn’t have 3 losses in a row, so he bailed, hoping it will be a non event.

  14. dukeofurl 15

    Just a month and everything changes. Back then national was clucking about the drain on labours finances for Mt Roskill, and maybe Little would be under pressure if labour lost.
    Now its English who doesnt want a test of his leadership, especially at the ‘retail level’ meeting and greeting voters.
    No wonder they are hiding English in the Beehive.

  15. Sacha 16

    Joyce is the campaign strategist, not English. Please do not continue the long-standing mistake of giving the Nat’s anointed leader credit for every decision.

    • Cinny 16.1

      Maybe Mr Dildo was unable to find a strong candidate?

      National just lost the chance to spread their message, because no matter if they won or lost, it’s still an opportunity to promote policy as a helping hand to secure a party vote for Mt Roskill at the general election.

      Could be strategy or it could just be saving face. Wonder which other parties will be putting candidates forward.

      • Carolyn_nth 16.1.1

        I reckon TOP should stand a candidate to lead the debate on tax.

      • mauī 16.1.2

        Their message just doesn’t resonate anymore, not with home truths popping up all over the place. Get ready for the tank.

  16. fisiani 17

    How many party votes are available at the Mt Albert by election -ZERO. National will stand a candidate at election 2017 and get the most party votes again. Labour are still in a FPP mentality as shown by Grant Robertson getting an increased electorate vote but coming third in the PV. Labour on current polling will only get 1 List MP and a further drop to the TOP party will mean that Mike Little will not get a seat. Watch for the fight for the labour candidacy at Rongotai. Paul Eagle has the local support. .

    • DoublePlusGood 17.1

      You still don’t understand MMP, do you. Labour + Green makes a government, which has a huge majority over National in both Mt Albert and Wellington Central. The latter is the strongest Green electorate in the country by miles, so not surprising that Labour would be behind Green there.

      • wellfedweta 17.1.1

        ” Labour + Green makes a government, which has a huge majority over National in both Mt Albert and Wellington Central.”

        And that shows that you don’t understand MMP either.

        • DoublePlusGood 17.1.1.1

          Of course I do. That’s the bloc that has to get to 45%+ to drag the Māori party and/or NZ First over to supporting them. They’re on about 38% at the moment.
          Fisiani doesn’t get that Greens are very strong in those electorates, which is why National get the most party votes. Both electorates are 10%+ left leaning if we were to do some sort of left-right index here. So National might get the most votes in the electorate, but they still thoroughly lose it.

          • Wellfedweta 17.1.1.1.1

            Labour + Greens doesn’t make a government on any current polling. Electorate seat majorities don’t matter much under MMP. And you are deluded to assert that Green Party strength in an electorate equates to not National party votes.

            • Robert Guyton 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Wellfedinthemiddle, your ‘ol boys are screwed, imo.

            • DoublePlusGood 17.1.1.1.1.2

              FYI, just worked out left/right for the last three elections in those two electorates:
              Wellington Central averages +17% left leaning
              Mount Albert averages +17% left leaning
              This despite National being tops in the party vote. So Fisiani’s nonsense about Labour being third in the party vote in Wellington Central while Grant Robertson tops the electorate vote is a red herring.

              Also, for depressing reading, Epsom averages 39% right leaning. It’s basically Arkansas.

          • fisiani 17.1.1.1.2

            Labour 24% +Greens 10% + NZ First 12% = 46% National =49% that’s MMP for you.

            • DoublePlusGood 17.1.1.1.2.1

              I was going with Labour 26%, Greens 12% = 38%, needing to get up to 45% to be seriously likely to be the next government as a minority government with NZ First support on confidence and supply. This effectively means they have to drop National from 48% to around 41%, so National have insufficient friends to govern without going to NZ First, and even in that instance being vulnerable.

    • David C 17.2

      fisiani.

      Robertson increasing his standing in his electorate is all about making his paycheque safe that is all. Why would he care about the Party?

      • Muttonbird 17.2.1

        A bit like Key then? Cut the party loose at the first sign of trouble.

        • wellfedweta 17.2.1.1

          What trouble (in Key’s case?). Key has faced enormous external challenges (Recession, GFC, Earthquakes) throughout his premiership and never ‘cut the party loose’.

  17. mac1 18

    I would mock their not standing a candidate with an empty seat on the podium, or better still a seated clown. I would trumpet their reasons for not fronting- their gutlessness, fear and concern only with appearances (even if they don’t appear!)

    Most of all, I would challenge their right to call themselves a ‘national’ party if they won’t contest each and every seat.

    They are instead a national (except for Mt Albert and Remuera) party, a part party, a front party for the multi-nationals and the 1%ers which won’t front, carpet baggers who won’t travel, spineless cowards who won’t face their constituents just as John Key did not front at Pike River.

    • mac1 18.1

      Sorry, should be the “National less Mt Albert and Epsom party”. I’m almost as bad as Stephen Joyce at making it up……

  18. Thinkerr 19

    Knowing this is a Labour stronghold, and a sure win for Ardern (has she been appointed yet?), this could be a good chance to swing party votes away from National, with some cooperation between Labour, Green & NZ1st.

    With no National candidate to vote for, people who think it is important to exercise their right to vote and traditionally vote National will be forced to look at other parties’ policies and actually bring themselves to vote for a not-National candidate. Having done so once, it would presumably be easier a second time.

    This is a good opportunity for NZ1st and the Greens to appeal to disappointed National supporters and pick up their party vote in 2017.

    Agree with some other commenters. With a majority of the party vote in 2014, English looks to be a bit fearful of 2002 repeating itself for him. That can only be based on internal polls.

  19. David C 20

    Smart move by the Nats, denies Labour the chance to debate any policy.

    Obviously tho Nats want Labour to win a few more electorate seats this time around. With Labour polling in the 20’s Angry Andy wont get in on the list.

    • Cinny 20.1

      Last election the Tory candidate for our electorate failed to turn up at a number of meet the candidates meetings. The public that attended had many questions for the government, just no one to answer them. Those that don’t front up to the public end up losing votes, it’s just how it is, people don’t trust those whom don’t front up.

      And I’d say that will arise in Mt Albert… those standing should highlight that the outgoing government do not care about that electorate, if they cared they would be giving them choice.

      Everyone can come up with every theory they like, but in the end it’s a matter of a no show and a government unable to defend their decisions, that’s what the people will see.

    • Muttonbird 20.2

      Are you suggesting National will deliberately not stand in seats in the general election?

      Bit risky, but I’m sure Joyce knows what he’s doing…

      • Cinny 20.2.1

        Nope, I’m just saying those that don’t front up to meetings or in the case of Mt Albert, elections, don’t win any votes.

  20. Carolyn_nth 21

    Is Joe Carolan going to stand again for Mana in Mt Albert? – that would make for a debate.

    Plus a TOP candidate – and there’s all the headlines you need at the beginning of 2017

  21. Muttonbird 22

    Joyce is that bad a campaign strategist he can’t even remember who stood in Northland.

    “They [Labour] made their own decision for example not to stand in Northland and that was fine for them,” Mr Joyce said.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320840/bill-english-accused-of-chickening-out-in-mt-albert

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Or perhaps he’s counting on National voters to believe it because he said it.

      • Muttonbird 22.1.1

        They’re sheep who struggle to think independently so they will believe it because he said it.

        They’re unsure of what to think right now because Farrar is yet to tell them by posting on the subject. Watch them all fall into line once that happens.

  22. Muttonbird 23

    John Key’s David Farrar’s opinion piece is finally up and it couldn’t be more Key-like in its casual everyman tone, its fixation on ‘unchangeable numbers’, and its avoidance of the issues facing the working people of Mt Albert.

    It is as if Key wrote the piece himself, and indeed I suspect Farrar had a breathless phone call with his former leader last night to ask exactly how to frame this act of cowardice to his audience.

    Also of note is Farrar backtracking on his conviction that Labour will never govern again by admitting Jacinda Ardern will be Prime Minister one day. Unless of course he is imagining Ardern will defect to National!

    • David C 23.1

      Muttonbird.
      A link please to where DPF has said that Labour will never govern again.

      • Muttonbird 23.1.1

        Keeping Labour out of office is Farrar’s reason for living! Of course it is his conviction.

        • David C 23.1.1.1

          Yip as I thought. You were just dribbling shit as per usual.

          • Muttonbird 23.1.1.1.1

            There’s been plenty of discourse on kiwiblog about the demise of Labour from the likes of you. About how they are not relevant to voters anymore and it’s only a matter of time before they disappear for good. Apparently Labour don’t have a purpose anymore and their recent low polling represents a permanent change.

            Looks like National’s heavy defeats in the Lockwood flag debacle, Northland, Mt Roskill, and now Mt Albert, are starting to weigh heavily on some. 🙂

            • David C 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Yip with Labour on 23% and Angry Andy’s popularity well below that of Winston Peters I am sure I will be having sleepless nights.

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