Paula Bennett did pretty well in 2008, she won a seat that gave more party votes to Lab+Greens than Nat+ACT. But she was a bad MP. The electorate swung away from Nat+ACT and Bennett lost. But does she take it with grace? No she whines that Labour used “nasty and vicious” tactics like “mobilising the left” and getting out the vote on election day.
Here’s Bennett in the Herald:
Labour had run a “negative and vicious” campaign. “They really mobilised the left vote. They had unions out here 24/7 and stuff has gone on like doorknocking on election day”
Yup. Labour has supporters both within the party and the affiliates, and in the broader movement – and they help the party win elections. One of the things they do is go around knocking on (selected) doors on election day and remind people that it is election day, tell them where the polling booths are, and offer help with special votes etc. It’s perfectly legal – see the rules here. And, although Bennett clearly feels otherwise, it is a good thing when people vote. There’s nothing ‘negative’ or ‘vicious’ about the left voting or Labour getting out the vote – it’s democracy.
One of the results of Labour’s strong campaign in Waitakere was that turnout dropped by only 0.5% compared to 4% nationally, and the Lab+Green vote rose by 2.5% (353) while the Nat+ACT vote (which was just 511 votes behind Lab+Green in 2008) fell 9% (1,226).
Of course, Bennett would rather that 12 poor people hadn’t been mobilised by Labour’s get out the vote drive on election day, then she would still be MP for Waitakere. That’s understandable. But she can try to take it on the chin and be a good loser, rather than another right-whiner.