I’m just back from cleaning up our election day HQ after last night’s party. With apologies to lefties who aren’t feeling too flash today, and with particular sympathies to Labour MPs who didn’t make it back, I had a good election night.
We (Dunedin North) won our skirmish. The next MP for the electorate is Labour’s David Clark, by a solid majority. Labour also won the Party vote in Dunedin North (not sure how many electorates that happened in). David is a great guy, and as an MP he’s going to be one to watch (you heard it here first!). Thanks to a brilliant campaign team – you know who you are. Special thanks to outgoing MP Pete Hodgson, who despite the demands of his high flying political career never neglected the electorate, and left Dunedin North in great shape. Bravo.
We (Labour) lost our battle. Talking heads are wittering on about a historic defeat, but the right comparison is with 2002. After one term of the popular new Labour government National plunged to 21%. Here we are after one term of a popular new National government and Labour did much better on 27%. Much of the lost support went to the Greens (which is personally fine with me – I want to see Labour greener!). We’re clearly well positioned for 2014. Well done to Phil Goff and the Labour team for a brave and effective campaign. If Phil decides to stay on as leader he has my full support.
We (the country) won the war. We seem almost certain to retain MMP in the referendum, and that’s great news for NZ. It’s the best system by far, and it’s going to be problematic for the Nats looking forward. I’m glad that National are such limited, short term thinkers, or they would have put more effort into trying to overturn MMP, which would have been a much worse result on the night than just losing an election.
It’s going to be a grim three years for the country. And we the Left really need to work out just what we have to do to turn out voters. But as far as the 2011 election goes, just from my point of view of course, two out of three ain’t bad.