- Date published:
9:17 am, December 5th, 2016 - 26 comments
Categories: john key, labour, making shit up, national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: mt roskill by election
John Key has this really infuriating habit of talking all around an issue, offering a number of contradictory predictions and then claiming he was right when one of those predictions actually occurs.
A quick trip down memory lane about his comments concerning the Mt Roskill by-election shows how adept he is at shifting position, especially when polling results come in. Back on November 5 he was talking about how National could win the seat.
Labour is worried about holding Mt Roskill in next month’s by-election and National has a chance for a rare win, Prime Minister John Key says.
National’s candidate Parmjeet Parmar kicked off her campaign on Saturday with Mr Key. They visited business in the electorate and spoke to a crowd of party faithful.
“We think there is a chance here. No incumbent government has won a seat they don’t hold so we’re quite realistic but there’s a sort of one in 20 year chance to get a National MP as MP for Mt Roskill,” Mr Key says.
He says Labour isn’t doing very well with ethnic communities, which are represented in the electorate.
“They (Labour) are worried about Mt Roskill and they should be worried,” he says.
A few days later he was more circumspect as National’s polling started to come through.
Key said National’s polling indicated that, despite there being a lot of National voters in the electorate, it “was obviously going to be a challenge”.
“But we are onward and upward. It is a big task, but not an impossible one.”
In the lead up to election day he shifted back however and again talked about how on a low poll National could still win the seat.
Mr Key said voter numbers are notoriously low in by-elections, and he doesn’t expect this one to be much different.
But he believes his candidate, Parmjeet Parmar, could win Mt Roskill if people do get down to the polls.
“We win the party vote there. Historically what you had is people vote splitting a little bit – voting Goff and National.”
Then the day before the election:
This has been a Labour seat, but I have to say Labour has taken this seat for granted, so that’s why this is a great opportunity for Mt Roskill to give this opportunity to a National MP.”
Prime Minister John Key has also downplayed National’s chances.
“We’re going in very much as the underdog. It doesn’t mean we can’t win and if we did, I think it would be the end of Andrew Little,” he said.
“But the point would be that I just think it’s a big challenge for us to win in Mt Roskill.”
But then post election Key said that he never thought National would win.
However, Prime Minister John Key has downplayed the impact of Labour’s win, saying low turnout and history meant National “never thought we’d win”.
“It was certainly as expected – we didn’t think we’d win and we didn’t win.”
“The Greens didn’t show up, NZ First didn’t show up and actually the voters didn’t show up, so you’ve had one of the lowest turnouts we’ve really seen in a mainstream by-election.”
Like everything else he says the claim that the turnout was one of the lowest in a mainstream by-election needs parsing. At 16,857 (with special votes to count) the turnout in Mt Roskill was numerically lower than for the by elections in Mt Albert, Mana, and Northland but higher than Botany, Te Tai Tokerau, Ikaroa Rawhiti, and Christchurch East. Even if by elections for Maori electorates are not “mainstream”, and if this is the suggestion it is appalling, the turnout looks like it was average, rather than one of the lowest.
And I sense a certain grudging acknowledgement by the media that they were suckered by the claim that Little was in trouble and Labour was in danger when the reality is that the result was a good old shellacking for National. This pervading gloom being created by the media about Labour is a potent weapon for National. Hopefully the Mt Roskill by election result will blow this apart because clearly the gloom is manufactured rather than real.
Key desperately trying to shove this down the memory hole pic.twitter.com/xPi3qtzO9S
— Clint Smith (@ClintVSmith) December 4, 2016