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The Race is Set

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, March 10th, 2014 - 66 comments
Categories: democratic participation - Tags:

John Key has just announced the election date:

September 20.  Quite early, but the media has been being primed for the last 6 weeks, so won’t see this as National being scared of dipping support, no claims of instability or going back to voters ‘too early’ like Labour suffered in 2002.

Good to have a reasonably early announcement, even if Key could have really established a precedent by announcing right at the start of the year again.

6 months – time to start talking to your neighbours and friends about the need to vote left.


66 comments on “The Race is Set”

  1. Zorr 1

    Right at the end of winter too… power prices might be the single biggest factor here…

  2. Bill 2

    So, what’s that half formed memory about Royal Visits and something about lead-in time to elections again?

    • Bunji 2.1

      Oh, that’s only precedent that it shouldn’t be done, nothing to stop them having an election in the middle of a royal visit if they wanted…

  3. greywarbler 4

    It’s good to know the date. And that John Key is so bloody sanguine about it all.

    Key said his personal view was that elections should permanently move to a “September to September” cycle as international summits tended to be held in November, and the time it took to reach coalition agreements to be stuck meant the House could be required to sit in January.

    I would agree with him that it would be good to have a date that is earlier than just before Christmas. I think mid-October should be the latest, September is probably better.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Weather in September can often be bad, though.

      • vto 4.1.1

        That was to be my comment Lanth. Chances of cold and stormy weather are high. Count on it, and whatever such means for voters and voting….

        • The Real Matthew

          A little early to be rolling out excuses for losing the election don’t you think?

          Good on JK for the early announcement. A fair playing field for all in that regard.

          • Skinny

            Lol @ “rolling out excuses” yip I’ll give you that one.
            I’m easy 195 days plenty of time to get the desired result. Campaign meeting tomorrow where the plans are rolled out in our area. It’s all hands to the pump and it’s a full house! Nice as we knew it would be 🙂

      • mac1 4.1.2

        Good weather favours the Left but we will have the three week polling period again which will help to ameliorate any weather effect?

        • James Thrace

          That theory wasn’t borne out so much on election day 2011. That was a stunner of a day nationwide and yet 800,000 still stayed home.

          • Whateva next?

            So, do we have ANY idea about how to inspire those people who felt “there is no point”? Be good for those to realise there is every point for those 800,000 to vote, we would still have our assets if even 150,000 of them had made it to the polling station……..ooooh I could cry about that.

            • Lanthanide

              Actually if either (but weirdly, not both, due to maths) peter Dunne or John Banks had lost their seat to any other party, including National, then National would have only had 60 seats in favour of asset sales, and not the required 61.

              So just a few thousand in either of those seats could have halted asset sales.

          • mac1

            James Thrace, more prospective voters of the Left turn out when the weather is good- simple effect based on availability of transport and keeping dry, and on health. Doesn’t mean they’ll win though- just that more will turn out than if it were poor weather.

            Why did fewer people turn out in 2011? Perception of your party’s chances plays a part. Easier to turn out if you think you’re in with a chance. Harder to turn out if you’re pissed off with your team.

            Harder to turn out if the polls are predicting your team to lose which in turn is harder for the Left as the polls’ margins of error seem to favour the Right.

            A constant reiteration of negativity towards politicians and politics does not help- the old “Don’t vote. It only encourages them” canard. Voter registration rules do not help the Left.

            Voting by post helps increase turnout but favours the Right. The media favour the Right.

            The Left has to work harder and organise more. We can be very good at that, with motivation and understanding of the part that politicians can play in our lives, and how important that is.Then we must educate and persuade our fellow voters of this, by talking, getting involved in campaign organisations, getting our own understanding, knowledge and arguments better learnt to share.

            It’s about fairness, employment, better wages and working conditions, freedom and opportunity, education, health and social inclusion, peace and shared prosperity.

            Simple, really.

            Had our first LEC meeting of the campaign tonight- knowing when the election date actually is made a difference in focus and determination. “The sound of the guns can now be heard, and we must march towards them.”

  4. greywarbler 5

    I thought it would be interesting to get some comparisons of fine weather days in September, October, November over last ten years. But my search skills are inadequate for the task so will have to leave for now.

    Perhaps the whole thing could be done nearer the beginning of the year after school had gone back. March/April? It would require a one-off approval I guess to increase the term of one government for extra months.

    Perhaps we should be thinking about having a four year term anyway? And change election time to summer at that stage.

  5. Clemgeopin 6

    For the left…..It has to be about policies which are fair for ALL to make NZ a great and better nation once again without getting bogged down by the pro mega wealthy and pro crooked corporate National/ACT..

    It is not just the economy, but social, economic and environmental policies for people to sit up, take notice and vote enthusiastically.

    Will the left, but particularly the great Labour party be able to deliver on this? I think they will. Watch the space.

    Bring it on!

    • Clemgeopin 6.1

      Oops…The third line should read,

      National/ACT generated spin and distractions.

  6. Tombstone 7

    bring it on! time to send that bastard Key and mates packing. Labour – get your shit together and make these bastards work for every vote they get because this country cannot afford another 3 years of National. now let’s get the job done!

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    And when is the John Banks trial on corruption charges happening ?

    They wouldnt want a bye election held in election year under any circumstances. As the rules stop a bye election 6 months ? before a general election, makes that little problem go away

    Whats the bet the budget is timed so that Banks vote can pass the main budget before the case is heard, just in case !

    • Skinny 8.1

      The Ghost is alive and well. Yes it’s all about Banks more ‘tricky’ distraction talk about the G8 summit and slamming Winston to boot about holding the Country to ransom.

      Key will be hoping the flag referendum will bring out the ‘one’ New Zealand feel good fuzzy vibe which the instigating party should reap by way of votes e.g black flag silver fern.

      Tricky is as tricky does!

      • PapaMike 8.1.1

        Flag referendum is off until after the election then a multi party will look at it.

    • Lanthanide 8.2


      The rule is that if the by-election is to happen within 6 months of the general election date, parliament may vote to leave the seat vacant until the election. But it requires an active vote of parliament, and I believe a 66% vote threshold rather than the usual 50% + 1.

      However most politicians will vote in favour of avoiding the by-election in such a case, unless it’s a marginal seat and losing it could cause the downfall of the government, because by-elections cost a lot of money. Hone got a lot of flak for his by-election up north because he resigned 1 day before the 6 month window started.

  8. captain hook 9

    God Defend New Zealand.
    Especially on September 20.
    boot the rascals out.

  9. Ad 10


    I just knew the joint was too politically boring to last

  10. drongo 11

    It will be a difficult fight but Key and National have the upper hand. I’m afraid David Cunliffe will tender his resignation as labour leader around 11.30pm on September 20.

    A third term for Key is looking good.

    • Clemgeopin 11.1

      [Quote : A third term for Key is looking good]

      I actually think it will be a turd time for Key and his Nat/ACT capitalist supporting crooks. Just watch.

  11. sweetie 12

    Should I step up my copy and pasting of anti Key shit on Trade Me? Mikey, Nanagee and old Mad Mary have all gone now.

  12. phil 13

    Less hype about Nat and Lab. The only poll is election day. The pollsters should be banned until after the election. Just like some countries.

    • Thunderclap Newtown 13.1

      Which other countries ban polling this far out from election day? Just curious.

  13. bad12 14

    The scene is set, for all the foot pounding, phone ringing, and, letter box stuffing this all might come down to two simple questions,

    Can Julie Ann Genter convince the 4000 odd Green Party voters in the Epsom electorate to cast an electorate vote for the National Party candidate,


    Can Annette Sykes kick Te Ururoa Flavells tiro outta the Waiariki electorate…

    • karol 14.1

      Hmmmm…. I’m not a Green Party member, but is there a way for a non-member to help with such campaigns out of one’s own electorate?

      • risildowgtn 14.1.1

        Hi Karol

        I suggest you ring your local Green party branch or email them through their website-
        I’ll be helping Greens or Labour cos i want the torys out

        • karol

          Yes, was thinking to do that. I want to do something to help – Greens, Mana, Labour…. Greens mostly.

    • Skinny 14.2

      Yip I know 2 who will!

    • Clemgeopin 14.3

      General election 2011: Epsom.

      Party Candidate Votes % ±% Party Votes % ±%

      ACT John Banks 15,835 44.10 -11.96 939 2.55 -3.67
      National Paul Goldsmith 13,574 37.80 +15.96 23,725 64.52 +1.93
      Labour David Parker 3,751 10.45 -3.13 5,716 15.55 -4.54
      Green David Hay 2,160 6.01 -1.39 4,424 12.03 +5.10
      Conservative Simon Kan 342 0.95 +0.95 412 1.12 +1.12
      Independent Penny Bright 124 0.35 +0.35
      Mana Pat O'Dea 66 0.18 +0.18 91 0.16 +0.16
      Independent Matthew Goode 59 0.16 +0.16
      NZ First 959 2.61 +1.16
      Māori 217 0.59 +0.01
      Legalise Cannabis 118 0.32 +0.14
      United Future 116 0.32 -0.35
      Libertarianz 31 0.08 +0.03
      Alliance 12 0.03 -0.001
      Democrats 9 0.02 +0.01

      Informal votes 443 160

      Total Valid votes 35,911 36,769

      ACT hold Majority 2,261 6.30 -27.92

      Electorate (as at 26 November 2011): 48,761

      Here at the last election, the well known politician and Ex-Mayor of Auckland, Banks received only 15, 835 votes which was a drop of about 12% compared to Rodney Hide in 2008. Banks had a lead of only 2,261 which was a 28% drop! I think the new unknown ACT candidate will probably get even less. So, to be on the safe side, why not be bold, brazen, open and ask all the Green party and Labour party supporters to consider giving their ELECTORATE votes (about 2,160+3,751=5911) to the National party candidate to try and shut ACT out and completely deprive a coalition partner for the nasty Nats? I think that will be a worthy tactical sacrifice of the electorate votes (because the Green and Lab candidates will lose anyway in Epsom) to offset the dirty tactical maneuver between National and ACT.

      • Bearded Git 14.3.1


        Keep shouting this from the rooftops Clem.

      • hoom 14.3.2

        <- Proudly Electorate voted National in Epsom.

      • bad12 14.3.3

        Yes i have been posting comments on this very means of ‘tactically’ kneecapping National’s gerrymandering of the Epsom electorate throughout the present Parliaments term,

        Both candidates, the Green Parties Julie Ann Genter and,(i assume),Labour’s David Parker only need convince voters they and the support workers identify as voters indicating they will Party vote for either Labour or the Green Parties to cast their electorate vote for National in the Epsom electorate,

        It may take quite a bit of nose holding by Labour/Green voters in the Epsom electorate, but, surely when the result of such a ‘tactical vote’ is explained there could be few who would refuse such an opportunity,

        i have still failed to get my head around the 2011 result of the Epsom contest, did either David Hay or David Parker really believe that they could win the majority of the electorate vote or were they both ‘above’ seeing ‘tactical voting’ as a legitimate electoral tool…

        • You_Fool

          Labour and The Greens try and not get involved in the dirty politics of tactical voting in electorates. Whether this is a good thing or not is a different question, but it is the same reasoning as the whole “we will not discuss coalitions until after the people have spoken.”

          • bad12

            Whats dirty about tactical voting, in an MMP enviroment i would suggest that it is more then a bit dense to not consider tactics when considering just who and how to vote,

            It was i would suggest tactical voting that just about stole the 2011 election out from under Nationals nose in 2011,

            While everyman and his dog was calling a vote for NZFirst ‘wasted’ leading into the 2011 contest many of us seen the opportunity in pushing NZFirst not only as the means of ensuring National would not have the numbers to Govern alone but also as a means of stopping National governing at all…

        • Clemgeopin

          May be Labour and the Greens (Parker and Hays) were worried about some kind of imaginary backlash? I think by now most people know how MMP works in the formation of governments and will do the needful if unequivocally encouraged and prompted by the parties and the candidates.

  14. risildowgtn 15

    Tory’s be hard pressed to win in Christchurch 🙂

    the way these batasscrazee right wing nuts carry on its as if they have a HUGE majority- theres only a1 seat majority…. we can do this….

    • Bearded Git 15.1

      “Hard pressed to win in Chch”

      I reckon a major swing to left will happen in Chch after their handling of the earthquake has soured. But National is also in trouble in Wellington (the “dying” comment), in Dunedin (Hillside and the Invermay both controversially closed), in the East Cape (unitary authority plans) and on the West Coast (poor handling of Pike).

      Not sure if the opinion polls pick this up. Maybe the undecideds will swing left on the above issues.

      • Clemgeopin 15.1.1

        Only if they and the missing million bother or are enticed to turn up to vote!

      • Lanthanide 15.1.2

        National basically won the last election on the back of the rightward swing in Christchurch.

        But we’re a pendulum, you see…

        • lprent

          Could be a bit of a problem for them in ChCh this time in that case. People I know down there who’d normally not vote left are pretty damn pissed off with National (and Gerry in particular).

          Fortunately for National, the refugees in Auckland seem to be somewhat more toxic about National because what their parents and family are going through. So it probably means that the backlash down south will be diminished.

          However in both groups, I get the idea that the only problem they have is that they don’t know who they’d vote for (they know who they’re voting against).

          • Sacha

            “they don’t know who they’d vote for (they know who they’re voting against)”

            an unfortunately accurate summary of the problem.

  15. Whateva next? 16

    And what a great start with Gower and Garner today both standing up for integrity instead of supporting the corruption and spin the National party insult us with daily.I am heartened

  16. freedom 17

    an updated election countdown for the endless bookmarks we all grow

  17. happynz 18

    My daughter turns 18 years-old on 4 September. Will she be eligible to vote?

  18. Whateva next? 19

    Clemgeopin, Garner on Radiolive talking about Collins/ oravida and Gower suggesting Key has been ” tricky” with donations by dining…

    • Clemgeopin 19.1

      Ok, thanks.

      As Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE) remarked : “One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”

      Going by their past record, I am skeptical. I would like to wait and see if these two so called journalists/commentators, along with many others in the MSM, are objective, fair and neutral in their reporting from now on and during the election period or try to influence the voters according to their own whims, fancies spin and anti left nastiness to suit their own agenda.

  19. fight back 20

    Well well A true national govt election date, a real dead line coincides nicely with the all the 50s 60s and seventies era dead national voters who would have been voting if they were still alive just shows how past it this Keyster is as a popular PM ? IN WHOS ARCHAIC book is he any way
    Lets get ready for a progressive govt that will drag us away from this sham that has made the banks rich and put most businesses and workers against the wall of compliance to the corporate regime that is killing free enterprise and human rights
    Vote out the govt that steals our children and kills the working mans right to stand up for a decent living wage, $14 blah an hour an effing joke but note funny FO Key

  20. felix 21

    Credit to Mr Key where it’s due for calling an early election.

    The sooner we get rid of him the better.

  21. greywarbler 22

    David Cunliffe this morning – impressive. Power, integrity, good policies, positivity, believability. Trivia dismissed – that is yesterday’s concern. Vision, integrity, passion.

    Start feeding anecdotes now about real people who will be improving their situation under Labour and how. How will the numerous small but incentivising policies work. Bigger ones later, once the costing is done and checked by objective economists.

    What will they do about Novopay? Education spokespeople say that the difficulties are costing schools. It is coming out of their budgets for operations grant so reducing it for other regular, known needs. One thing apparently is for maintaining swiiming pools or accessing them wherever and teaching kids to swim, or how to cope and stay alive in the water. Likely they have to cut into this to cope with Novopay. A poor quip, ‘Schools can’t teach children to float, because they are too busy coping with keeping the NACT government afloat’.

    Perhaps the person who will get training for a job that is there, and go immediately into a job they have been matched to once they pass their training. A glance to small business with a week’s orientation into the job on the government, ie first week free to business while they set the new employee into position with proper induction and a buddy. Then for business, a drop in company tax for taking on a new employee, and another for taking on an apprentice under the proper training regime to finally get a ticket, after 1-2? years training including polytech block courses.

    Plenty of good news realistic tales. And the bigger ones, like a system for stabilising our exchange rates against the financial rats eating into our bags of money and peeing on the contents, would be welcomed if in time they could come forward.

  22. Tracey 23

    Tax take down for 3 to 4 months in a row. Deficit bigger than expected and… The Crown’s net debt was a bigger than expected $59.9 billion, or 27.7 per cent of gross domestic product, while gross debt was below forecast at $83.33 billion, or 38.6 per cent of GDP.

    guess the want an election before people realise the 2015 surplus is a mirage and the great economic recovery and job increases are the biggest lies of all.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 23.1

      ‘They’ who voted Key in last time believing/preferring Key’s lies over Goff who was being realistic, honest and sensible saying the surplus would take a few years longer to achieve (& Labour would have achieved it) need to think about that when making their decisions this election.

      All I can say is I hope ‘they’ve’ learned.

      • Tracey 23.1.1

        Interesting claims more people are in work cos they are not on welfare anymore BUT not reflected in the tax take…

        • fender

          Yeah I want the “1500 people a week going off welfare” claim scrutinised in great detail..

  23. sheeprus 24

    I don’t know enough about politics to know who to vote for. I just go in and tick wherever it feels good

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    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago