Wee parties spread too thinly

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes has been given an exemption from the party’s rule that candidates must contest electorates.

Instead, he will run in 2014 as a list-only candidate so he can focus on boosting the party’s youth vote. He stood in Ohariu in 2011, but the party has chosen Tane Woodley to stand there next year.

Most parties allow a few people to stand as list-only candidates and if Hughes was pulling out of Ohariu and not being replaced it would seriously threaten Peter Dunne’s hold on the seat by boosting Labour votes.

But since another Green candidate has been selected this isn’t a strategic move.

The announcement comes straight after yesterday’s news that the party’s co-leader Russel Norman is being challenged because the party had too few MPs in Auckland.

The Green Party is the biggest of the wee parties but both these stories indicate the problem they all face with fewer MPs and members.

They’re spread too thinly and can’t hope to have nation-wide representation in a geographical or a sector sense.

2 Responses to Wee parties spread too thinly

  1. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The Green Party is the biggest of the wee parties”
    Sneaky semantics, Ele. The Greens scored 17% in one Morgan Poll (April 2012) and have often got 15% in recent polls, while the other “wee” parties range from 0-4%. Given that National scored only 20% of the vote in 2002, I would think that we should currently be calling the Green Party the smallest of the main parties 🙂


  2. homepaddock says:

    Depends on how you judge size – if it’s on electorate seats, nationwide coverage and membership, National is the only main one, even after Labour’s surge in numbers after the leadership vote.


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