Searching for candidates

One of the good points of MMP is that it ought to make it easier to find candidates to stand in electorates they have little if any hope of winning.

When it’s the party vote that counts, maximising that is more important than winning a seat and the candidate who does well campaigning in tiger territory has a better chance of entering parliament on the party list.

That’s the theory but it doesn’t seem to be helping Labour in practice:

The Labour Party is still without a candidate for the Rangitata electorate for this year’s general election.

A party spokesman said it had extended the deadline for another month after it did not receive any applications before the February 28 cut-off date.

Julian Blanchard stood unsuccessfully against incumbent Jo Goodhew of the National Party in 2008 and 2011, but has said he has no intention of standing this year.

Mrs Goodhew won by 8112 votes in 2008 and 6537 votes in 2011. . . .

Labour shouldn’t take any comfort for the drop in her majority.

Local support for Allan Hubbard in the face of SFO investigations, which was beyond the MP’s control, accounts for that.

So much for David Cunliffe’s claim that Rangitata was winnable for Labour.

That the party opened nominations without a likely candidate doesn’t say much for its organisational ability and problems with that are showing in Invercargill where they still don’t have a candidate either.

Lesley Soper was the only one nominated but the party re-opened nominations when sitting  National’s MP Eric Roy announced his retirement.

Michael Gibson is now contesting the Labour nomination against Soper  but the party has yet to announce which of the two it will be.

Whoever, it is, won’t find it easy to challenge National’s candidate, Sarah Dowie. While Labour’s still sorting out who will run, she has begun her campaign.

She was selected on Friday evening and hit the ground running  or more literally walking – spending a good part of the weekend competing in the Relay for Life.

Given Labour’s dislike of Soper and its policy to have an equal number of men and  women MPs, neither she nor Gibson can expect the reward of a list place for the work they do in the electorate.

7 Responses to Searching for candidates

  1. Rangitata is winnable for Labour. All they have to do is
    [1] drop their unpopular policies,
    [2] find a decent candidate, and
    [3] get some serious dirt on Jo Goodhew.

    See? Easy!


  2. Bulaman says:

    As forestry under manager Goodhew is about as much use as an umbrella on a bicycle. Also my MP


  3. sarah says:

    Goodhew is the voice of her leader, not the voice of her constituents …. she closed her doors to them when they most needed her and the rest of the country never saw that! Goodhew is a puppet on a string! BUT in one of the richest farming communities in NZ Mid/South Canterbury…as Associate Minister of Primary Industries too


  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    As the Green Party candidate for Invercargill I am looking forward to the months ahead. The Greens were the only party to experience an increase in vote in 2011 and we are keen to continue that trend (the vote has been growing steadily over the last three elections). I have yet to meet Sarah and have not heard of her in Invercargill before now, however I look forward to getting to know her during the campaign.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Bulaman – Ministers are responsible for governance and oversight, not management.

    Sarah – you don’t get the sort of support Jo gets by closing her door.

    Dave – given that Labour hasn’t got a candidate yet I won’t be at all surprised if left voters wander even further left to you.


  6. Bulaman says:

    Under Manager 2:22

    It is the utter lack of direction, policy or clue about the industry. Rates (percentage) of permanent plantation deforestation are higher in New Zealand than the Amazon.
    We are currently harvesting over 1 million cubic metres more than the sustainable non declining yield from the remaining forest.

    If the crown took the $260 million+ dollars (Budget Vote 2014) it is wasting on ETS it could plant 87,000 hectares of new forest and turn this decline around. Instead Ngai Tahu get a free pass to deforest Eyrwell and Balmoral. Landcorp takes another 10,000 hectares out of the CNI.. Umbrella on a bicycle was being kind!


  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    You may be surprised, Ele, but our biggest increase in votes in 2011 were in areas of Invercargill that are traditionally stronger for National. However this election will be quite a different beast and anything could happen during the following months.


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