Is Labour still a major party?

September 6, 2014

What differentiates the major parties from the minor ones?

The number of members, the number of MPs and the ability to stand candidates in every electorate would be a good start.

Labour got a boost in membership from its leadership contest last year but any reports I’ve seen don’t number its members in 10s of thousands.

It is the party with the second most MPs in parliament and even the worst polls don’t suggest it will come third.

But  Matthew Beveridge has a tweet from Colmar Brunton showing how the Labour and Green Party votes have been converging.

Labour does still field candidates in all electorates but reopening of selections suggests it had trouble getting candidates in some electorates and there are questions over the ability of several.

The Rangitata candidate Steven Gibson was forced to apologise after calling John Key Shylock and Gordon Dickson in neighbouring Selwyn does his party and himself no credit with this bizarre email to Radio Live’s Lloyd Burr:

It must be hard for Labour to get good candidates in the bigger blue seats it has no chance of winning because of the extra difficulty and cost of campaigning in bigger areas.

Every party takes a risk with new candidates but the behaviour of these two suggests Labour might have been better without them.

However, being unable to field candidates in every seat would be a sign Labour is in danger of losing its claim to being a major party.


%d bloggers like this: