Claytons campaigning for electorate vote


Remember the sanctimonious comments about National and Act doing post-election deals over some electorates?

The Greens aren’t going that far in Waitaki but their candidate, Sue Coutts,  has made it clear she’s running a Clayton’s campaign for the electorate vote:

The focus for all Greens candidates was getting support for the party vote, Mrs Coutts said. “Getting the party vote is the way the party is going to get ahead.” Winning the electorate was not the priority “this time around”.

Getting the party vote is the way every party will get ahead becuase, as we were reminded yet again at National’s conference last weekend, it’s the party vote that counts.

However, while winning seats doesn’t help a part get into government, it is still something that National takes seriously.

Labour is still trying to win city seats but like the wee parties, it’s making little effort in most provincial seats and in Waitaki it too appears to be running a Clayton’s campaign.

Jacqui Dean comprehensively won the seat for National at the last election and is working very hard to earn the electorate’s support in this one.

iPredict gives her a 92.5% probability of doing that in contrast to a .5% chance for the Labour candidate and .1% for any other candidate.

Would principles be stronger than ambition?


If punters at iPredict are right, Labour could win the next election but only in New Zealand First crosses the 5% threshold needed to gain seats in parliament.

National Party would need all of the Act, United Future and Maori parties to govern meaning that the Maori Party would genuinely hold the balance of power.

This would give it the option of supporting a Labour/Green/New Zealand First/Maori Party/Mana Party government, which would have 61 seats on confidence and supply.

A two-party National/Green government would also be possible. 

In announcing the Green Party could support National, although it was unlikely, party co-leader  Metiria Turei said:

“We are principled, we are patient and we have built a powerful political voice as an independent party.”

Alongside that principled independence sat ambition and a sense of urgency, she said.

If they had the choice of supporting a government with New Zealand First in it would ambition and urgency overcome the principles?


iPredict: Act up to 7%


iPredict shows a surge of support for Act after the change of leadership.

Its forecast share of the party vote has more than doubled – up from 3.1% to 7%.

Not surprisingly some of that support has come from people who had supported National which has gone down from 47.5% to 46%.

Forecast vote shares are now: National 46.0% (down from 47.5% last week and 48.0% the week before), Labour 29.3% (up from 28.9% last week), Act 7.0% (up from 3.1% last week), the Greens 6.9% (up from 6.5% last week), New Zealand First 4.8% (up from 4.2% last week), UnitedFuture 1.6% (steady), the Maori Party 1.5% (steady), the Mana Party 1.3% (up from 1.1% last week), the New Citizen Party 0.7% (steady) and the proposed Reform New Zealand Party 0.6% (up from 0.4% last week).

Based on this data, and the electorate results above, Parliament would be as follows: National 59 MPs (down from 62 last week), Labour 37 MPs (down from 38 last week), Act 9 MPs (up from none last week), the Greens 9 MPs (up from 8 last week), the Maori Party 3 MPs (steady), UnitedFuture 2 MPs (steady) and the Mana Party 2 MPs (up from 1 last week). There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply, so that Mr Key’s National Party could govern with the support of one of the Act, Maori or UnitedFuture parties. There would be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern.

That last sentence is worth repeating: There would be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern.

Even if New Zealand First reached 5% that wouldn’t change. If all other party votes were constant:

 Parliament would be as follows: National 56 MPs, Labour 36 MPs, Act 8 MPs, the Greens 8 MPs, New Zealand First 6 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, UnitedFuture 2 MPs and the Mana Party 2 MPs. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply. There would continue to be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern, but the National Party would have a number of options including governing with Act alone, governing with both the Maori and UnitedFuture parties but not Act, governing with all three of these current support parties, or governing with New Zealand First despite Mr Key’s pledge not to do so.

Overall, the market continues to indicate an 86% probability there will be a National Prime Minister after the election (steady compared with the last two weeks).

There is absolutely no question of John Key going back on his decision not to entertain Winston Peters as a coaltion partner. On these figures that means even if his party got into parliament it wouldn’t be in government.

However, this is a predictions market not a survey and a little more than a week ago iPredict was forecasting that Brash’s attempt to takeover the Act leadership would fail.

A lot has happened since then and there’s more than six months to go to the election in which we can expect a lot more to happen which could influence voters.

Would a far left party threaten Greens?


iPredict shows gains for National and the Green Party and a loss of support for Labour after their leaders’ state of the nation speeches:

This week’s snapshot from New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict, suggests the National and Green parties both gained from their leaders’ “state of the nation” speeches last week, while the Labour Party went backwards. 

 National’s forecast share of the party vote has risen to 45.9% (from 45.6% last week), the Greens are up to 8.0% (from 7.5% last week) while Labour is down to 30.5% (from 32.0% last week). 

John Key would be able to continue as Prime Minister with the support of one of the Act, UnitedFuture or the Maori Party.  The probability of a new left-wing party has risen.

A snapshot of a prediction market is not a scientific survey. Where a few people are putting their money today won’t necessarily translate into where many more people put their ticks at the election which is still more than nine months away.

That said, the idea of a new left-wing party has gained more traction.

Talk of a new Left-wing party is gathering steam, with veteran activist Sue Bradford confirming behind-the-scenes discussions and revealing she would consider leading it if asked.

Kiwiblog points out this could pose challenges for National and Labour.

Dim Post makes the interesting observation it could also pose problems for the Green by taking away left wing support.

One of the Greens’ weaknesses has been their environmental foundations have often been buried beneath extreme left social and economic goals.

Had it been moderate on these issues it would have been in a position of great strength, sitting in the middle able to give support to National or Labour. But its radical position has kept it on the left and out of government.

The ipredict snapshot hasn’t recognised the launch of a new left wing party could threaten the Greens  – yet.

Does iPredict understand MMP? – UPDATED


iPredict’s weekly election update #7 had good news for those of us political tragics at the blue end of the spectrum:

John Key will lead a National/Act/UnitedFuture government with 62 seats and a two-seat majority in a 122-seat Parliament after the next General Election, this week’s snapshot of New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict, suggests. Were the Maori Party to continue supporting this National-led government, the government would have 67 seats and a 12-seat majority. . .

. . .Forecast party vote shares are: National 44.5% (down from 45.6% last week), Labour 35.4% (up from 34.4% last week), Greens 7.8% (up from 7.5% last week), New Zealand First 4.1% (down from 4.6% last week), Act 3.6% (up from 2.8% last week), Maori Party 2.5% (down from 2.7% last week) and UnitedFuture 1.1% (up from 0.3% last week).

But I think there’s a mistake in the writer’s understanding of MMP: 

For the first time, UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne is forecast to be re-elected in Ohariu, with 37% probability compared with 35% probability for National to win the seat and 30% probability for Labour. . .

. . .   The result in Ohariu does not affect the likelihood of a National-led government, with National having 56 seats if Mr Dunne wins his seat and 57 seats if he does not.

It’s the party vote not electorate seats which determine the number of MPs a party has in parliament. If National got 44.5% of the vote it would get that percentage of seats in parliament regardless of whether or not it won Ohariu. Winning the electorate seat would mean it would have one less list seat and so would end up with the same number of MPs.

If Dunne lost the seat the party votes for United Future would be redistributed among all the other parties. That’s not many but if he commits to supporting  a National led government rather than a Labour one it would give the centre-right one more seat if he wins than if he doesn’t.

The iPredict website is here.

UPDATE: Comments from Matthew and Graeme below show iPredict was right, I hadn’t taken into account National getting an extra list seat if UF didn’t get an electorate or 5% of votes.

ipredict picks Parata for Cabinet – updated


Hekia Parata is the most likely to replace Pansy Wong as a Minister according to ipredict.

She’s given a 97.52% chance of becoming a Minister.

Other picks are: Simon Bridges 2.74%; Chris Tremain 2.48%; Craig Foss 2.48% and Amy Adams 1.74%.

Pansy Wong’s chance of getting back into Cabinet are rated at 1.34%.


ipredict was right:

Prime Minister John Key today announced that Hekia Parata is to be appointed a Minister in Cabinet.

“Ms Parata takes over the Ethnic Affairs and Women’s Affairs portfolios previously held by Pansy Wong. She will also be Associate Minister for ACC, of Energy and Resources and for the Community and Voluntary Sector,” Mr Key says.

Ms Parata’s role as Associate Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector follows discussions with Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Tariana Turia, who requested an associate in this portfolio. It is no longer considered necessary to have an associate in Mrs Turia’s Disability Issues portfolio.

Ms Parata will be sworn in on Wednesday afternoon by Her Excellency the Administrator of the Government.

“Ms Parata has a strong background in the public service and has also been a successful businesswoman.

“Her competence and ability were highlighted by the excellent result she achieved for the National Party in the recent Mana by-election, after running an outstanding campaign.

This is a swift promotion after only two years in parliament but it is well deserved.

Garrett going


RadioNZ reports that David Garrett has quit the Act Party.

Radio New Zealand understands that if Mr Garrett is ejected from the ACT caucus he won’t go without a fight and is likely to stay on as an independent MP.

However, Midday Report says he’s taking two weeks off to consider his future.

Qutting the party is the best thing he can do for Act but I can’t see how he can continue in parliament as an independent.

The next person on Act’s list in Hilary Calvert of Dunedin.

iPredict has a contract on this possibility.

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