In the last few days I’ve received a couple of emails asking me to note dates in my diary for November. I’ve replied to both saying yes, subject to the date not being election day.
It is the Government’s prerogative to name the date for an election; not surprisingly it chooses a day which suits it best, keeps that to itself as long as possible to maximise its advantage and isn’t concerned that it might interfere with other plans people may have made.
There is a possibility that if the polls don’t improve for Labour they could call an early election. But there is a danger that will be seen as desperate opportunism and count against them. Besides winter campaigning isn’t much fun and farmers and retired people often go overseas for a sunshine fix at that time of year, although Labour may consider that advantages them.
The Herald on Sunday suggests October 18
Commentator Bill Ralston said the election would have to be kept away from the Beijing Olympics, between August 8 and August 24.
Claving and lambing are in full swing at that time too.
October has not been a popular month for elections but Ralston said Labour governments usually plumped for warmer election days after midwinter.
should be well into spring, with daylight saving restarting on September 28.
Schools would have finished the first week of term 4 and people would be positive about the Labour Day weekend starting on Saturday, October 25.
The Hive agrees that October 18 is a possibility but so too are November 1 or November 15.
November 14 is Canterbury Anniversary Day which coincides with Christchurch Show and makes it a long weekend so that is unlikely because too many people would be away from home.
So when will it be? Labour secretary Mike Smith said the Party’s moderating committee is due to meet at the end of June to decide when the ranking will take place. That will be as close as possible to election day to ensure MPs and candidates keep working hard for a place and leave as little time as possible for those who miss out on good places to do any damage.