Time for the big broom

21 months ago I made a prediction that Labour would win the 2014 election. I was wrong.

I am shocked though, to look back over the last 18 months and see what a dive Labour has taken since David Cunliffe took over as leader. In my post calling the election for Labour I also made this point.

Cunliffe is liked by many in the left of Labour, but not the centrists and not the public. Going with David Cunliffe would gift the next election to National.

Maybe I wasn’t so wrong in that post overall.

Here are some graphics from TVNZ from the last poll of 2012

Under David Shearer this was the Party Vote in December 2012.  A win to the left block

Labour polls 2012

Under David Shearer, PM John Key is not quite so popular

preferred PM 2012

What this means is that under David Cunliffe Labour has grown their support down 10% and lost the election in, as David Shearer said this morning on Q&A, tragic fashion.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I agree with Matthew Hooton, if Labour had stuck with David Shearer there would be a Labour led government today and that’s the problem.

Labour is broken and needs fixing, Labour may well have just lost the 2017 election, Labour may need to grow there nut even smaller though resignations and by-elections, to look to 2020 if they have have any chance of becoming the power they once were.

The solution for Labour.

Well I think there are solutions for Labour, but the first thing to acknowledge is what a horrific state they are in. Here are some statistics for you that are accurate minus the special votes.

National’s overall vote 1,010,464 beats Labour on 519,146

Labour won 21 General Electorate seats (plus 6 Maori seats and 5 list ‘seats’). Of those 21 general seat, National won the party vote in 16 of them and in Dunedin North Labour only has a party vote majority of 24.

That’s right in…

  1. Christchurch East
  2. Dunedin South
  3. Hutt South
  4. Mana
  5. Mt Albert
  6. My Roskill
  7. Napier
  8. New Lynn – David Cunliffe’s electorate!
  9. Palmerston North
  10. Port Hills
  11. Rimutaka
  12. Rongotai
  13. Te Atatu
  14. Wellington Central
  15. West Coast/Tasman
  16. Wigram

Voters put in a Labour MPs, but voted for National to run the country.

To break it down further let’s look at Mt Albert, Helen Clarke’s old electorate now occupied by David Shearer. Shearer won the seat comfortably by over 9,000 votes, but National received 3,000 more party votes that Labour. Aunty Helen would be rolling in her…comfortable UN office lounger.

So this tells us that the public of NZ can get to like and trust an individual Labour MP, but they don’t want Labour to run the country…and that’s the question Labour needs to ask themselves right now…why?

Why the Government, the Opposition and the Media may help Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail walk

On the weekend when the story broke of the diplomat invoking diplomatic immunity to flee potential charges over a sexual assault I was amazed and concerned as to the tone of the reporting, and the comments made by many as to the alleged incident. Notice I used the word alleged there, I did that on purpose and it’s what many who have spoken publicly have not done, which now may be a genuine defence for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail’s lawyers.

We have a think in our justice system called Sub Judice where “it is generally considered inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice, which can be an offence in itself, leading to contempt of court proceedings.” This is also linked quite closely to the legal requirement for a court case that all accused are “innocent until proven guilty” but in a more basic way it’s all about not speaking publicly about a case that may influence the jury, and therefore the outcome of that case. It applies only when charges have been brought so I acknowledge this technically isn’t in breach of that convention, but I would argue that there has already been an atmosphere created that may not allow Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail to get a fair hearing. If someone cannot get a fair hearing…they walk.

Some specific comments that I would point to.

John Key

“Our hands are effectively tied, but we still expect justice for the victim”
“we will do everything that we possibly can to make sure this person is held to account”

David Shearer

“…justice is not done for the victim here and we don’t see that that person is brought properly to justice”

Now these statements (which are a couple of many, many public comments made by politicians, talkback hosts, bloggers, commentators etc…) paint a picture of justice needing to be done for a victim, If there is a victim there is a crime and they are associating that crime to the diplomat. They are saying he committed the crime and needs to face justice for the victim.

A quick Google on the subject around the time the news broke shows many headlines that talk in the affirmative of a crime being committed and linking it to the diplomat.

HeadlinesNow this post is in now way a support of the diplomat, or a defence of attacks on women so please don’t see it that way, I am purely looking at how this may, or may not proceed in a legal sense. I am left wondering, due to the environment flamed by John Key, Murray McCully, David Shearer and all in the media who have inadvertently, or blatantly, convicted Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail of committing a crime, have now also given his lawyer the ability to argue that his client cannot get a fair hearing.

And I think he may have a point.

The first to forecast the winner in the 2014 election

https://i1.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/-GqbVz37uqXg/Ty9qg3hSsQI/AAAAAAAAGGc/500mT-VfX1M/s400/David%252BShearer%252BYcjlD9-Ky9nm.jpgI was speaking with my parents on Thursday and the subject of John Key and David Shearer came up, I quickly said that ‘Labour will win the next election’ which was met with a few chuckles…but mostly fear from the lifelong National supporters, however I think they will.

The polls of recent times have seen the rise of ‘the left block‘ and like in Australia the left, for the foreseeable future, will be a Labour/Green alliance. It culminated on Sunday night with TVNZ’s last poll of 2012 having the left block ahead of National. From their analysis TVNZ says…

If those were election results, Labour would hold 45 seats out of parliament’s 120.

When combined with the Greens’ 17 seats, the centre-left would have 62, enough to form a government without relying on any of the minor parties.

I heard a political commentator say a couple of weeks ago that if just 1% more of the Labour base had turned out at the last election, then Labour would have won. If that is the case and the trend towards the left block building and staying between 45% and 50%…then it’s a done deal. Labour will be the next government and David Shearer will be our next Prime Minister. There have been some questions around the February vote to move away from Shearer and towards Cunliffe, this won’t happen…unless Labour has a death wish.

Cunliffe is liked by many in the left of Labour, but not the centrists and not the public. Going with David Cunliffe would gift the next election to National.

Parties win elections when they appear to the public of NZ to be pragmatic and centrist. John Key used those exact words to describe himself and his vision when the media quizzed him over the potential inclusion of Sir Roger Douglas in 2008 to allay the fears of a far-right governing style. Mr Key said…

“If ACT are hell bent on following a radical right-wing agenda and won’t fit in with a moderate pragmatic agenda then we can’t work with them. They’re ruling themselves out if that’s what they are doing,”

The unions and far-left of Labour like David Cunliffe, the centre sits more comfortably with David Shearer. Labour needs to be seen by the public as centre-left at the next election, with Cunliffe they will not be.

It’s also interesting to see political parties, once elected, then move towards what I would call their ‘natural position’ politically. In 1999 NZ removed what had become a far-right National government and brought in what was then a fairly centre-left moderate Labour. Over the following 9 years Labour moved with their policy and practice, further to the left until the public of NZ again removed what many describe as a far-left government, which worked as we had a moderate, pragmatic, centre-right National under John Key which has since started moving more to the right. So the plan for Labour is that they need to remain as close to the centre as possible, then when NZ freak out over a user-pays, asset-selling, big business far-right government we will toss them out and bring in the moderate centre-left, David Shearer, Labour led party along with their new ‘best buds’ in the Greens and we have a change of leadership.

So let’s be the first to state this officially and publicly (more than just over the dinner table to my parents) that in 2014 National will still be the biggest single party, but will be in the opposition seats as the left block takes the seats of power with David Shearer as the Prime Minister and Russell Norman and Metiria Turei holding some significant ministerial portfolios.

Pat Brittenden Mornings Audio

David Shearer on John Banks

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy on new legislation around asylum seekers

Gary Poole from the Refugee Council of NZ on proposed legislation around asylum seekers

The Panel with David Slack and Bob McCoskrie

The Panel with Ian Wishart and Steve Tollestrup

Steve Tollstrup and Ian Wishart talk about what David Shearer needs to do to make inroads into John Key’s domination and paying teachers performance bonuses