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?

“Yes to Colin…and mmmaybe to Winston” says Mr. Key

John Key will signal in a speech in few minutes that if the people of NZ want to continue with the status quo he’s happy to oblige. Mr Key will say that “given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.”

Mr. Key also sees a scenario where the Conservatives could be an option even though he’ll acknowledge that they have “policy differences” it doesn’t mean they also couldn’t find some common ground.

Unsurprisingly the Prime Minister will rule out Labour, The Greens and Mana as potential coalition partners however with regards to NZ First there is the hint of a slight softening. Mr Key will say that a “relationship was very unlikely” but ultimately he will not rule out the possibility entirely prior to the election.

See the full speech from JohnKey.co.nz below

Prime Minister John Key today set out his decision on which parties National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.

“MMP makes it likely that every election will be a tight contest,” Mr Key says.

“That means it’s also likely that following the election we will need to work collaboratively with other parties to form a stable Government.

“First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.

“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have.

“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.

“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.

“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.

“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.

“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.

“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.

“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”

In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.

“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

Goodbye ACT. John Banks to stand trial

It began with Kim Dotcom and ends with John Banks facing charges over “over allegations that he falsified his 2010 mayoral campaign return.”

What will this mean, well surely if the deal wasn’t sealed before it is now that ACT is gone from the 2014 election making it even harder for National to be re-elected. ACT and the Maori Party are somewhat in disarray and no matter how keen and confident they are I don’t think the Conservatives are able to step into the fold to take ACT’s place.

John Banks gone, ACT gone, Maori Party to lose a couple more seats, no coalition partner to take their place. Greens increasing everyday and Labour a small resurgent period since Cunliffe comes on board makes it an interesting 12 months.

I called it several months ago albeit with some different variables but I’ll stand by it and say it again now. Labour to win in 2014.

UPDATED 5.30pm

John Banks has resigned from all this ministerial portfolios

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.