An additional issue to my previous post on the proposed Mana Party / Internet Party alliance is what percentage of the vote such an alliance could possibly muster. What sort of vote would each party be looking at on its own, and could the whole of such an alliance be greater than the sum of its parts?
Let’s firstly look at the current situation:
The Internet Party? Well, they haven’t rated high enough in any poll to even warrant a notice in any pollster’s dispatches. Kim Dotcom is at zero. Flatlining. For all of the publicity around him and his proposed party, no one has told a single pollster that they’d vote for his party. That’s not a great start, especially when there’s less than six months to election day.
The Mana Party? Not so much better, although you’d never know it from Martyn Bradbury’s excited rhetoric at the Daily Blog, where he states, “MANA can gain 3 MP’s on their own, so the first three spaces of the Party List should go to MANA.” All I can say is that I would love to see the polling figures Bradbury’s working from there. There’s not been a single poll this year that puts Mana at the point of even getting two MPs from their party vote. Of the 9 major polls released this year, 7 of those polls show them at between 0% and 0.5%. Two polls had them at a high of 1%. They currently sit at just 0.4% in my Poll of Polls.
So what about extra electorate seats, to get to that mythical three seat mark? As much as Mana publicly rates the chances of Annette Sykes taking Waiariki from the Maori party, I’d be surprised if it occurred. Flavell is now the Maori party co-leader, giving him more gravitas and profile – unless some electorate polling comes to light that says otherwise, I’m expecting him to hold Waiariki. Beyond Waiariki, there are no other electorate seats that Mana could realistically expect to get even close in – Labour seems a shoe-in for the remaining Maori seats, and Mana don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking a general electorate seat.
As a combined total, Internet + Mana don’t appear to be an attractive proposition. On a Poll of Polls basis, that’s a total of 0.4%, while on a best case scenario (picking the best poll result from all polls this year) there’s a combined total of 1%. That’s enough to avoid an overhang, assuming Hone Harawira keeps his seat, but it’s still not enough to get an additional MP.
Of course, once the Internet Party is actually launched, and members can join, and candidates are revealed, the party might finally feature in the polls. There’s undoubtedly a small constituency of pro-tech, anti-spy twenty-somethings who would consider voting for Dotcom’s party on those issues alone, but whether they’ll actually vote is debatable.
The major flaw in the plan that I foresee is that the proposed alliance is essentially just another protest party, and that’s a crowded political space with not enough actual voters. Kim Dotcom may like to see himself as being able to attract a broad base of voters in his role of party founder, but I don’t think many people are in much doubt about his reasons for starting the party. He wants leverage in his fight to remain in New Zealand, and he’s prepared to spend a great deal of money to get that, including trying to get some tame voices into parliament to fight in his corner. The Internet Party is going to need to have some fairly new, innovative policies if it’s to have any chance of being more than a polling blip.
Frankly, I just don’t see an alliance of the two parties providing enough added value to bring in anyone beyond simply Hone Harawira. At most, Harawira might end up with one companion, and that companion almost certainly wouldn’t be from the Internet Party side of the list.