Hone Harawira

$1000 well spent for Hone

“Harawira’s recount bid backfires” declared the headline for Tracy Watkins’ article for Stuff, as it was revealed that Hone Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau seat recount resulted in Harawira losing two votes and Kelvin Davis gaining two votes.

Except that Harawira had explicitly stated that he wasn’t trying to overturn the result. Instead, the recount was about bringing publicity to Harawira’s allegations that Maori roll voters were subject to systematic racism. On National Radio’s Morning Report, he stated:

“Opening polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, I’m talking about people not being offered assistance to vote, Maori people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away because they didn’t have their EasyVote card, Maori people having their identity questioned because of their different name, Maori people being treated like they just don’t deserve to be in the polling booth.”

Likewise, on Newstalk ZB, it was reported:

Mr Harawira has accused the Electoral Commission of racism, and today says he’s heard of Maori voters being turned away from polling booths because they didn’t have their Easy Vote card, or being told they couldn’t cast a special vote. He claims in some instances, Maori voters were told to wait while Pakeha voters were served first.

Is there any truth to the allegations? Who knows. To my knowledge, Harawira certainly hasn’t rolled out any accusers. It’s entirely possible that throughout the many Te Tai Tokerau voting booths there have been isolated incidents of racial discrimination. I’d be extremely dubious dubious about claims that any discrimination is systemic – Harawira and hyperbole have always gone well together.

Nonetheless, the cost to Harawira and Mana for the recount was just $1,000. And for that $1,000, Harawira received a solid media platform to publicise his concerns regarding racial discrimination in our electoral system. I’d say that’s pretty good value for money.

Harawira’s recount bid backfired? Not really…



Meanwhile, in Te Tai Tokerau…

On Monday evening, while Kim Dotcom was busy throwing his credibility under a bus, Maori Television was delivering his party further bad news, in the form of their poll of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate. That poll showed Hone Harawira just one point ahead of Labour’s Kelvin Davis – 38% to 37%. The Maori Party’s Te Hira Paenga was well behind, on just 9%.

Of course, as Harawira said, he’s been in that position before, and won. In 2011, the sole poll of Te Tai Tokerau electorate showed a neck and neck race, before Harawira went on win with a relatively comfortable 6% majority.

If Harawira loses Te Tai Tokerau, the Internet Mana Party is toast. Which meant that the Maori TV poll provides the Maori Party with the perfect excuse to call for some utu-exacting strategic voting, by telling its supporters to vote for Kelvin Davis. After all, Harawira hasn’t exactly been silent about his intention to destroy the Maori Party this election.

At the outset of the election campaign, the Maori Party couldn’t risk a declaration of war against Harawira. If they’d openly declared an intention to not field a candidate, or to tell their supporters to vote for the Labour candidate, they risked the possibility that Labour and Internet Mana might engage in strategic reprisals in Waiariki, Te Tai Hauauru and Tamaki Makaurau. Now, however, it’s far too late for such shenanigans from Internet Mana and Labour (not to mention that the Maori TV poll of Waiariki showed Flavell on 50%).

So will the Maori Party declare open war, and call for strategic voting? Hone Harawira certainly seems to think it’s on the cards. At a meeting in Omanaia, he reportedly told the crowd:

“Things have just got real tough for me. I’ve heard that the Maori Party is considering standing their man down and giving their votes to Labour’s [Mr Davis] as well.

“So the fight for this seat has just become the kind I really like, which is us against the rest. I’m upset about it, because it’s tough enough in Parliament on your own. I take it also as a bit of a compliment.”

The Maori Party don’t seem to know exactly what they want to happen. Te Ururoa Flavell stated:

“[Strategic voting has] been a part of our strategy meetings for a while, but the official line is that Te Hira Paenga is standing as the candidate. We’ve endorsed him.”

However, that endorsement wasn’t categorical, with Flavell refraining from confirming that he actually wanted his supporters to vote for the Maori Party candidate: “Everyone in the Tai Tokerau can make their own decisions.”

If the Maori Party want to make an unequivocal declaration of war against Hone Harawira and Internet Mana, they’ve got one day to do so. In the meantime, Harawira is playing the sympathy card…


And just to complicate matters, Winston Peters has thrown his weight behind Kelvin Davis, describing him as “by far the best person for the seat”. At a meeting in Paihia, the NZ Herald reports Peters as saying:

“I’m from up north. I see the need for some consistently strong Northland voice that is speaking for the interests of this province, that has been largely Cinderella-ised, marginalised and forgotten. And that voice cannot be contaminated with an arrangement by a crooked German that’s been here for five minutes.

“I’ve got no doubt that NZF voters on that [Tai Tokerau] roll are going to be voting for Kelvin Davis.”

Te Tai Tokerau will definitely be one to watch on Saturday night!


Things keep moving at speed up North! Maori TV’s Maiki Sherman has just tweeted that the Maori Party executive have asked their candidate, Te Hira Paenga, to stand down, but that he’s refused.

#MaoriParty in damage control. There is a rift over #TeTaiTokerau. Executive wanted Te Hira Paenga to stand down – he refused.

There’ll be more on Maori TV’s Te Kaea programme at 5.30pm.

The small picture: Dotcom blows it

For what seems like the longest time, Kim Dotcom has sworn black and blue that he has documentary evidence that categorically proves John Key a liar. John Key has repeated time and again that he had no knowledge of Dotcom prior to the Police raid on Dotcom’s mansion; Dotcom said he would prove Key lied.

Warning signs should have been evident when Dotcom offered a $5 million reward for anyone who supplied him with additional proof. If you’ve got conclusive documentary proof, why offer to blow another $5 mill?

When I read the leaked Warner Brothers email late yesterday afternoon, ahead of Dotcom’s Moment of Truth, I laughed. It was far too pat; almost a check-list of all the things Dotcom could possibly want in an incriminating email. If you don’t mind the writer of your incriminating email talking in a series of cliches.

The email – supposedly from Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Brothers chair and chief executive, to Michael Ellis, a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – says:

Hi Mike,

We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand is paying off. I see strong support for our anti-piracy effort. John Key told me in private that they are granting Dotcom residency despite pushback from officials about his criminal past. His AG will do everything in his power to assist us with our case. VIP treatment and then a one-way ticket to Virginia.

This is a game changer. The DOJ is against the Hong Kong option. No confidence in the Chinese. Great job.


Kim Dotcom's "proof" that John Key lied; strangely not discussed at the Moment of Truth

Kim Dotcom’s “proof” that John Key lied; strangely not discussed at the Moment of Truth

I thought that the email must be just a teaser, one part of a collection, with details to be revealed that evening. Otherwise it was simply going to look like a fake. Warner Brothers and the MPAA have certainly already labelled it a fake.

Well, as it turned out, there was no email chain to be revealed. There were no details of a chain of custody or how the email ended up in Dotcom’s hands. In fact, the email simply didn’t feature in the Moment of Truth show.

At the finale press conference, Dotcom and Laila Harre refused to answer questions on the email, claiming it was sub judice as the email had been referred by Hone Harawira to the Privileges Committee. That’s a lie. The House has risen. There is no Privileges Committee.

Dotcom’s credibility is now shot. John Key can now safely bat away questions about spy agencies, playing with semantics, safe in the knowledge that a quip or two about Dotcom’s “proof” will be enough to get most New Zealanders to switch their brains off about the big issues that Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald raised last night.

Kim Dotcom just did the country a huge disservice.


So Hone Harawira did in fact attempt to file the Warner Brothers email with the Privileges Committee that has been dismissed. Below is the email to Harawira from Speaker David Carter, confirming the Speaker won’t be taking action. Which of course means that Dotcom and Harre are free to discuss the contents and provenance of the email all they like… But will they? It is the conclusive documentary proof after all…

The Speaker responds to Hone Harawira.

The Speaker responds to Hone Harawira.

A tale of two campaign launches

After a week and a half of being relentlessly hammered, day in, day out, by their political opponents and the media over the Dirty Politics allegations, National was relying on yesterday’s campaign opening to change the media narrative.

National’s line was made clear, with John Key refusing to answer Dirty Politics questions, batting them away with two brush-off sentences – “We’re moving on from that. That’s last week’s story”. Key is betting that the public have now well and truly zoned out. Questions over who spoke to whom and when before releasing some SIS briefing notes? That’s for those who write or read political blogs. At the end of the day, Middle New Zealand wants policy.

Complicating matters is the hacker, Whaledump. National have no idea what else might be released via Twitter, ready to be pored over by the media and excitedly rehashed on the six o’clock news. Nonetheless, Key can be relatively comfortable that any future releases will be embarrassing for underlings, rather than Key himself. If there was a firm link between Key, Cameron Slater and the underhand activities described in Dirty Politics, it would have already ended up in Nicky Hager’s book. The source emails now being drip fed to the Twitterati are embarrassing for the people who wrote them, portraying them in a very different light to their public personae, but Key is banking on there being little more to come in the way of solid accusations.

For National, yesterday’s campaign launch was about hitting the reset button. The All Blacks are back to being victorious, there’s policy to sell (I’ll discuss National’s housing policy in a separate post), it’s Situation Normal. The media (and Whaledump) may have other ideas though…

Speaking of campaign launches, the lead item on 3News last night (and presumably One News too) was Pam Corkery’s quite astonishing meltdown at reporters outside the Internet Mana Party’s launch. Calling a reporter a “puffed up little shit” and then having Kim Dotcom flee from reporters probably wasn’t, in retrospect, a great way to get the media discussing party policy.

Admittedly, some of the 3News reporting was a little dishonest. The fact that Dotcom had, almost twenty years ago, hacked into a database and reduced the German Chancellor’s credit rating to zero was not something that Dotcom had suddenly revealed. It’s been a widely told story, utilised over and over again by Dotcom since he was first trying to woo Hone Harawira and the Mana Party into bed.

Nonetheless, if Dotcom didn’t want to answer questions about hacking, it probably wasn’t wise to include the comments in his campaign launch speech, especially given that his reference to John Key as “another Prime Minister I don’t like” provided the media with a great platform to once again ask whether Dotcom had had any involvement with the theft of Cameron Slater’s emails.

As to what else happened at the Internet Mana launch, well, who knows? It certainly didn’t get reported, and for that Laila Harre needs to deliver some strong words to her Press Secretary and her Party Visionary.

‘The Nation’ minor party debate – Colin Craig loses, Winston Peters wins

Having spent the weekend in Napier, resolutely not pondering anything political, I got back to Gisborne last night and finally got around to watching The Nation’s minor party leaders’ debate.

Policy-wise, there was nothing to learn. This was a show devoted almost entirely to the spouting of pre-prepared talking points. Here’s my view of how the various leaders performed:

Colin Craig v Winston Peters: This was perhaps the most important clash. Having initially been excluded from the debate lineup, and making an entrance purely because of a High Court injunction, Colin Craig needed to do well to justify his presence. He’d argued in Court that the Conservative Party would be negatively impacted if Winston Peters was given free reign to speak on conservative policy platforms – essentially admitting that the policy platforms of NZ First and the Conservatives are largely identical. Both parties are duking it out for the same pool of voters, and that pool isn’t large enough for both to make it over the 5% threshold.

So who won? In my opinion, it was Peters by a long shot. He wasn’t in particularly hot form, but it was more than enough. Perhaps the defining moment was when moderator Lisa Owen described Mr Craig as Peters’ doppelganger, and asked him to describe why anyone should vote Conservative rather than NZ First. Craig couldn’t come up with a single policy reason. Instead, looking somewhat miffed at the question, he said that the Conservatives were clear that they would work with the party with the most votes, rather than play games a la NZ First. If that’s the Conservative Party’s major point of distinction from NZ First, then it’s game over for Colin Craig.

Winston Peters v Metiria Turei: Given Mr Peters’ long-held antipathy towards the Greens, fireworks were expected between Peters and Turei. As it happened, when Peters was offered the chance to put the boot into the Greens, he declined, instead saying that he gets on with everybody. This was then followed up with, “I get on with everybody who has a reasonable view on a reasonable thing”. What that means is anyone’s guess, but there’s no doubt that Peters is happily engaged in his favourite electioneering past-time – keeping everyone guessing.

Colin Craig v Metiria Turei: As a property developer, Colin Craig is not a fan of “green tape” holding up development. Plus, as Winston’s stunt double, it’s only to be expected that Mr Craig would be anti-Greens. Unfortunately, for Mr Craig, Ms Turei owned him. She held tightly to the party line (“National’s pollution economy”), while Craig’s interjections were banal and resulted in perhaps the defining image of the night – Turei haughtily performing a ‘talk to the hand’ in Craig’s direction.

Talk to the hand, Colin. (Thanks to Stephanie Rodgers at Boots Theory for the screenshot.)

Talk to the hand, Colin. (Thanks to Stephanie Rodgers at Boots Theory for the screenshot.)

Te Ururoa Flavell v Hone Harawira: Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Hone Harawira has natural charisma. Te Ururoa Flavell, not so much. With everything at stake for the two party leaders in their respective seats, and with both parties fighting for the same pool of voters, neither could afford to have a bad debate. They both stayed on message, with Harawira banging the drum of Maori inequality, and Flavell emphasising a) the real gains made by the Maori Party due to being at the table, and b) that his party is not a proxy of the National Party. Unfortunately for Flavell, there was no passion to his approach. Harawira had the emotional message and the better soundbites. A win on points for Harawira.

Jamie Whyte v the world: It wasn’t a good debate for Jamie Whyte. He was stilted and amateur. Sure, he had some good lines, accusing others of being “communistic” and “neo-racist”, but you get the feeling that he rather prefers the safety of a lecture theatre, where he can espouse his dry rationality to his heart’s content, free from the indignity of moderators who interrupt, opponents who interject, and people in general who laugh at you while you’re talking.

Peter Dunne v ???: In his role as Captain Sensible, Peter Dunne exists in his own separate space. No one bothers feuding with him, because his strongest held view appears to be that people should be able to decide at what age they begin claiming superannuation. And that’s basically how it played out on The Nation. Dunne was there, but you’d struggle to remember much of what he said, apart from that he wants people to be able to decide at what age they begin claiming superannuation. There was some half-hearted sledging from Winston Peters, when Dunne described the anti-land sales position as “xenophobic”, but Peters didn’t seem to think it was really worth his time to bother directing much bile in Dunne’s direction.

Perhaps the most interesting part of The Nation was the panel discussion between Brook Sabin, Bryce Edwards and Lisa Owen over which leaders should have been part of the debate. Which says a lot about the debate itself…



Internet Mana – killing the Left’s hopes of victory?

The Internet Mana Party has released video footage of its supporters chanting “Fuck John Key” at a Christchurch rally. Which immediately resulted in Twitter being Godwinned, as Matthew Hooton compared the footage to a Hitler rally:

Feels a bit like a Munich Beer Hall in the 1920s.

While Mr Hooton may have been putting on a show of overly-righteous indignation, the footage was certainly in terrible taste, and raises some thorny issues for the Left.

It remains to be seen what the effect of the footage is on the Internet Mana Party. It’s certainly a little hard for Laila Harre to remain on her high moral horse regarding John Key’s “sugar daddy” comment, when her party’s supporters are being incited to yell “Fuck John Key” at each stop on the Party Party roadshow. Sure, Ms Harre says it was “spontaneous”, but there been allegations  made by callers to Radio Live this afternoon that the chant was in fact started by paid Internet Party staffers in the audience, and that the same chant “spontaneously” occurred in Wellington too. If those allegations are borne out (and they’re only allegations at this stage), then that paints a rather nasty picture of the Internet Mana Party organisation.

However, Internet Mana isn’t trying to get mainstream votes. They’re after the disaffected Left, who don’t feel that Labour or even the Greens have anything to offer them. In reality, the Internet Mana policy platform is really just a mixture of the Green Party manifesto with some old school Alliance Party socialism thrown in, courtesy of Ms Harre. The party’s policy platform isn’t what’s winning it support – the support flows from Dotcom and Harawira’s anti-authority rhetoric. Having the party stick both middle fingers up at the Prime Minister with a “Fuck John Key” chant might just lure a few more of those voters towards Internet Mana. Whether those voters actually reach the ballot box is perhaps another story.

The next question is what effect the footage will have on the Left as a whole. It’s been posited by various political commentators that Labour has been losing votes to National due to the level of unease swing voters have towards the Internet Mana Party. The theory goes that the Greens and Internet Mana are picking up a couple of percent from the disaffected Left who sat out 2008 and 2011, but that Labour is then bleeding votes to the Right due to Middle New Zealand’s fear and loathing of Kim Dotcom and Hone Harawira. Faced with the choice of a Left-bloc coalition and a Right-bloc coalition, voters see the Right-bloc minor party allies as known quantities, whereas no one knows what in the hell Internet Mana is supposed to be.

If the theory is correct, the “fuck John Key” footage will make Internet Mana even more of an anathema to mainstream swing voters. With Labour, on current polling, requiring Internet Mana if it’s going to have even a hope of forming a Government, it’s just one more reason for swing voters to continue to stay away from Labour.

On the other hand, the whole thing might just be forgotten by tomorrow, as voters find other rather more important things to turn their minds to. We’ll see how much manufactured horror Matthew Hooton can conjure up…

Leaking like a sieve

Further to the leaked Labour Party emails relating to Kelvin Davis’ Te Tai Tokerau battle with Hone Harawira, you’ve got to wonder just who’s done the leaking, and why?

It’s either someone from Kelvin Davis’ campaign team or it’s someone from Labour HQ, and the motivations that each camp might have had are rather different.

If it’s Camp Davis, you’d have to presume that they were expecting to lose if they simply adopted a steady-as-she-goes campaign strategy based on party billboards, public meetings and press releases. You’d also have to presume that Labour’s current polling is scaring the hell out of them. As I pointed out in my previous post, Kelvin Davis is in the danger zone, based on Labour’s current average polling. And things get worse for him if NZ First make it over 5% and take two Labour list seats.

Camp Davis knows that the only ways Harawira is losing Te Tai Tokerau is if a) the Maori Party instructs it’s supporters to vote for Davis, or b) enough Harawira supporters begin to really dislike the Internet Mana deal. Given that the Maori Party continues to pretend that it can win all seven Maori seats, that leaves just Option B. And Option B requires a negative campaign – an unrelenting assault on Dotcom and Harawira.

Unfortunately for Camp Davis, it’s rather obvious that a negative campaign against Dotcom is, as Tim Barnett pointed out to Davis’ team, somewhat at odds with Labour’s “Vote Positive” slogan. Therefore, if Camp Davis leaked the emails, they’re hoping to stoke the anti-Dotcom/Harawira message through the media, keeping the spotlight on Mr Davis as the Defender of Democracy.

There have been all sorts of accusations regarding Labour candidates turning their backs on a coordinated party vote campaign, in favour of focusing purely on winning their own seats. If the leak has come from Camp Davis, then this is a doozy of an example, flying in the face of Labour’s central campaign message.

If the leak came from Labour’s HQ, then who knows what the motivation might have been. Was it someone who disagrees with the decision to rein Davis in? Was it someone who simply relished the chance to put another spanner in David Cunliffe’s spokes? Whatever the reason, it’s yet another example for the public that Labour remains a divided party, working at cross-purposes to itself.

And just check out this comment from Matthew Hooton at The Dim-Post:

A series of emails, including this one, was leaked to me last week from within the Labour Party. I wrote about it on Friday in the NBR but I think Labour HQ then issued this one to the Herald, which had a story in Saturday’s paper. Others have HQ advocating fund-raising through third parties.

Whoever leaked those emails really, really wanted them blazed all over the media…

Kelvin Davis – rock and a hard place

Kelvin Davis really, really wants to win Te Tai Tokerau. You can’t really blame him for that. The vagaries of relying on the party list to get into Parliament mean that he missed out in 2011 and is only back thanks to Shane Jones departing for other climes.

And now Mr Davis is back in the danger zone. Yes, he’s number eighteen on the Labour list, but when you take into account those who will or could win electorate seats, Mr Davis is effectively between 32 and 34 on the list (depending on whether Labour hold Palmerston North and/or Port Hills).

In this site’s Poll of Polls, Labour are currently sitting on 27.7%, which gets them 36 MPs. That gives Mr Davis a little bit of buffer room, but only because NZ First are sitting on 4.6% and zero MPs. If we imagine NZ First taking 0.4% off National, and hitting the 5% threshold, it’s suddenly a very different story – Labour would have just 34 MPs, leaving Davis with little to no buffer zone at all.

Which leaves him in a spot of bother, given that his party doesn’t seem to want him to win Te Tai Tokerau. Although Labour are in public stating that they want to win all seven Maori seats, it’s plainly obvious that on current polling Labour has no chance of forming a Government without the Internet Mana Party bringing in two or more MPs. If David Cunliffe can’t lift Labour’s polling rather dramatically, then Internet Mana are vital to Cunliffe’s Prime Ministerial dreams.

So what to make of Kelvin Davis’ personal crusade against Kim Dotcom?

It’s been revealed that Mr Davis’ campaign team had sought head office approval to run a website taking aim at Dotcom and picking a fight with Internet Mana. Here’s the response from Tim Barnett, Labour’s General Secretary, taken from emails leaked to 3News:

This website and its messaging is problematic and presents a risk for the Party for the following significant reasons:

  • Its’ overall tone is negative and not consistent with our Vote Positive message
  • The first sentence uses the National Party slogan “Working for New Zealand”
  • The cartoon of Kim dot com is could be viewed as offensive and the website picks a fight with Internet Mana. I know that is your local fight, but to present that nationally would not be helpful when both parties are presenting as progressive
  • The messaging about anonymous donations is inconsistent with Labour Party policy and practice, both at Head Office and across electorate campaigns, and would be messaged by media as . [sic]
  • The website has no Party Vote message and does not carry an authorisation statement.

The response from Davis’ campaign team?

I think we as a party need to realize that the battle we are fighting in the north is unique. Our opposition is not Keys and his party. We are fighting against Hone who is being funded by a multi- millionaire who is frankly trying to buy his way into parliament. The website is confrontational as it is a wakeup call, it’s not aimed at traditional supporters, honestly I think national supporters may contribute.

Having had the orders come down from on high to keep the Te Tai Tokerau campaign clean and positive, Kelvin Davis then publishes the following Facebook posts:

Kelvin Davis 1


Kelvin Davis 2

With Hone Harawira calling on Davis to resign for attempting to solicit funds from National Party supporters, Davis is unapologetic, as his above Facebook posts demonstrate. There may not be many Kelvin Davis hoardings up in the Far North, but he’s made it as public as he possibly could that he intends to win, which may well be a thorn in David Cunliffe’s side.

As Patrick Gower tweeted yesterday morning:

What will Cunliffe, McCarten & Barnett do about Kelvin Davis who is going hard, going negative and wants to win the Tai Tokerau?

Idiot/Savant says the Right is to blame for the bullet holes in Hone’s windows

Last Thursday night, someone fired shorts through the front window of Hone Harawira’s office, which is insane behaviour. It should go without saying that anyone who creeps out at night to fire a gun through a politician’s electorate office window is more than a little unhinged.

My reaction when the story was reported on 3News last night was simply along the lines of, “I hope they catch the psycho and lock him up.” Which made me look somewhat askance at Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn‘s blog post, “Shooting at MPs“, in which he states:

For the past few years, the right has been whipping up hatred against Hone harawira. And now, predictably, people are shooting at him.

I beg your pardon? Political attacks on Hone Harawira will “predictably” lead to people shooting at him? It’s an entirely normal outcome of sustained political attack on an MP that someone will shoot holes in his/her office window?

What precisely is Idiot/Savant trying to say here? That Hone Harawira gets a dispensation card preventing his political opponents from trying to prevent him getting re-elected? That Labour should stop its attacks on John Key, just in case a raving nut job decides to shoot out his Helensville office windows? That National should leave David Cunliffe alone, in case of future firearms offences against New Lynn office windows?

And why precisely is it the Political Right’s fault that some lunatic with a gun decides that shooting out Harawira’s windows is a good idea? It’s not as if there’s some New Zealand version of Sarah Palin, painting cross-hairs on electoral “targets” to rev up the gun nut support base.

Given Harawira’s penchant for racism (“white motherfuckers”, anyone? No white boys dating your daughters, Hone?), perhaps Idiot/Savant would support a ban on the media reporting Mr Harawira’s more crapulent comments, just in case they push someone over the edge?

At the very least, perhaps Idiot/Savant would be so good as to elaborate on exactly which of the Right’s attacks on Mr Harawira have been so hideously beyond the pale…

Poll of Polls update – 19 June 2014

As if David Cunliffe wasn’t already under enough pressure, the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll was released this morning, and it’s awful for Labour. Labour falls 6.3% to a horrible 23.2%, while National gains a massive 8.9% to 56.6%, well and truly governing alone.

For the minor parties, there’s nothing much to smile about either. The Greens lose 0.9% to a still creditable 11.9%, but with Labour dropping so dramatically, they would surely have expected to have hoovered up some of that support. NZ First drops 0.5% to 3.6% – the third major poll in a row to show the party falling back below the 5% threshold. The Maori Party are down 1.2% to 0.7%, leaving them with just a sole MP, assuming they hold Waiariki. ACT are down 0.2% to 0.7% – yet another poll to show the party’s leader failing to make it into Parliament. The Conservative Party are down 0.7% to 0.9%, making them barely worth bothering about for John Key, and United Future doesn’t even register. The only minor party that might look at the poll with any comfort is Internet Mana, which picks up a combined 2.1%, which would likely bring them a third MP, should Hone Harawira hold Te Tai Tokerau.

So how does the Poll of Polls look now?

National: 49.2% (+0.8%)

Labour: 29.6% (-0.7%)

Greens: 11.5% (+0.3%)

NZ First: 4.7% (-0.3%)

Maori: 1.1 (nc)

United Future: 0.1% (nc)

ACT: 0.7% (nc)

Internet Mana: 1.3% (+0.2%)

Conservative: 1.4% (-0.1%)

Based on those percentages, the parties are predicted to win the following number of seats:

National: 63 (+4)

Labour: 38 (+1)

Greens: 15 (+1)

NZ First: 0 (-6)

Maori: 1 (nc)

United Future: 1 (nc)

ACT: 1 (nc)

Internet Mana: 2 (nc)

With NZ First falling back below the 5% threshold, National would receive 63 seats, governing alone for the first time in this Poll of Polls. Labour pick up an extra seat, despite dropping below 30% for the first time, but a Labour, Greens and Mana coalition would have just 55 seats.

If one takes 0.3% from National, giving it to NZ First and getting them over the line, Labour would instead drop to 36 seats, while National would have 60, needing just one of either ACT or United Future to govern.

What’s interesting is the change in language from David Cunliffe over the level he considers Labour’s support is actually at. Despite previous polls showing Labour bouncing around just above or below 30%, Cunliffe has held the line that Labour was actually at around 34%. This morning, he described the party’s support as being either late-twenties or early-thirties, an implicit acceptance that Labour’s own polling is occasionally putting the party at under 30%.