Kim Dotcom

Internet Mana : the divorce

So the Internet Mana Party is no more. As 3News reports, a letter has been sent to the Electoral Commission to confirm that the relationship has been terminated.

It’s hardly surprising. Given Kim Dotcom’s post-election acceptance that he’d poisoned the public mood against Internet Mana, it was only a matter of time before the Mana Movement and the Internet Party parted ways.

Admittedly, just before I headed to Melbourne last weekend, disappearing off the social media grid and ignoring the existence of news from the homeland, there were strange reports of the Internet Mana Party intending to soldier on through in unity to 2017, of Dotcom intending to continue his role as Internet Party puppet master, and of Dotcom preparing to export his failed Internet Party experiment to the United States.

Nonetheless, Dotcom had previously been bewailing his supposed technical insolvency. Given that the lure of the Internet Party for Hone Harawira had essentially been Dotcom’s money and public profile, a Dotcom who is broke and poisonously unpopular is a Dotcom with nothing of value to offer Mana.

In the wash-up, Dotcom was a cancer to everything he touched, politically. His Moment of Truth, rather than finishing John Key, almost resulted in National governing alone.

Laila Harre went from being a principled doyen of the Left to just another hypocritical sellout. And her theft of the Greens’ intellectual copyright as she left to follow the money means that no other party will be touching her for the foreseeable future.

In Waiariki, Mana’s Annette Sykes was supposed to take out Te Ururoa Flavell, finishing the Maori Party for good. She came third. Meanwhile, Flavell romped home, bringing with him Marama Fox.

And of course Hone Harawira lost his seat of Te Tai Tokerau. With no Parliamentary budget, no Dotcom gravy train, and a much-reduced public platform to keep him in the headlines, Harawira will struggle to re-take his old seat. If Kelvin Davis is smart, he’ll be spending the next three years touring every square metre of his electorate (with his travel funded by Parliament, of course), ensuring that Harawira doesn’t get a look-in in 2017.

Harawira staked everything on Dotcom, and the gamble proved disastrous. With the Internet Mana split now confirmed, the two component parties can now fade off into political oblivion.


And the Banks saga rolls on…

It’s just been reported that John Banks has been successful in his appeal, with the Court of Appeal overturning his conviction and ordering a new trial.

The appeal hinged on the evidence of two US-based businessmen, David Schaeffer and Jeffery Karnes, who were at the lunch with Dotcom, Banks and their respective wives, when Dotcom claimed the donations were discussed. The Court has stated that:

“Although it was not fresh evidence, the Court was satisfied that if the evidence has been before Justice Wylie the outcome may have been different.”

The new trial will certainly be interesting, given the hit Dotcom’s credibility has taken over the Moment of Truth, and the forged email. However, the key piece of evidence for Justice Wylie wasn’t the lunchtime conversation. Instead, it was Mr Banks’ phone conversation on 8 February 2012 with Dotcom’s lawyer, Gregory Towers, in which Mr Towers called Banks to try and get Dotcom a better mattress in prison. Justice Wylie wrote at para 128 of his judgment:

“He [Mr Towers] said that Mr Banks told him that as much as he wished to publically [sic] support Mr Dotcom, it might backfire on Mr Dotcom if “it b/comes known about election support etc”. Mr Towers recorded this comment in a contemporaneous file note. He was confident that he had recorded the words that were spoken to him as best as he could. There was no evidence of Mr Dotcom having provided any other “election support” for Mr Banks. … I was satisfied that the discussion recorded in the file note could only have been a reference to the $50,000 donation by Mr Dotcom to Mr Banks’ 2010 mayoral campaign. In my view, Mr Towers’ evidence, and the file note, was compelling evidence, from a witness whose testimony was unimpeachable, that Mr Banks knew that the donations had, in fact, been made by Mr Dotcom.”

Will the new evidence lessen the impact of Gregory Towers’ evidence? Can Banks point to what other “election support” was provided by Dotcom? We shall see…

The saga rolls on…

The deconstruction – what went down

So, in the end it wasn’t even close. Unless the special votes are dramatically out of kilter with the votes counted on election night, National has the numbers to govern alone.

The worse-case scenario now for National is that they lose a seat to the Greens, meaning that National would need one of either ACT or United Future to pass legislation. It’s not such a terrible worst-case for the Nats – both ACT and United Future are entirely dependent on National for their continued survival; they wouldn’t be giving National too much stick. Besides, as Graeme Edgeler writes at Public Address, if the special votes are distributed in the same proportions as in 2011, there’ll be no change to the makeup of Parliament.

So how has National managed to defy the laws of electoral gravity, while Labour plumbs new depths, and the minor parties are all left licking their wounds? For me, there are five main issues.

Firstly, the public were happy with our current economic stability. On The Nation, just before National released its tax “policy”, Bill English couldn’t highlight a single new idea that National would bring to the table to spur economic growth. It turns out the public weren’t too unhappy about that. People presumably looked at the economic mess that exists in the US, the EU and across the ditch in Australia, and thought that things were actually pretty good here. Labour’s ideas might have sounded interesting, but would they work? Do I trust Labour to mess around with Kiwisaver rates, and what will the effect be on my weekly take-home pay?

Secondly, for almost three years (and another three before that, if you include the Goff years), Labour has presented itself as a chaotic pack of self-absorbed in-fighters, too busy playing identity politics and sticking the knife into opposing factions to give a damn about Middle New Zealand. Labour may have stayed on message with grim determination during the actual campaign, but by then it’s a bit late. Staying on message for six weeks cannot outweigh more than two and a half years of self-mutiliation. The public had already made up its collective mind that Labour were a pack of muppets.

Thirdly, the public were happy with our current political stability. Put simply, Internet Mana scared the hell out of people. I’ve lost track of the number of people I’ve talked to who weren’t necessarily National Party fans, but who wanted Kim Dotcom’s hands nowhere near the levers of power. Those people likely voted National. The Left may point to ACT or Colin Craig, and ask what’s the difference? Well, part of the reason Colin Craig didn’t get the endorsement he wanted was that National’s polling indicated National would take a 2-3% hit if they gave Craig a seat, so there’s not necessarily much of a difference there. And ACT simply isn’t seen as a threat these days; it’s been dependent on National for so long that it’s been politically neutered. Internet Mana, on the other hand, was a frightening unknown; a Frankenstein mix of hard-left activism and big money.

Fourthly, Dirty Politics largely wiped out any emphasis on policy. Yes, the policy was out there, and Dirty Politics almost didn’t feature during the leaders’ debates, but a huge chunk of the election campaign was lost to it. The minutiae of the allegations were largely lost on the public. Judith Collins made an easy villain, and she resigned – case largely closed. Dirty Politics wasn’t seen as a reason to change a Government.

Finally, the Moment of Truth. It was the moment where Kim Dotcom took his credibility out behind the bike sheds and hit it with both barrels, making himself (and the Left, by association) look like idiots. But it also inspired a large dose of parochialism in the dying week of the campaign. “I’m not going to be lectured to by a bunch of foreigners” – it was a phrase I heard rather a lot of, in various permutations. On The Nation yesterday, David Farrar told Lisa Owen that his polling for National showed a jump in National’s support following the Moment of Truth.

Kim Dotcom and his Moment of Truth may have handed John Key those final few seats he needed to attain the ability to govern alone.


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 big picture: Who precisely is monitoring us, and is the GCSB in cahoots?

The destruction of Dotcom’s credibility last night is a real shame, not because I have any great sympathy for the man (I don’t), but because the wrecking ball that just swung back and collected him will now distract for the very important questions that were raised last night by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.

Together, they presented a coherent case that strongly argues that New Zealanders are indeed subject to mass surveillance. Here’s what Edward Snowden wrote at Greenwald’s website, The Intercept:

If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance.

John Key, on the other hand, says Greenwald and Snowden are wrong. He says a business case was developed by the GCSB, in which they sought to conduct mass surveillance, but Cabinet refused to grant approval.

So here’s the thing. I don’t disbelieve Edward Snowden when he says he was able to he was able to read the electronic correspondence of New Zealanders when he worked at the NSA. Snowden’s credibility and veracity are well and truly intact. What then, is XKEYSCORE, and how certain can Snowden be that New Zealand data are being fed through it? Here’s Snowden again:

Actual pictures and classified documentation of XKEYSCORE are available online now, and their authenticity is not contested by any government. Within them you’ll find that the XKEYSCORE system offers, but does not require for use, something called a “Five Eyes Defeat,” the Five Eyes being the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and yes, New Zealand.

This might seem like a small detail, but it’s very important. The Five Eyes Defeat is an optional filter,  a single checkbox. It allows me, the analyst, to prevent search results from being returned on those countries from a particular search. Ask yourself: why do analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand if there is no mass surveillance in New Zealand?


It means they have the ability [to] see every website you visit, every text message you send, every call you make, every ticket you purchase, every donation you make, and every book you order online. From “I’m headed to church” to “I hate my boss” to “She’s in the hospital,” the GCSB is there. Your words are intercepted, stored, and analyzed by algorithms long before they’re ever read by your intended recipient.

The question then becomes, how does the NSA (and, presumably, the intelligence services in the UK, Canada and Australia) access New Zealand’s electronic communications? Is our Government aware of how it happens, merely turning a blind eye? Is the GCSB complicit in any way, shape or form?

John Key’s assurances that the GCSB does not and never has engaged in any mass surveillance of New Zealanders may well be correct. Greenwald and Snowden’s case last night was circumstantial only. There was no hard evidence that the GCSB has had direct involvement in mass surveillance.

Nonetheless, it’s equally possible that John Key is playing semantic games. “Never engaged in mass surveillance against New Zealanders” may well mean “But we helped set it up for the NSA”.

Here’s Tim Watkin on the issue of semantics, writing at Pundit:

But much of the devil in this debate is in the precise meaning of the words involved.

Such as “mass”. What is mass? How many New Zealanders need to be spied on for it to be mass, or “wholesale” as the Prime Minister likes to say? What Snowden considers “mass”, Key may not.

And what is “surveillance”? Not wire tapping every phone or trawling through every email. We’re talking about metadata – names, times, addresses. The stuff Snowden says as an analyst he found more compelling and useful because “it does not lie”.

And there’s even “fact”. How much is memory and likelihood and best guesses and how much proven evidence? How much is the complete truth and how much just the truth that’s been recorded and put on paper?

So could the cable and its New Zealand traffic still be under surveillance at the other end of the pipe, ie not “in New Zealand”? The Southern Cross Cable CEO says no, who is a strong source, but can Key be as unequivocal about the integrity of the cable along its entire length?

John Key still has a great many questions that need answering. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that any coherent answers are likely before Saturday the 20th of September.

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.

Out in space, no one can hear you scream

From the sidelines of relevance, ACT has been screaming and waving its hand in a desperate bid to be noticed. The bold (some may use less charitable descriptive language) policies have been coming thick and fast recently – abolishing the Overseas Investment Office, getting rid of the Resource Management Act, arming shopkeepers…

They’re designed to grab headlines, to give party leader Jamie Whyte a few life-giving gulps of publicity oxygen. If publicity is supposed to get you votes, it doesn’t appear to have working for ACT. Following their campaign launch and OIO and RMA announcements, the last Colmar Brunton had them on a year-long high of 1.2%. Unfortunately, they could then only manage a combined 1% from the latest Digipoll and Ipsos polls.

Things are only going to get worse this week. Tonight, Kim Dotcom unveils his Moment of Truth. Whatever Dotcom and Glenn Greenwald have to say tonight, be it bunker busting explosion or damp squib, the media won’t be talking about much else. Certainly, the upcoming War of the Documents between Greenwald and Key won’t be a simple day-long skirmish.

Minor party policy will well and truly be taking a back seat. ACT and United Future might as well just concentrate on Epsom and Ohariu respectively, and give up on the rest of the country. Given that Colin Craig has no hope of winning an electorate seat, Dotcom’s Moment of Truth might very well be the final nail in the coffin of the Conservatives’ run for the 5% threshold.

In fact, the coming week is likely to be a policy-free vacuum full stop. Which means that for the opposition, they’d better hope that whatever Dotcom and Greenwald have to say is compelling and easy to understand.

David Cunliffe, Russel Norman and Meteria Turei had better get used to the idea that for the next four days, the only soundbites they’ll be giving will be on spying. For the Greens, that focus might still pick them up a few votes, given their long-term activism against our spy agencies. For Labour though, Dotcom’s Moment of Truth may prove catastrophic. All eyes will be on John Key and whatever he may end up declassifying. With four days of Key v Dotcom & Greenwald, David Cunliffe and Labour Party policy won’t get a look in.

The stakes are high. If Dotcom’s “proof” that Key knew about Dotcom before the raid isn’t watertight, Internet Mana will be a laughing stock. Likewise, if the Greenwald v Key debate about mass surveillance gets lost in a maze of paperwork and semantics, Labour and the Greens can probably give up on being anything other than bit players for the final week of the campaign. The only winner is likely to be Winston Peters, sweeping up the disillusioned.

The fortunes of Labour, the Greens, and Internet Mana are now firmly anchored to two men. Roll on 7pm…

Poll of Polls update – 14 September 2014

For some reason, Fairfax have delayed the release of their 11 September 2014 Ipsos poll to this morning (the Ipsos Polling Station on Stuff even calls it their “September 11 2014 Poll”). It’s almost standard these days to describe each new poll as “another bad for Labour”, but this Ipsos poll is the worst result Labour has had this year from any major polling company.

Labour slumps 1.9% to just 22.4%. On that sort of election day result, Labour would be losing (depending on how various electorate results go) Sue Moroney, Andrew Little, Maryan Street, Moana Mackey, Kelvin Davis, Raymond Huo and Carol Beaumont, while Jacinda Ardern would be looking anxiously at the level of wasted vote, hoping it would bump her in. (If Labour lose both Palmerston North and Port Hills, it would be Andrew Little looking anxiously at the wasted vote level, while Iain Lees-Galloway wouldn’t make it from the list; Ruth Dyson in Port Hills of course isn’t on the list.)

National, meanwhile, is on 52.8%, having dropped 1.4%.

Ipsos may overstate National and understate Labour to a greater average level than any of the other major polling companies, but that’s still a horror result for Labour, in the final week of the campaign.

The Greens rise a small 0.1%, to 13%. But that provides a Labour / Greens alliance with a total bloc of just 35.4%

NZ First are well down on their other recent poll results, on just 4.4% (although that’s an increase of 0.8%). Nonetheless, Ipsos are the only polling company currently placing the party at below 5%, so NZ First won’t be unduly worried by the result.

The Conservatives rise 1.2% to 3.6%. It’s their highest Ipsos result, but it’s still well short of where they need to be at this stage in the campaign.

Of the remaining minor parties, Internet Mana are up 0.1% to 1.4%, well short of their previous highs. They’ll be hoping that Kim Dotcom provides enough positive publicity on Monday evening to give them a late surge. The Maori Party are on 1.0% (up 0.7%), United Future don’t feature (having lost 0.1%), and ACT are on 0.7% (up 0.5%).

So here’s how the Poll of Polls looks now:

National: 48.2% (+0.1%)

Labour: 26.1% (-0.1%)

Greens: 12.6% (+0.1%)

NZ First: 5.7% (-0.1%)

Maori: 0.9% (+0.1)

United Future: 0.1% (-0.1)

ACT: 0.5% (nc)

Internet Mana: 2.0% (-0.1%)

Conservative: 3.0% (nc)

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

National: 60 (nc)

Labour: 32 (-1)

Greens: 16 (nc)

NZ First: 7 (nc)

Maori: 2 (nc)

United Future: 1 (nc)

ACT: 1 (nc)

Internet Mana: 3 (+1)

In the party vote stakes, the movements are only minor, with no party moving more than 0.1%. Nonetheless, it’s a new Poll of Polls low for Labour (again) and a new high for the Greens, while United Future drop back to just 0.1%.

By the tiniest of amounts, Labour loses a seat to Internet Mana, meaning there’s no change in the Left/Right balance.

The Right bloc remains on a total of 62 seats, compared to 51 for a Labour, Greens and Internet Mana alliance, meaning National could continue to govern with the support of both United Future and ACT.

Internet Mana losing its mojo

Internet Mana had been the minor party with momentum. As the Party Party / Internet Mana Roadshow worked its way around the country, the coverage was positive – crowds of hundreds flocking at each venue to see Dotcom, Harre, Harawira and the local candidates; mixtures of young, middle-aged and old; the anti-authority message hitting the headlines on a regular basis. Since mid-July, Internet Mana was consistently hitting at least 2% in the polls, even hitting the heady heights of 3.9% in the mid-August 3News Reid Research poll.

And then the wheels seemed to fall off. The “Fuck John Key” saga may not have had an immediate effect, but it hinted at a nasty, darker side to the party’s leadership. And although the party may not have had anything to do with the effigy burning and Kill the PM song that followed, it seems that Internet Mana had become, in the public consciousness, tied to that fundamentally negative side of left wing politics.

Things weren’t helped by Pam Corkery and Kim Dotcom turning the campaign launch into a farce, with Corkery’s “Puffed up little shit” soundbite and Dotcom’s run from journalists leading the headlines. In fact, since the launch, television media coverage of Internet Mana has almost inevitably involved a replay or two of Corkery’s least finest hour. Unfortunately for Internet Mana, Pam Corkery swearing at journalists doesn’t look badass or anti-authoritarian; it simply looks like a mad woman who lost control. Nobody likes supporting an embarrassment…

And of course the latest debacle was Mana Party candidate Georgina Beyer lambasting Kim Dotcom and his motives:

”I just have a sense that he’s using his power and position to seek retribution on people who have done him wrong. Should our political system really be manipulated in this way? The most telling thing was spending three hours on the ferry crossing with him. Really, I found him to be a distant person who was always utterly consumed in his iPad.”

In terms of the most recent polls, there’s been a sudden slump. None of the last three major polls had Internet Mana above 2%: 1.6% in the Colmar Brunton, 1% in yesterday’s Roy Morgan, and 1.7% in last night’s Reid Research.

Meanwhile, there was further bad news in the Waiariki electorate. After so much talk about Annette Sykes level-pegging with Te Ururoa Flavell and being in a strong position to win, Monday’s Maori TV poll of the electorate showed Flavell holding a 29% lead, with Flavell on 50%, Sykes on just 21% and the Labour candidate Rawiri Waititi not far behind on 17%.

With just 16 days to the election, it’s a bad time for the mojo to be lost…

Poll of Polls update – 3 September 2014

We’ve had two polls out today, the latest Roy Morgan poll and the 3News Reid Research poll.

In the Roy Morgan poll, there’s a slump for National, down 3% to 45%. Despite National’s fall, there’s no good news for the Labour Party, who drop 1.5% to 26%. Instead, the news is overwhelmingly good for the Greens, who rise a huge 4.5% to 16%, their best Roy Morgan result in over two years.

For the remaining minor parties, NZ First may be down 0.5%, but they’re still on 6%, which would see them returned to Parliament. The Conservatives climb 2.5% to 3.5% (their highest ever Roy Morgan result), while ACT is up 0.5% to 1%. There’s bad news for the Maori Party (who drop from 1% to 0.5%), United Future (who don’t even register, having dropped 0.5%), Internet Mana (who drop 1% to 1.5%).

In the Reid Research poll, National rises, up 1.4% to 46.4%. It’s a rise, but it’s still not a great result, if they don’t want to depend on NZ First or the Maori Party.

It’s worse though for Labour. They fall in both of tonight’s polls, dropping 0.5% to 25.9%. In the Reid Research poll, the Greens have no good news either, dropping 0.9% to 12.6%, a rather different result to the Roy Morgan.

For the remaining minor parties, NZ First again makes the 5% threshold, hitting 5.8% despite falling 0.5%. The Maori Party increase 1.3% to 2%, wile ACT doubles its vote from 0.3% to 0.6%. There are falls for the rest: United Future drop 0.3%, leaving them on 0.1% (although at least they’re registering, compared to the Roy Morgan); Internet Man drop 0.4% to 1.7%; and the Conservatives drop 0.4% to 4.2%.

So here’s how the Poll of Polls looks now:

National: 48.5% (-0.5%)

Labour: 26.8% (nc)

Greens: 12.4% (+0.2%)

NZ First: 5.2% (nc)

Maori: 0.9% (nc)

United Future: 0.2% (nc)

ACT: 0.4% (+0.1%)

Internet Mana: 2.1% (-0.1%)

Conservative: 2.6% (+0.2%)

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

National: 60 (-1)

Labour: 33 (nc)

Greens: 15 (nc)

NZ First: 7 (+1)

Maori: 2 (nc)

United Future: 1 (nc)

ACT: 1 (nc)

Internet Mana: 3 (nc)

The big news is that National loses a seat to NZ First. National has dropped 0.5% in a few days, and almost 2% in just over two weeks. It was inevitable that they’d drop during the campaign, but the drop has suddenly accelerated, which should worry National.

There’s no comfort for Labour. They’re static at 26.8%, still stuck on their worst numbers this year, and below their result at the last election.

For the minor parties, the Greens continue to rise. They’re at 12.4%, their equal highest result this year, last achieved back in mid-May.

Likewise, the Conservatives continue their rise, up another 0.2% to a new high of 2.6%. In less than two weeks, their average polling has increased 0.7% – a huge change in momentum, given the length of time they were stuck on 1.4 – 1.5%.

Meanwhile, the momentum has disappeared for Internet Mana. They fall again, after what had been an almost quarter year continued rise in support. Certainly, the recent bad headlines – Pam Corkery’s blowout, and Georgina Beyer’s attack on Kim Dotcom – won’t have helped their cause in the near future.

NZ First may not have risen, but they’ll be happy, maintaining their presence above 5%.

The Right now has a total of 62 seats, compared to 51 for a Labour, Greens and Internet Mana alliance. With both United Future and the Maori Party providing overhang seats, National’s 60 seats means they can’t quite govern alone, but the Right bloc would still have enough seats seats to not require NZ First.

The loss of a seat from National to NZ First means though that if the Maori Party fail to hold Te Tai Hauauru, National cannot now govern alone, and would need one of either United Future or ACT.