Key in Dunedin

August 14th, 2008 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The ODT reports on ’s visit to NZ. is the most left voting city in New Zealand, so the report is interesting:

An assured Party leader John Key kept to the party message during a visit to Dunedin yesterday.

He showed no signs of any nervousness about the forthcoming election campaign.

In earlier visits to Dunedin, Mr Key appeared to lack some self-confidence and had leaned heavily on the local knowledge of list MP Katherine Rich as he was introduced around the traps.

Speaking without notes, Mr Key delivered from memory the bulk of the speech he gave at the recent party conference in Auckland.

Questions posed to him by members of the Otago Chamber of Commerce attending the “meet the leaders” forum were answered without hesitation.

A number of people have said that John is often far better speaking without notes.

But it was out on the street that Mr Key showed how much he had grown as a campaigner.

During walks in the lower half of the Octagon, George St and the Meridian shopping centre, Mr Key (without being accompanied by Mrs Rich) had no problem walking up to people, shaking their hands and exchanging pleasantries.

Ducking and diving into shops and over to people walking along the street, he showed a campaigning prowess he had not previously demonstrated in the city.

On walking into a hairdressing business, Mr Key was handed the telephone and proceeded to have an impromptu conversation with a caller.

He finished by telling the manager the appointment was all booked in.

People called out, “Good luck, John”, as he walked along George St.

I wouldn’t get too excited about this, and start predicting two two Dunedin seats are about to become marginal, but as I said this is a very leftish city not known for welcoming National leaders.

In another ODT story, they report that it is highly likely National’s list (due on Sunday) will result in at least one National MP in Dunedin.

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16 Responses to “Key in Dunedin”

  1. homepaddock (429 comments) says:

    Key also attended the launch of the campaigns for Dunedin North’s and South’s candidates Michael Woodhouse and Conway Powell yesterday.

    There was standing room only for the launch at the Robbie Burns and the quote of the day came from Powell with his definition of the Knowledge Wave – waving goodbye to our knowledgable graduates as they leave for better opportunities overseas.

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  2. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    What is it with Dunedin, aren’t they meant to be on the “conservative” side as hardworking, responsible, thrifty people? Why are they Labour voters?

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  3. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    “hardworking, responsible, thrifty” – bah, you could find people with those characteristics in any reasonably significant political party membership, let alone among people who vote for those parties.

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  4. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    stephen, it’s been rigorously debated and well-established now, that all liarbore members and supporters are corrupt power-hungry commies and/or layabout dole bludgers. They also support terrorism, feel sorry for criminals, and love to re-distribute your wealth. And they want Tame Iti to be the next supreme president. Try and keep up dear!

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  5. polemic (316 comments) says:

    Yes PhilBest I have wondered the same but the Scots are known for being miserable selfish people so that fits directly with Labour Left wing quite apart from Nationals inspirational policies of helping people prosper and better their current positions.

    and this is the philosophical difference in Nationals benefits policy they are helping want to improve the situations of beneficiaries as Labour want to take more wealth of hard earners and give it out freely lunch style to beneficaries with no sense of obligation ever given- this “familiarity breeds contempt”

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  6. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    good thing the scots are in scotland then…thats like calling northlanders a bunch of crazy slavs.

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  7. polemic (316 comments) says:

    Sorry couldn’t edit typos above-edit didn’t work and then it timed out!

    But its also a university city and creates probably lots of Roger Nomes etc that are very left out!!

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  8. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    As a current leftwing Dunedinite, I’m interested in the description of Dunedin as ‘the most left voting city in New Zealand’. Does this simply mean ‘the city where on average Labour has its strongest electorate vote’? Some of us on the left wouldn’t of course see Labour as being leftwing, and certainly not the current Dunedin MPs! And what about the party vote?

    Or does this refer to something else?

    I would have thought that historically Christchurch would be the most leftwing city in New Zealand. It’s certainly has the strongest traditions of leftwing activity and politics.


    [DPF: Fair points. In some ways Dunedin is conservative but strong Labour voting which is what I was referring to. Christchurch does have a strong activist base but I suppose Chch is a more diverse city politically with Nat areas and Labour areas. In Dunedin I doubt there are any real Nat areas - maybe Maori Hill?]

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  9. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Heh, RRM i’m surprised no one decided to talk about ‘the insatiable leftist penis’ in the John Edwards ‘ten best sex scandals thread’. Yet.

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  10. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    10 points to Bryce for bringing us back on topic

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  11. Vyvyan (17 comments) says:

    Polemic- apparently North Dunedin (aka Scarfieville) has a high levels of non-voting non-registering residents- due to students. I know I’m registered in my home region (now Waitaki) because its easier than dealing with registering in Dunedin, simply due to the fact I move every year and there was a possibility I wouldnt even be in Dunedin when the election was held. But if it is Nov 8 (like the TAB is saying everyone is betting on) I will be Dunedin, just very hungover. So special vote for me then!

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  12. Ramsay (123 comments) says:

    I just happened to be in George Street yesterday at the same time as John Key. It was interesting to watch as Mr Key was almost mobbed by enthusiastic people in the street. People were yelling out to him “you’ve got my vote mate”. I began to think I was in the wrong city. Looks like the Dunedin voters have really decided it is time for a change.

    Also had the National candidate, Conway Powel knock on my door the other day. Really good to see an aspiring MP going back to the grassroots of NZ politics – actually taking the time to knock on doors and talk to people.

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  13. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Ahh just like Scotland with a history of Labour including Gordon Brown until the devolution and the uprising of the independence movement.

    Although if the Edinburgh of the south goes the way of its northern counterpart we can expect to see the Socialists suffer in election 08 Maybe not enough to topple them but still a severe wounding Lvely gubbly

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  14. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    If a Dunedin seat does go, or nearly go to a National candidate, I imagine there might be some very angry people in the Labour party wanting HC’s blood.
    Could Conway Powel win south dunedin if Benson-Pope runs as an independent & thus splits the Labour vote? it could turn out very interesting.

    Though on the subject of who will get the list seat, in terms of length of service it should be Powel, but Woodhouse might be handy to National in helping with health policy, and probably has a bigger profile in Dunedin than Powel

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  15. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    I’m no elections expert, and I don’t know much about the voting history of Dunedin, but I would have thought that National would do OK in terms of the party vote in Dunedin – in fact National got about 8300 party votes in Dunedin North in 2005.

    As for the University of Otago being a hotbed of leftwing activism – that’s a myth. Obviously I’d like it if it was true! Interestingly, a colleague of mine made the following observation about general election voting on campus which I thought was quite revealing:

    ‘I saw the polling booth results from the last election in 2005 for the polling booth located in the Link [of the library/student union]. I was shocked to see how many votes National got in that polling booth. I also went to a gay dance that election night evening where there was anouncement that labour had got the majority and hell I was doubly shocked that there was a mass of ‘boos’ and it wasnt because the Greens and the Maori party got only a little bit.’

    So forget all the stereotypes about students or the gay community being either predominantly leftwing or Labour voting.


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  16. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Too bad Key didn’t show up on campus today. We would have given him such a warm and hospitable southern welcome. welcome. Why don’t you love us john?

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