The Dom Post every year make 20 or so political predictions. Big kudos to them for doing so, as politics can be very hard to predict. At year’s end they report on how they did:
1 It will be the most litigious election year yet as one after another lobby group flouts the letter and the spirit of the contentious Electoral Finance Act so they can drag it through the courts.
4/10 There were some challenges ACT’s self-imposed testing of the propriety, if not elegance, of Rodney Hide’s canary-yellow jacket, for instance but not as much nose-thumbing as we expected.
Yeah, about right. Most law breaches in the end were accidental ones from the parties that passed it.
2 Speaker Margaret Wilson will announce her exit from politics, probably for an academic post.
10/10 Totally in order.
Right on both counts.
3 Labour’s chief whip, outgoing Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett, will opt not to go on the party list and will leave Parliament.
10/10 Even under the most liberal interpretation.
Also a good call, especially as publicly Barnett kept his options open.
4 Labour will announce tax cuts worth about $25 a week to most taxpayers, but National will go several steps further by unveiling a programme of tax cuts.
7/10 Labour announced a programme too, but National’s were bigger overall.
A fair score.
5 Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will wait till after the election to announce her retirement date.
10/10 And we are still waiting, but it shouldn’t be long now.
Can’t fault that one.
6 Labour will hold just two Maori seats after the 2008 election.
10/10 Sorry, Mahara Okeroa, but we were on the ball.
Or that one.
7 Clem Simich, Richard Worth and Eric Roy will fight it out for the Speaker’s job if National wins office, but they might all miss out to Peter Dunne if National needs his vote.
2/10 Dunne may have been in line but turned it down and they did not need his vote. Worth was keen, Roy was in line but Lockwood Smith was a bolt from the blue.
You could argue 0/10 as Lockwood not even mentioned, but to be fair I doubt he would have been a contender had it not been for the blooper on the election trail.
8 Another senior Cabinet minister will announce their retirement at the next election and it won’t come as much of a surprise.
8/10 And it’s goodbye to Michael Cullen and Steve Maharey … though marks off because no one could say Helen Clark’s resignation came as no surprise.
This one I found confusing as it isn’t clear what was meant. Is it retirement before the election results are known or after? I took it as announce before the election and retire at it. Also retire as a Minister or an MP? Cullen did not retire as an Minister – he lost office. And he has yet to confirm 100% he will go before the next election.
9 For the second year in a row, National will go the whole year without any leadership speculation.
10/10 Blush we really don’t deserve any points for that one.
I will be interested to see what the 2009 predictions have to say about Goff’s leadership.
10 NZ First MP Brian Donnelly will finally announce his departure for a posting as high commissioner in the Cook Islands.
10/10 Sadly Mr Donnelly later died.
An easy call with a sad ending.
11 His leader, Winston Peters, will fail to win back his old Tauranga seat but his party will be back in Parliament after it scrapes past the 5 per cent threshold.
5/10 Right. Wrong.
That’s a bit generous as Peters was never in the frame for winning it back – the key question was will NZ Fuirst make it back either way, and they didn’t. I’d give 3/10.
12 Mr Peters will get another term as foreign affairs minister whichever party forms the next government.
0/10 Even if he had made it back, he would not have been offered the post. Typical media, never get it right …
To be fair to the Dom Post, their prediction would probably have come true if Peters hadn’t lied over Owen Glenn’s donation. National was moderately keen to do a deal with Peters until Owen Glenn revealed how blatantly Peters had lied to everyone.
13 A scandal bubbling below the surface will be made public in 2008.
10/10 Winston Peters and his donations/secret trust funds brought the man down.
A safe prediction to make any year, but deserves a 10/10 as it was Owen Glenn’s NY gong which started it all off.
14 The economy will be the major theme of the election, despite the current benign conditions, as growth slows, interest rates stay high and home owners feel increasingly squeezed.
8/10 Mostly on the money, but interest rates were sliding by election day.
8/10 about right.
15 National will stand Richard Worth in Epsom again as clear a signal as the good voters of Epsom need that it’s got no interest in wresting the seat back from ACT leader Rodney Hide.
10/10 Cynical, yet accurate.
16 Finance Minister Michael Cullen will deliver a boring Budget that outlines tax cuts but the big bang and big bucks will be saved for the election campaign.
4/10 We got the tax cuts, but by the time the election came around no one could afford to spend up large.
They were saved up, but then were unaffordable.
17 Outgoing Labour MP Steve Maharey will stay on till very close to the election because Prime Minister Helen Clark won’t want to risk governing with one vote fewer.
9/10 He stayed the distance.
Yeah one point off as he actually stayed literally until the election.
18 Labour will revive its 2005 “don’t put it all at risk” campaign theme for John Key, but it’s unlikely to have the same bite as it did against former National leader Don Brash.
6/10 The trust theme and the attack on Key’s experience were variations on a theme, but not close enough.
I’d only go 4/10, as the attacks on Key were very different to Brash, and much more personally focused.
19 The Greens and the Maori Party will get increasingly cosy in the lead-up to the election as they see the benefits of pooling their votes for more negotiating muscle.
4/10 They tried on and off but there were some rocks in the road and in the end they went their own way.
I’d do 2/10 as really the Greens were rebuffed at every turn, and in fact there was friction when the Greens suggested Party Vote Green and Electorate Vote Maori.
20 Finally, after extensive research including the time- honoured consultative method of sticking a wet finger in the air, we feel we can confidently predict that National will win the most votes on election night. But the vagaries of MMP (see 11 and 19 above) mean it may be weeks before we know whether that will be enough for National to form a government.
1/10 Mr Peters’ demise made a monkey of this prediction and Mr Key rubbed it in by forming a government before the ink was dry on the election results.
One could argue higher than 1/10 as they got National winning the most votes, but that was always the case so we’ll stick with that.
HOW WE DID
We scored 138/200 in a result that was independently (and harshly) audited by a rival office. We might blame Winston Peters for most of the lost points.
Last time I disagreed quite a bit with their scoring giving them 127 to their 145. This time I only have it six points less at a very credible 132/200 to their 138/200, so sounds like I am in tune with their auditor.
Once again lots of kudos for risking making predictions at all, and we look forward to seeing the 2009 ones tomorrow.