Audrey Young on Mt Albert

April 25th, 2009 at 8:48 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young writes:

There were good reasons for Key to downplay the byelection.

First is the historic improbability that National can win it.

Not only has it never held the seat since the electorate was formed in 1946, but in the 40 byelections in New Zealand since then, the party of Government has never taken a seat from an opposition party.

Indeed. And it is Labour’s safest seat. Yes the Clark factor may be gone, but nevertheless it is far from marginal.

In the aftermath of the English speech, we saw a hint of the debate Goff will mount through May and into the byelection: National’s reneging on the centrepiece of its election campaign, tax cuts.

Goff’s problem is that Labour campaigned so hard against National’s tax cuts that opposing their cancellation looks confusing.

Very confusing. And I look forward to hearing how high Goff would increases taxes in his alternative budget.

If finding the right issues weren’t enough, Goff has caused some internal disquiet as well by forcing favourite Phil Twyford out of contention for the candidacy.

And who wins the nomination will be interesting. Meg Bates has been endorsed by Dame Cath Tizard, Brian Edwards and Judy Callaghan – all people very close to Clark. And Bates worked for Clark. Then you have David Shearer who was hand picked by Goff and went to school with him. So the selection could be a clash between the Clark machine and the Goff machine!

He also faces internal disquiet over a possible shift to the right in policy _ fuelled by Clayton Cosgrove’s condemnation of a Maori rehabilitation prison on separatist grounds.

Labour’s own Pauline Hanson.

11 Responses to “Audrey Young on Mt Albert”

  1. metcalph (1,515 comments) says:

    I would have thought that Cath Tizard would have endorsed Twyford.

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  2. Adolf Fiinkensein (3,638 comments) says:

    Pauline Hanson doesn’t have hair implants – does she?

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  3. JakeQuinn (15 comments) says:

    I am unsurprised to see Dame Cath’s endorsement as i think Meg bates is the obvious candidate for the Clark faction since Twyford’s departure. I think your analyse re Goff Faction V Clark Faction is on the money in terms of the two candidate camps. I also think the Clark faction will have more support in this by-election than Head office

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  4. lilman (1,172 comments) says:

    Have recently had time to go to local hui for youth offending and was stunned to hear the retoric the of labour leader passed to the group from a labour spokesperson, god did they learn nothing it seems.
    I will not vote in byelection as I dont live there but if that is what the voters want then we are all doomed.
    Why cant polititions be held responsible for their actions ,Clake and Co would have little time to trip around as they defended the indefensible.
    Vote as you wish, that is democracy.
    But vote with thought and concience as to outcomes for a country drowning in a morass of corruption instigated from shoddy political behaviour for the last decade.

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  5. MichelleW (7 comments) says:

    David Shearer? Another middleaged pakeha man. Didn’t he go to school with Goff? I thought Labour was supposed to be “rejuvenating”. I’m going to be cheering for Meg Bates. Heard her speak, she’s very impressive and she’s a Mt Albert girl who understands Mt Albert issues. If we’ve got to have a Labour MP (and National doesn’t stnd a ss in hell of winning the seat) lets make it someone that’ll work for the community.

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  6. Ed Snack (2,793 comments) says:

    Yes, History is against a National win, but I don’t think it is actually that improbable. Mt albert is no longer a natural labour seat, it will take a change of candidate like that from Clark to someone else to bring about change, but I think the time has possibly come. I lived in the electorate for some time, and it has changed considerably, gentrified significantly, and has a strong Indian immigrant population. I reckon with the right candidate and a strong campaign, national has real chances. The candidate will matter, an uninspiring choice won’t bring about the change of heart that it will take.

    The big disappointment will be the Greens, Norman will be lucky to get 12 – 15%, peanuts in a by-election, where third parties have traditionally (in by-elections generally i mean) done very well. Norman may be “high profile”, but I for one doubt that profile will appeal much to Mt Albert voters. It may be enough though, to tilt the result if those votes come from disenchanted Labour voters.

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  7. david (2,340 comments) says:

    I think you are somewhat misguided with the attitude:
    “….she’s a Mt Albert girl who understands Mt Albert issues.” & “…lets make it someone that’ll work for the community.”

    Yes I appreciate the role of an MP on dealing with electorate matters, mostly personal assistance to individuals and families but the major aspect of an MP’s responsibilities IMVHO relate to policy formation, select committee membership, holding the government to account (for opposition MPs), representing the party’s policies and direction to the population at large and furthering “the agenda”.

    Surely you have to look beyond the partisan and parochial when assessing a candidate.

    Also, you appear to have already made up your mind who will win. Does the prediction of a win determine who you will vote for or are you blindly supporting a particular party?

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  8. MichelleW (7 comments) says:


    thanks for the POL101 lecture. I suspect Bates could deliver same in her sleep. She lectures on it. Which makes me think she might be quite useful in parliament.

    As to local issues, we’re looking at a complete about face on the cut and cover issue. If you lived near the pathway you might be very keen to support someone who’d look after your interests there!!

    As to who I’ll be voting for… Me. My family. My welfare. My community. If you go back to your textbooks you’ll remember Downes says that’s what we all vote for in the end. (But I’ll probably choke at the ballot box and tick National anyway!)

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  9. mickysavage (791 comments) says:

    Goff is not opposing National’s backtrack on its promise to deliver tax cuts. All that Labour is doing is pointing out that National has reneged on perhaps its most important election promise to institute tax cuts.

    Labour is doing exactly what it should be doing, pointing out that National cannot be trusted and that its promises are hollow.

    Why should Labour not remind the population about this?

    We were going to get “Labour lite” and a tax cut. It looks like we are getting neither.

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  10. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    its good to be a new zealander
    the referendum between Goff and Key will occur on the streets and in Mt. Albert.
    Goff will take a thrashing.
    Key will be NZ PM NAT GOVT for a decade or more,
    we will prosper,

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  11. baxter (799 comments) says:

    MICKEY ::::::::::::You forgot to state your candidate of choice.

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