Greens aim to win Mt Albert with Norman

April 24th, 2009 at 9:20 am by David Farrar

Back on 16 April I blogged:

is already one of the strongest seats for the . So how would they get Labour voters to vote for the Green candidate? Apart from the fact it won’t bring Judith Tizard back into Parliament?

You make two cases to the voters of Mt Albert:

  1. It is almost impossible for Labour to be able to form a future Government unless the Greens are in Parliament. Former partners such as the Alliance and NZ First have disappeared and United Future and Progressive and one MP parties now. The Maori Party is currently very hostile, but even with the Maori Party, Labour without the Greens would need more votes than it has ever got before. Bottom line is Labour needs the Greens in Parliament.
  2. The Greens need the safety net of an electorate seat. They are the only party in Parliament without an electorate seat. In two of the last four elections, they have just scraped in above 5%. If they drop below 5% with no electorate seat they are out of Parliament, and may never return.

Voters can grasp how to be strategic in MMP. They did it in 1996 in Wellington Central and 2005 in Epsom. No reason Mt Albert can’t do it in 2009.

So the Greens should go all out to win the seat. So who do they stand? The next candidate on their list, David Clendon, lives in (or near) Mt Albert I think, but he isn’t a heavy hitter. A by-election is like a mini general election in just one seat.

Normally I would say stand a co-leader.

Now I did then say that Norman is probably too associated with Wellington, but nevertheless think I get partial credit for predicting this story in the Herald today:

The Greens are showing Labour no mercy, with co-leader aiming to stand in the Mt Albert byelection, a move that will increase National’s chances of dealing Labour a humiliating defeat.

I would not rule out the Greens managing to win the seat. Look at these:

  1. ACT came second to National in TKC in 1998 by only 988 votes
  2. Alliance came very close second to National in Tamaki in 1992
  3. Alliance came second to National in Selwyn in 1994 by only 428 votes
  4. Social Credit won East Coast Bays in 1980 by 951 votes

Third parties historically do very well in by-elections, as people vote tactically. It will be very interesting to see some early polls in the seat. If they show Norman at over 15%, then I would say it could be game on.

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45 Responses to “Greens aim to win Mt Albert with Norman”

  1. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    So if Norman wins then whoever’s next on the Greens list comes into parliament?

    [DPF: Yes David Clendon]

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  2. virtualmark (1,423 comments) says:

    Even if the Greens did manage to take an unlikely win in the by-election, I can’t see them holding on to the seat once normal transmission resumes at the next general election.

    And, despite him being a co-leader, I just don’t think Russel Norman is a strong enough candidate to hold that seat long-term.

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  3. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    I think anyone spending a few hours wandering round Mt Albert will quite rapidly come to the conclusion that The Greens will not win a seat there.

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  4. GJ (329 comments) says:

    Surely even the people of Mt Albert are not that stupid? Although they consistantly voted for Clark so maybe they are! Heaven help NZ!

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  5. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    The more DPF talks up the Greens as a possible chance of winning this seat, the more likely the centre-left vote will be split and National will win the electorate. I see through your cunning plan.

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  6. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I may not think a whole lot about Auckland but not even they would be silly enough to vote for a Melon, would they???

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  7. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    If the people of Mt Albert voted Green, the government should build a giant fence around the electorate. No cars would be allowed through the fence, only buses powered by biodiesel grown locally. Only electricity from windmills would be sent in to the electorate, meaning that residents would spend 12 hours a day sitting in the dark as if they were “celebrating” Earth Hour. Check points would confiscate anyone trying to import normal lightbulbs, non-organic food, chocolate, or anything else that is even remotely fun. And residents would be tattooed clearly to identify them so that they would be refused service when they popped out of the electorate to eat a burger or pizza.

    [DPF: LOL - comment of the week]

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  8. coolas (105 comments) says:

    A safe seat for the Greens would secure their place in MMP
    Just as Hide has done by consolidating Epsom for Act
    Loopy Left and Loopy Right are part of the mix & give representation to both ends of the political spectrum
    Only problem is – Norman’s an Australian – but perhaps I should take that up on the ‘racial conference’ debate.

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  9. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “Only electricity from windmills would be sent in to the electorate, meaning that residents would spend 12 hours a day sitting in the dark as if they were “celebrating” Earth Hour”

    and the water pressure turned down to a dribble

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  10. goonix (140 comments) says:

    I expect some movement on ipredict stocks.

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  11. Manolo (12,643 comments) says:

    Comrade Norman has a “snowflake in hell” hope of winning Mt. Albert. The battle will be between Labour and National.

    It doesn’t mean Melissa Lee shouldn’t expose Norman for what he really is: an intolerant socialist posing as an environmentalist.

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  12. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    I will be attending candidates meetings specificaly to ask how he intends to represent the seat when he does not live in the seat or even in auckland.
    Like Manolo, I don’t think that he has a snowballs chance.

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  13. big bruv (12,386 comments) says:

    What could derail Norman is the looming prospect of Delahunty, Bradford or Turei as the new co leader.

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  14. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    PS>and the water pressure turned down to a dribble

    Yep… You’d be doing normal person stuff like shopping, going to work, or having fun with friends when you’d smell something unpleasant. Vile even. You’d wonder what it was until you spotted someone who looked like Blanket Man, but wearing hemp clothes rather than a loincloth. And a blanket. “Mt Albert voter”, you’d think, “they voted tactically so that we’d all have to live like Greens, and now they’re paying the price”.

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  15. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    alex Masterley,

    He’ll move to the seat if he won.

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  16. emmess (1,334 comments) says:

    The Greenies will place a creditible second.
    Ha, suck on that Labour

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  17. tvb (3,947 comments) says:

    I expect Labour to win the seat followed closely by the Greens. Bill English’s budget will be too black for National to get a lift in support.

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  18. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    Stephen, I doubt that he would meet our entry requirments.

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  19. glubbster (345 comments) says:

    I see the battle as between National and Labour (Labour should win reasonably comfortably now they have forced Twyford’s withdrawal and solved the T-squared dilemma) and Norman will be a distant third.
    Having said that, the contest will be crucial for Norman’s credibility. And if he crumbles, expect the Greens to have a real battle on their hands just to survive in 2011. They will have lost Jeanette by then and the leadership of Turei and Norman inspires little confidence. And I have my doubts as to whether their MOU with National will pay them any dividends at the ballot box. Labour voters will be discouraged from voting Greens due to the MOU and voters concerned about the environment who may be National leaning are surely aware that the Greens are, for the most part, a socialist party, despite their protestations to the contrary.
    If he passes his litmus test with flying colours, expect the Greens to survive 2011.

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  20. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (552 comments) says:

    If the Greens win Mt Albert I’ll be moving before the blockades are in place. I personally can’t see them winning. I believe the demographics of Mt Albert have changed quite a bit and people voted Labour just because of Helen.

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  21. Lawrence Hakiwai (119 comments) says:

    This seems to me to be chance for Russel Norman to win something for himself and finally step out from Rod Donald’s shadow. A strong showing would also cement his position at the head of the party with a replacement for Jeanette due to be selected shortly.

    The reverse is also true and he could find himself on the sideline should this stunt cost Labour the seat and he ends up being tarred as a National party stooge.

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  22. MT_Tinman (2,795 comments) says:

    # big bruv (3449) Vote: Add rating 3 Subtract rating 1 Says:
    April 24th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    What could derail Norman is the looming prospect of Delahunty, Bradford or Turei as the new co leader.

    What will derail Norman is he is a complete and utter nothing.

    I expect the Reds have nominated him just to justify the election of an all female leadership (as opposed to the current female-asexual combination) after the very predictable abysmal Red showing in this by-election.

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  23. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    And what if he splits the vote and the Nats come thru the middle Remember its been 1978 since Helen Clark was the Socialists candidate I was living in the electorate over that period and IMHO Mt Albery is a very different place in 2009. I suspect the Nats vote will increase substantially now HEC has gone. The area is much less blue collar than 30 years ago.

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  24. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    If he can come up with a convincing alternative to the Waterview tunnel/road thingy he might have a shot…

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  25. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    He’s giving it his best shot to appear “mainstream” but it will make little difference.
    Once Fitzimmons goes, Norman will be the coleader of a rag tag party that is setting itself up to poll under 5% in 2011. The only good thing is he will split the left vote and hand Mt Albert to National

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  26. coge (160 comments) says:

    It’s all or nothing for Norman. The only thing he has going for him is he is campaign hardened coming off the general election. Go National.

    Labour should not contest Mt Albert, but that could never happen in Helen’s old seat.

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  27. kaye (14 comments) says:

    As a National voter in Mt Albert, jokes about the Greens putting fences around the electorate worry me… they wouldn’t, would they?? I hate hemp as it creases too much, but I have got some of those swirly light bulbs.

    It has been said that there were a large number of personal votes for Helen. I would have thought that the old-time Labour voters, of whom there would be quite a few in Mt Albert, wouldn’t want to transfer their vote to a young-ish Australian socialist Green. Maybe if it was Jeanette, but not Norman. Melissa Lee would be more far representative of the electorate and I think she would do quite well.

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  28. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    kaye, haven’t you realised that Russel has long renounced his socialist background? The media keep bringing up the fact that he was a member of the Australian Socialist Workers Party back in the early 1990s sometime.

    Well, hey, Stephen Franks was a socialist activist if you go back that far. And someone tells me that the ACT’s arch-bigot Garrett was once a member of the Socialist Unity Party (although I haven’t verified that one).

    But the point is, people move on and learn from their experiences. Don’t assume today’s Russel is the same idealistically socialist Russel from 20 years ago. When we’re young, we all tend to see things in black and white, but as we get older, we tend to better acknowledge the experience of others.

    You are not going to persuade Russel to be a raging free-market capitalist either, but I can assure you he is not the marxist demon you make him out to be.

    As for Jeanette, well, I would have loved her to stand in Mt Albert too. But she has devoted 13 years of her life to Parliamentary politics, and has decided it is time to move on. She is in her 60s, and obviously wants to do other productive things for environmental sustainability and social justice outside Parliament before she becomes to old to do that.

    Good on her for that decision. No one personality should be indispensable to a political party. Jeanette’s decision is good in that regard. How many other political leaders have departed voluntarily, rather than been sacked or resigned knowing they would be sacked after a poor performance in an election?

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  29. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “kaye, haven’t you realised that Russel has long renounced his socialist background? The media keep bringing up the fact that he was a member of the Australian Socialist Workers Party back in the early 1990s sometime.”

    Maybe its because Russ still hangs with Commies and leads a party that is socialist to the core?

    “Well, hey, Stephen Franks was a socialist activist if you go back that far. And someone tells me that the ACT’s arch-bigot Garrett was once a member of the Socialist Unity Party (although I haven’t verified that one).”

    Difference is….Franks and Garrett are no longer on the left hand side of the spectrum….Russell certainly is.If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck its most likely its a….?

    Is Russell the “socialist you get when you are not really having a socialist”….is he

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  30. Tuija (220 comments) says:

    Toad as you well know on ” Kiwiblog”, we are all marxist demons
    Marxist demons who want to ban you from having good showers, whacking kids, eating pies and having dimmer switches
    All though it often sounds like here”kiwiblog” that dimmer switches are the last thing they need

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  31. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    Toad you are missing the point. It dosen’t matter how mainstream norman now trys to appear, he will still be the co leader of the most left wing party in NZ. Now that National has started stripping their true environmental credentials away, the Greens will be exposed for what they truly are. You people are headed for extinction. Probably as soon as 2011.

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  32. kelsey (35 comments) says:

    OK, I live in the Mt Albert electorate. Yes, Uncle Helen was popular, yes the electorate has a cross-section of society, but I still really really doubt that a Green MP could win. You’re gonna pick up a few hard-core lefties, and a few young ‘n naive types but I’m very doubtful it would go green.

    Melissa Lee will be a very suitable Nat candidate that has a real chance of winning.

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  33. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    bwakile said: Now that National has started stripping their true environmental credentials away, the Greens will be exposed for what they truly are.

    Bwahaha, haha, haha!

    The Nats have agreed to a few minor concessions to the Greens re energy efficiency.

    But on the big picture environmental issues the Nats are nowhere to be seen. They still have no plan to address climate change, or peal oil, and they are still encouraging industrial dairying to pollute our streams and rivers and permitting Solid Energy to mine coal, which is as environmentally destructive as you get, willy nilly.

    So much for the Nats “stripping [the Greens] environmental credentials away”!

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  34. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    kelsey said: Melissa Lee will be a very suitable Nat candidate…

    Ever seen her in action, hectoring the audience, kelsey? That may go down well with the Northern Asian constituency, who are conditioned to that from the politics of Korea and China.

    But it won’t go down well with Pakeha, Pasifika, and Southern Asian Mt Albert residents, who prefer a much more consultative and inclusive approach.

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  35. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    Climate change – load of crap being disproved by the day.
    Dairying – goes a long way to paying for your lifestyle.
    Peak oil – hope you don’t use cars or buses or rely on trucks to deliver food to the supermarket where you shop.
    Coal – Chinese very happy to burn it. I would prefer nuclear myself but idiots like you wouldn’t want that either.

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  36. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    Bwahaha, haha, haha!

    I’ll save that line for sometime in nov 2011, when the Green party polls 4.5%.

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  37. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Ah, so bwakile, you are actually an anti-environmentalist denier – not someone who really thinks National are “stripping away” the Greens’ environmental credentials, as you posted earlier.

    So stop the bullshit (oops, you actually have anyway- you have outed youself as someone who doesn’t give a stuff about the environment, and who illogically for politically pragmatic purposes denies the scientific evidence in favour of “theory” (ie fantasy) expoused by cranks who have no qualifications in either quantum physics or climate science whatsoever)!

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  38. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    You can pull out all the big words you like toad but the unfortunate reality is that the long term future of this planet isn’t going to be determined by you or me, but by a few billion Asians with big plans to have a nice lifestyle.

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  39. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    My family has been farming here for 5 generations and I haven’t witnessed them destroying the environment. But they have contributed hugely to the NZ economy and helped give all nzers a good lifestyle.

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  40. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    A strong green candidate will pull support from the left from Labour and may push the centerist Labour Swing Vote back to National. Would that dual effect be enough to help National win? Given recent polling that showed Labour with a 1% point lead over National one must concede that that is a possibility.

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  41. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    bwakile said: …but the unfortunate reality is that the long term future of this planet isn’t going to be determined by you or me, but by a few billion Asians with big plans to have a nice lifestyle.

    So “the West” has three choices:

    1) Assist them to get there with aid and development programmes, including the provision below market rates of environmentally friendly energy technology to develop their economies without polluting us all to hell with coal.

    2) The Cuba solution – impose economic sanctions and try to starve them into submission.

    3) Nuke ‘em.

    Which would you prefer bwakile?

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  42. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    Ahh yes, didn’t take long for Toad to bring up the word denier! Nice one chump.

    Cuba has one choice, dump their unelected leader and join the 1st world where everybody is equal. There is no way the West should appease any of the Castros or legitimise their regime. Surely you’ve got something rattling up there in your head?

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  43. ophiuchus (127 comments) says:

    no no no no no no NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    Oh wait, he won’t win, phew (or will he?)

    Anyways. Good Luck Lee if you get the nod.

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  44. bwakile (757 comments) says:

    toad you are an economic dipstick.
    The west doesn’t have to do anything for anyone. They will do it themselves.
    Sheer numbers will ultimately determine who contols the earth’s resources and it won’t be the west.
    It is your overwhelming ideology that you know best for everyone that is your greatest weakness.
    A Chinese or Indian person looking to improve his lifestyle couldn’t give a shit what you think and they are pretty much on the money.

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  45. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    listen up dudes,
    Green will do well in Mt Albert,
    do you think people are stupid no you don’t,
    GREENwill get 8%,
    REPEAT LABOUR IS DEAD
    so soon you are going to see the boss down there dudes,
    this is new territory to be won or lost,

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