Scoring the Dom Post’s 2009 predictions

The Dom Post gallery team make a set of 20 at the beginning of each year, and get them marked at year end. They’re the only team brave enough to make , so good on them.On the 1st of January 2009 I added in my own thoughts on the predictions.

I comment on the results, and add in my own scores:

1. Attempts to reach cross-party accord over the Electoral Finance Act will founder and its replacement will prove a thorn in National’s side as the parliamentary term rolls on.

The Greens were not happy with the interim return to the previous rules. Labour carped but backed it. The issue has slipped off the radar for now, thanks to Simon Power’s glacial consultation process, but we are still waiting for a new law. In the Christmas spirit a generous 5/10

That is a bit generous. While there have been some aspects Labour and Greens have not agreed with, it hasn’t been a thorn at all, as the process has been so open and transpaent. I’d say 3/10 at best.

2. Former prime minister Helen Clark will be appointed to an overseas post and quit Parliament before the end of the year, to be replaced in her seat by Phil Twyford.

Right call on resignation and overseas post, wrong on replacement. It went to Phil Goff’s hand-picked candidate David Shearer, partly to stop Judith Tizard returning off the list. Note to selves: Never underestimate Labour’s factionalism or its ability to kneecap those out of favour. 5/10

5/10 is a fair score. I should point out that I had already blogged about the Tizard Factor before 2009 started.

3. Former finance minister Michael Cullen will be gone from Parliament by lunchtime on Budget day – or soon after.

We read your mind, Mikey! 10/10

Yep. 10/10

4. National’s early attempt at reaching out to the unions will quickly fall by the wayside as workers mobilise against plans to extend the 90-day probation law and roll back the Holidays Act.

Things started turning very sour toward the end of the year, with a fight looming over the Holidays Act. But we lose marks for failing to highlight the biggest union bugbear; ACC reform. 8/10

Not a difficult prediction. I’d even go 9/10.

5. Miss Clark’s right-hand woman – H2, or Heather Simpson – will pop up in a surprising new role.

Our independent assessors reckon it is no surprise she followed Helen Clark to a job at the United Nations, but we did not know Miss Clark would get the job when we made the prediction, so there. 8/10

Perhaps more surprising is that Heather is still there, as she originally agreed to three months only. 8/10 also.

6. Annette King will signal her intention to quit Parliament before the next election, making way for a deputy leadership candidate from the Left of the Labour Party.

We were as wrong as a wrong thing. We would like to unreservedly apologise to the member for Rongotai for our negativity and cynicism. This year, maybe? 0/10

I said at the beginning of the year that I thought 2010 was more likely than 2009 for a retirement. Agree this is a 0/10

7. There will be at least two by-elections triggered during the course of the year.

Only one. We tried a partial justification by saying Hone Harawira was “that close” to going, and it was not our fault Richard Worth was a list MP, but our reviewers were unbending. 5/10

Two was a ballsy call. 5/10 for one right.

8. The Reserve Bank will lower interest rates to less than 4 per cent, but the Government will bow to pressure to boost the economy with even more fiscal stimulus than is currently in the pipeline.

Boy, did Alan Bollard go under 4 per cent! The rate hit a low of 2.5 per cent and is forecast to stay there till mid-2010. With some extra money for infrastructure and one last spendup in the 2009 Budget, not to mention the cycleway (so we won’t) things were more expansionary than they looked at Christmas 2008. We lose a mark because the tax cuts went west for now but, on the other hand, so did Cullen fund contributions. 9/10

A bit generous. There wasn’t a huge amount of extra fiscal stimulus so I would make it 7/10.

9. There will be trouble within ACT that will sideswipe the Government as its feisty members agitate against the Government’s economic line.

Sir Roger Douglas did little but agitate against the Government’s economic picks, as did the whole party over the Maori seats on the Auckland super-city and the emissions trading scheme … and then there was Rodney Hide’s travelling junket show and his unguarded remarks about John Key’s do-nothing style. We could go on, but then we’d have to give ourselves 11 out of 10, which our independent assessors say is not allowed. Grinches. 10/10

An easy prediction. 10/10 is fair enough.

10. The plan to cap and reduce the number of bureaucrats will create even more bureaucrats.

More here, less there – a mixed picture overall and the full extent of the Whanau Ora policy, and its potential for a parallel bureaucracy, is yet to be seen. A perhaps generous 6/10.

I think this one is a clear failure – maybe 3/10. There is no doubt the numbers have reduced. I would mark it 3/10.

11. National’s poll ratings will stay above 40 per cent despite the economic crisis.

10/10. But we wish we had been brave enough to say 50 per cent.

Yeah too easy in hindsight. 10/10

12. Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will announce that she will stand aside and is likely to be replaced by Metiria Turei.

Sorry, Sue Bradford, but we always thought this is the way it would go. 10/10

I thought Jeanette might announce her retirement in 2009 and have the replacement elected in 2010. Didn’t expect her to vacate her role so quickly. Don’t think anyone but Sue Bradford ever thought she would become co-leader. 10/10

13. A junior minister will have egg on their face within six months, testing Mr Key’s promise to set a high level of accountability.

We have only two words to say to that. Richard Worth. Bingo. 10/10

An easy prediction also. Worth noting that Worth of course went quickly. 10/10

14. Jim Anderton will finally signal an end to his long parliamentary career, putting the future of his Progressive Party in doubt.

He has effectively folded the tent and merged his party with Labour under a “joint membership” clause, even handing over his key strategist John Pagani to advise Phil Goff and help run the Mt Albert by-election. But at 71, and even after a bout of pneumonia, he is vowing to fight on so we still await the public announcement of his quitting date. 8/10

I’d score this 5/10 as he has not made an announcement yet. My pick is for 2010.

15. Labour will be a very strong opposition, with poll ratings in the high 30s by year’s end.

They were relatively good in opposition, but the “very” and the fact that they have struggled to get above 35 per cent means our rating is even worse than Phil Goff’s here. 2/10

The last poll of the year had them at 27.5%. Agree 2/10.

16. Lockwood Smith will prove to be a flexible and able Speaker, promoting Parliament’s traditions without too many histrionics … or the need to bellow “Order!” as loudly as his predecessor.

You heard it here first, folks. His approach to holding ministers to account and his restrained manner have proved a winner. 10/10

A good pick and deserved 10/10.

17. Labour’s ousted West Coast MP Damien O’Connor will be back – if he wants to be – but those occupying the next few slots on the list will come under considerable pressure to step aside, in the interests of renewal, if more replacement MPs are needed.

He is back, and boy, have the others come under pressure – see our comments on Phil Twyford, David Shearer and Judith Tizard above. 10/10

Yep. 10/10

18. The Maori Party will find itself voting against the Government far more than it votes for it, especially on law and order and social issues, leading to some soul-searching among its MPs.

A poorly worded prediction, which loses points for vagueness. As a support party they were with the Government on most bills, but on a raft of controversial bills there were obvious divisions, with in some cases the party casting split votes. 3/10

A fair score. Agree on 3/10.

19. The emissions trading scheme will survive, and with few changes.

It has survived, largely intact, but the expected Labour-National deal did not eventuate so the changes were more extensive than we expected. 6/10

About right. I’d even make it 7/10 as the changes are not as major as some claim.

20. Finance Minister Bill English will embrace Labour spokesman David Cunliffe’s offer of a bipartisan approach to the world economic meltdown. Yes, we are joking.

Perhaps we should have points deducted for sarcasm, but it had a serious point too – Labour has repeatedly tried and failed to get National around the bipartisan table so Phil Goff can share the limelight with John Key. 10/10

Not sure Cunliffe is into job sharing either 🙂

That is a final score of 145 points out of a possible 200 – a small improvement on 2008 but maybe not enough to trade in the word processor for a crystal ball.

I scored it slightly lower at 140/200, but still a pretty good result.

In 2007 they scored themselves 145 and I scored them 127. In 2008 they scored themselves 138 and I scored 132. In 2009 it is 145 and 140 respectively.

Modesty prevents me from scoring my own predictions, but I will point out that I did get right the Phil Twyford and Annette King predictions 🙂

I look forward to the 2009 predictions tomorrow. Maybe iPredict can set up markets on some of them, so we can see what the public think!

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