Goff lowering expectations for Mana

November 15th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

Labour leader has admitted National’s could win the by-election if turnout is low.

His press secretary, , is standing for the seat, traditionally seen as a Labour stronghold. But yesterday Mr Goff said a low turnout would “jeopardise Labour’s hold on the seat”.

Goff is trying to do two things here. The first is to motivate Labour supporters to turn out and vote. He is right – turnout is important.

The second is he is trying to make the seat sound marginal, so that if Labour’s majority is slashed, it does not reflect so badly on them.

Mana is one of their safest seats. It (and its predecessors) have never been held by National. Mana has a larger majority than Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch East, Trevor Mallard in Hutt South and Jim Anderton in Wigram.

A few people point to the party vote margin at 2,500 and say this means it is not safe for Labour. But they make a fatal mistake. The releveant comparison with the party vote is between right and left, as both right and left voters will vote tactically on the electorate candidate (many green voters vote for a labour candidate and many ACT voters vote for a National candidate).

So what was the party vote for the right in 2008 in Mana? 39%. And the left vote? 53%.

In the median electorates, the right is 8% ahead of the left on the 2008 party vote. In Mana the right is 14% behind the left on the party vote.

Now this does not mean Hekia can not win. She has been winning endorsements from some non traditional National voters. Even and have come out and said people should vote for her or (partly because they fronted up onto their radio show).

But the reality is that no Government has ever won a seat off an Opposition in a by-election. I’ve checked back over 90 years. If Hekia wins, or even comes close, it will be a seismic event.

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33 Responses to “Goff lowering expectations for Mana”

  1. adze (2,130 comments) says:

    ’ve checked back over 90 years. If Hekia wins, or even comes close, it will be a seismic event.

    Hereafter known as the “Anderton Effect”…

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  2. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    I wondered whether Turia’s endorsement of Hekia (on TV3) would help (as to many pakeha, Turia is parliament’s #2 racist). On the other hand, if National win an extra seat, National may need to rely on the Maori Party less. Another reason to vote for Hekia !

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  3. Inventory2 (9,373 comments) says:

    You don’t think that Goff is just a bit worried DPF, or that Labour may have received some less-tan-encouraging polling data?

    Personally, I reckon that Goff realises he has erred in pushing Faafoi’s candidacy, and that he will be very nervous until the by-election result is known, especially if McCarten is able to mobilise a chunk of Labour’s traditional blue-collar support base.

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  4. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    Re the endorsement of Willie and JT, like Turia they prefer to support Maori candidates over non-Maori. The voters of Mana will support Hekia because they like her and what she says, not because of what those windbags say.

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  5. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    we’re getting pretty used to seismic events down here in Christchurch. Time for a different metaphor!

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  6. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    DPF What do you reckon to Phils chances of surviving if Hekia pulls of the win?

    he aint gonna look too creditable.

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  7. Roflcopter (467 comments) says:

    The whole Labour stitch up with Faafoi is going to backfire. The local communities are aware that at the end of the day the result makes no difference to which party governs overall.

    So what better way to send a clear message to Labour than to vote Parata as a protest for not allowing the community to decide who they really wanted representing them in parliament.

    Faafoi will probably win, but I am picking a margin less than 200 votes.

    You piss off community elders at your peril and Labour have succeeded in doing that.

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  8. slightlyrighty (2,096 comments) says:

    While this probably won’t happen, imagine this scenario…..

    Hekia Parata wins the by-election.

    The losing Labour candidate, Kris Fa’afoi, returns to his old job, having been on leave. However, this job is currently filled by Francesca Mold. One is let go, prompting a PG case for unfair dismissal against the Leader of the Opposition.

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  9. Vincent Haring (13 comments) says:

    This is very smart tactics by Goff. The risk to him of Kris losing is so great that he needs to pre-position himself with an excuse. Look for him to start blaming McCarten before mid-week.

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  10. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    All Melissa Farfoy needs now is a motorway disgorging thieves and villains into the electorate.

    Slightlyrighty, that is icing on the cake. Which will he prefer? A shreiking shrew or a bumbling bullshitter?

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  11. Shazzadude (531 comments) says:

    Mana is safe Labour in a general election. However in a by-election it is vulnerable, simply for the fact that turnout is low, and even lower amongst those from lower socio-economic groups, which is where Labour’s vote is at it’s strongest. However, Mana does have a significant affluent fraction of the population (I’d estimate maybe 30% of the electorate would be affluent) who will turn out and vote for National, and on the basis National have a real chance. I believe Titahi Bay and the Kapiti part of the electorate will decide the winner.

    I think the spread range will be anywhere between Parata by 500 votes to Fa’afoi by 1500. Mana may have long been a Labour stronghold, but it’s no Mangere.

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  12. KevinH (1,253 comments) says:

    No doubt McCarten will take some votes away from Labour which is what he intended in the first place. It would be fair to say that McCarten and his Unite Union colleagues are being petty and vindictive to their former allies and are setting the scene for the return of McCarten and possibly Sue Bradford in next years election campaigning under the Unite banner.
    Hekia Parata has made inroads into this formerly safe Labour seat and despite the history as quoted by DPF this contest will go down to the wire. In the closing stages of this bye election it is difficult to call therefore the candidate that makes a mark in the media this week could take it on the day.

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  13. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    Labour miscalculated by imposing an outsider on the electorate for a by-election, when the main focus will be local issues. Their choice would work better during a general election where I expect a comfortable win. However a combination of factors especially the involvement of Matt mccarten may take votes off labour. I still expect labour to win but not by the margin enjoyed by Winnie Laban. Goff is trying to motivate supporters but it equally might motive parata’s supporters that the seat could be winnable.

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  14. Inventory2 (9,373 comments) says:

    @ tvb – your last line is very valid. Parata has everything to gain; Goff and Labour have everything to lose. And Goff’s attempts to rally the Labour troops may fall on deaf ears, given the way that The Goffice selected Faafoi against the wishes of local party members.

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  15. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    The majority of by-elections in the 20th Century were ironically for safe Labour seats. A good number featured uninspiring candidates like Faafoi and yet Labour still won but usually by reduced margins due to the low turnout. David makes the crucial point – no Government has ever won an Opposition seat in a by-election ever let alone a deep red one like Mana (previously Porirua). McCarten WILL split some of the left’s vote and force Labour to expend ground game resources in what would normally be a shoe in. Parata will do better than the 08 Nat candidate and I believe DuPlessis will do better than the 08 ACT candidate.

    Goff is right to manage expectations because Laban’s majority will be significantly reduced and it wont be a good look for him. Faafoi is a poor choice for sure but it is extremely hard for a major party to lose one of its safest seats. The only time that has happened was when Beetham and Knapp took Rangitikei and East Coast Bays off National for Social Credit. Neither of these National seats, whilst relatively safe until 1978 and 1980 respectively, had the percentage majorities for National that Mana (and Porirua before) has consistently returned for Labour. Beetham and Knapp were telegenic party leader and deputy leader after years of SoCreds 3rd party frustration at being denied representation under FPP. Their wins co-incided with some very tough polling for National under Muldoon so the stars really do have to line up for there to be an upset.

    I would love Parata to pull off a stunning upset here but the odds are many thousand to one.

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  16. CJD (333 comments) says:

    @ DPF “Even Willie Jackson and John Tamihere have come out and said people should vote for her or Matt McCarten (partly because they fronted up onto their radio show)”

    Bit of a a joke-the last bit. I fronted up on the day to take part in the radio show only to be told that I was not really welcome. Bit of a cheek not to be given a fair crack at speaking in my home electorate!!! I am the only candidate to have spent 12 years “working for Mana” Kris.
    Think about it Mana, only Hekia and I represent a party currently in paliament. Hekia is in on the list already. Vote Colin du Plessis for your electorate MP and we will have two Mana people respresenting you and actually able to do something positive for Mana. A vote for Colin du Plessis is a vote for a strong National-lead government.

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  17. CJD (333 comments) says:

    Here’s a thought-I just got a Fafooi flyer saying “Labour’s Kris Faafoi needs your vote to become your MP.”

    PRECISELY a win for Kris is a win for Kris. A win for Colin du Plessis is a win for MANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    With the prospect of a low turn-out, growing community leader support for Parata, the parachuting of a carpet-bagger by Labour HQ, having a Gov’t MP being somewhat better than an Opposition one and the left three-way vote split between Faafoi, McCarten and the Green moonbat, I have a lazy hundy I am increasingly inclined to put on a Parata win.

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  19. Shazzadude (531 comments) says:

    “no Government has ever won an Opposition seat in a by-election ever let alone a deep red one like Mana”

    I think this idea that it’s deep red isn’t entirely accurate, it simply has more red voters than blue voters, which on the surface is a ridiculously obvious statement I know, but there are large concentrations of blue areas around the electorate, which is quite unlike other Labour strongholds. Mana is probably about the only electorate in the country you have one polling booth return 817 votes for Parata, 285 for Laban (Whitby) while in another polling booth in Cannon’s Creek registered 815 votes for Laban, 52 for Parata, and this clearly demonstrates the socio-economic diversity of the electorate.

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  20. GPT1 (2,021 comments) says:

    Heh, you are right but have to laugh at you pointing out Goff is lowering expectations and then your last para that if Hekia gets close it will be a miracle. Brilliant.

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  21. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    All I’m saying Shazz is it’s a very tall order – ie its never been done before and all the stars have to line up. Perhaps they are as Rick Prick summarises.

    In looking back over the results of the last 5 elections, Labour’s majority in Mana has been: 96 – 3622/99 – 5475/02 – 6376/05 – 6734 and 08 – 6155. Now not the 10,000+ of the Mangeres and Rongotais of this world I admit but they are still very strong majorities. Its pre MMP predecesor electorate was Porirua and it was one of only 29 Labour seats left in the 1990 National rout of Labour – Labour’s lowest Parliamentary representation since the 1st Labour Government’s election in 1935.

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  22. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Listening to the lying slimey little prick on radio pinko this morning was a particularly unpleasant experience. Representing that the 140 objectors to the expressway (out of something like 14,000 voters apparently) somehow represented “the voters of Mana” was typical of the calculated bullshit of not only the Labour party, but its low-brow candidate for Mana. Gosh, have I judged him harshly? Perhaps he “mis-spoke”?

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  23. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Oops, just to confirm that that the lying slimey little prick I was referring to was in fact the candidate for Mana.

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  24. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    The Result will be the result. We live in very strange times, and I feel that labour have every concern about their prospects.

    Goff could well have gambled too much, and there are 17 “friends’ waiting to Ponce.

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  25. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    GF

    “there are 17 “friends’ waiting to Ponce”

    Ponce? Freudian or deliberate? Whatever, very good.

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  26. claire (6 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America you say “Parata will do better than the 08 Nat candidate” – Parata was the 08 Nat candidate.

    When you have Pacific Island leaders telling their people to question what Labour has done for them over the last few decades and why has their lot in life not actually improved, I think you may see why Goff is covering his tracks right now. It was noted by Pacific community the first person to turn up on their doorstep after last years tsunami and fundraise $10’s of thouands of $$ was actually Parata. Labour has misread the electorate in that it assumes and markets itself on 2 things, and the media play right along – that everyone is poor and that it needs a polynesian person to represent the electorate. At the last election 20.8% of the electorate were Pacific peoples, 79.8% were not. Not everyone in the electorate is poor. Not sure now, but at one stage recently it had the 4th highest income levels in the country. If Parata doesn’t win she will come mighty close as she is and has been extremely visible for the last 2 years. This election is not about party lines, it is about who will work the hardest for the electorate across all spectrums.

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  27. reid (16,681 comments) says:

    Don’t forget Liarbore’s stranglehold on the union turn-out-the-voters ground-force and what that did for Len in the Supercity elections.

    I don’t see McCarten’s entry will make much difference to that, the union reps will go with their backers, as they always do. (At the same time criticising businessmen for merely acting in their best financial interests but facts and hypocrisy never seems to bother lefties, do they.)

    So that’s a real powerful factor, given there are lots and lots of union reps all round Wellington and you can bet all of them have already cleared their diaries over that weekend.

    The Nats really should give serious consideration to countering that with their own army. We could send roving bands of conservatives round the poorer parts changing street signs and inverting polling station directional arrows, for example. Tap into their GPS systems and make them think all the polling stations are garages, etc. I’m sure we could have lots of fun.

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  28. cabbage (457 comments) says:

    Reid. Not sure thats really needed with people like litea ah hoi on faafoi’s campaign trail!

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/multimedia/tv/politics/43443.html

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  29. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    On One Network News tonight, they asked Mana constituents whether it would affect their vote if Hekia was made a minister. With only two contituent’s responses shown, what would the margin of error on that straw poll be : plus or minus 50% ?

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  30. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    In related news, Kris Fa’afoi’s claim to have been at the opening of McDonalds has been toppled from it’s “most blatant lie of the month” pedestal by an audacious claim from singer James Blunt, who says he singlehandedly averted Word War III.

    Fa’afoi has immediately tried to top Blunt’s heroics by claiming he locked himself in soon-to-be-demolished Georgie Pie and refused to emerge for several hours as a protest against the removal of a “cultural icon”. However the claim has been denied by the manager at the time, who says he was forced to explain to the receivers why there was no stock on hand after Fa’afoi exited the building.

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  31. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Yes, Faafoi is a bit of a James, isn’t he? (gotta love that cockney rhyming slang)

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  32. Inventory2 (9,373 comments) says:

    @ BlairM – that’s gold!

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  33. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    You’re right Clare – realised my blunder when I looked at the 08 results.

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