PM announces election date

February 2nd, 2011 at 12:46 pm by David Farrar

The Prime Minister has announced the general election will be held on Saturday 26 November 2011.

I must point out that last March I blogged on the election date and said that 26 November was the most likely date. I was never one who thought the PM would go early for a possible tactical advantage.

In fact Key has again shown how different he is to his predecessors. Previous PMs have treated the election date as being more precious, than – well the Ring to Gollum. They’ve kept it secret for as long as possible, to gain maximum tactical advantage from it.

Hopefully this move by Key, may be a first step towards having a fixed election date. Unless the Government has collapsed or lost confidence, Parliament should continue full-term. Previous PMs Muldoon and Clark called snap election on flimsy excuses (Clark’s was there were too many points of order during question time).

Under the new electoral legislation s3B(2)((a)(ii) the regulated period starts three months before the election day, on the 26th of August 2011.

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32 Responses to “PM announces election date”

  1. kino flo (83 comments) says:

    DPF, were you at Premier House for the announcement?

    [DPF: No, at home]

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Chris Carter to resign in Mid-May, as a parting two-fingered salute to everyone.

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  3. big bruv (13,899 comments) says:

    So, we will continue to flounder along for another ten months, ten months and 12 billion dollars borrowed.

    Given that it is election year no hard decisions will be made, nothing will be done that might upset the bludgers or wind up the left.

    It is a pity that Key did not announce a snap election, one that will be fought on the economic woes that face NZ, he could have asked for a mandate to fix things.

    But no…more of the same as we slip deeper and deeper into the shit.

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  4. Minnie (98 comments) says:

    Even bolder than the announcement of the election date this far out is confirmation that National won’t be going into talks with Winston Peters’ party post-election.

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  5. Inventory2 (10,341 comments) says:

    Kudos to Key. Because he has had a life outside politics, he has redefined the way the game is played. That’s great.

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  6. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    I wonder how Phil Goff will attack this announcement. I can think of several possibilities, each more looney than the one before.

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  7. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    And so begins the wave that will turn into a tidal wave of support in November.
    The current National polling of 55% is not an extended honeymoon. It is just foreplay.

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  8. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    I must point out that last March I blogged on the election date and said that 26 November was the most likely date.

    DPF, you are extremely well connected with the ruling elite in the National Party, so you knew the date all along, didn’t you? :D

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  9. David Farrar (1,895 comments) says:

    Nope, I only found out the date when the PM announced it.

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

    I would have thought that sooner rather then later would have been the order of the day. I don’t like many of the things Shonkey has or hasn’t done but wouldn’t it be better to lay the cards on the table. Let the Nats put all their polices on the table and announce an election, isn’t it time we stopped stuffing around. Can we afford to do nothing for another 10 months. Call the election, trust the people, get the mandate to make the hard decisions and make the fucking moves.

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  11. Simon (724 comments) says:

    ‘”ten months and 12 billion dollars borrowed”

    Don’t worry about it. You might get lucky & next year the Labor/Winston First/Greens/ MP & the new loonie left party will print $300 million a week.

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  12. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    What if All Blacks don’t win the Rugby World Cup for us? Heaven forbid! :-)

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  13. big bruv (13,899 comments) says:

    Gotta say ruling out Winston this early is brave, it is the right thing to do of course but it is still brave.

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  14. david (2,557 comments) says:

    No BB, just very clever tactics.

    For the next few days, maybe a week, the media will be all over trying to talk WP up. He will have a few days in the limelight and then he will go off the radar.

    JK has no further need to ever mention his name again as his position is clear. Listen to talkback this afternoon trying desperately to create a discussion about WP.

    Not many of the geriatric callers will be alive in November and the rest will have forgotten who they support so it really puts the acid on Goofy to state where he stands and you can put money on it that he will be non-committal and appear to waver all over the place.

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  15. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    “Under the new electoral legislation s3B(2)((a)(ii) the regulated period starts three months before the election day, on the 26th of August 2011.”
    And there’s the real reason for the early announcement – there can now be a big spend-up of election advertising that will fall outside the regulated period. The media advertising teams will be looking to have a bonanza June, July and most of August!

    [DPF: Not a logical argument. If Key had announced the date in October, one could still have had a big spend up pre regulated period. By announcing it early,he actually all he has done is allow his opponents to plan their campaigns mroe precisely]

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  16. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Give it to Goff

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  17. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    What on earth will the media muppets find to talk about now they can’t play guessing games about the date?

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  18. Pete George (23,564 comments) says:

    PM announces election date which had already been indicated and was as many had expected.
    Labourites desperately look for something to moan about or criticise instead of just marking in their diaries.

    It might be a change from prior election date games but it’s hardly radical. Neither is it radical to rule out dealing with an unreliable old politician well past his use by date.

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  19. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    “Chris Carter to resign in Mid-May, as a parting two-fingered salute to everyone.”

    And forfeit six months worth of taxpayer funded travel? Not likely.

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  20. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    “DPF: Not a logical argument.”
    Wrong DPF. If he didn’t announce it until October then for the first 6-7 months of 2011 no-one would know if their spending was going to count or not, so would be reluctant to spend too much in case it did.

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  21. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    time for Andrew Little to organise sausage sizzles to get some funds

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

    Jaba, does Goofy paint ?, maybe Andrew can knock out a few pictures and he can sign them, should be worth all of a $1.99

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  23. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    seems like the Labour Party BBQ’s to oust Gaffe came to nothing so they may have left over sausages and onions

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  24. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    “[DPF: Not a logical argument. If Key had announced the date in October, one could still have had a big spend up pre regulated period. By announcing it early,he actually all he has done is allow his opponents to plan their campaigns mroe precisely]”

    Without wanting to cast doubt on Key’s bona fides, this actually is wrong. If Key hadn’t announced the election date by August 8 (2 years and 9 months after the 2008 election) then the regulated period would have begun on this “default date” and all spending on electoral advertisements would have counted towards the relevant maximums. Of course, he could have waited until August 7 to announce the date would be the 26th November (thus starting the regulated period on 26th August).

    Thus, I think Key just genuinely wanted to end speculation on this issue – sometimes the obvious reason is the real one.

    “If he didn’t announce it until October then for the first 6-7 months of 2011 no-one would know if their spending was going to count or not, so would be reluctant to spend too much in case it did.”

    Wrong, MikeG … if an election had been called before 8 August, then the regulated period would have begun with that announcement. So there would be no risk of spending being unexpectedly caught by the rules.

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  25. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Election date, my word how important, just another socialist wankfest.

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  26. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    Gosh, d4j … didn’t realise the calendar had political affiliations! Seeing as you think it so irrelevant, why not make sure you’re tramping in Fiordland that day and so do the country a favour?

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  27. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    As Manolo says, bit of a bummer for Johnny if Richie and his boys go down at the World Cup. Be just like Australia to foul it up wouldn’t it?

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  28. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    What? No Spin, No Obfuscation, and a statement on principle?

    No wonder people are confused!

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  29. Mike Readman (363 comments) says:

    Sure does give Labour a lot of time to campaign – I just got a phone call from them pushing Megan Woods for Wigram.

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  30. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    For business to get growth, it must have certainty. By announcing an election date 10 months out from the event, Key gives a measure of that, rather than having a number of vested interests wondering when the polls will be held.

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  31. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    This announcement also gives a lot of time for Labour to plan trips to Melbourne; a lot of time to go through Key’s rubbish; and a lot of time for Steve Pierson to fly to Auckland to check out Key’s shareholdings.

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  32. The Stig (33 comments) says:

    At least JK has been able to announce the date on his own for his first election. Something Bolger was denied. :-)

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