The Kelston electorate is expected to be safe for Labour but its creation could pose problems for the party in the neighbouring electorates of New Lynn, Te Atatu and Mt Albert.
Labour MP Phil Goff concedes the proposed boundary changes will mean he will compete for a drastically different Mt Roskill that has gained strong National-leaning polling places from Maungakiekie, in turn making it tougher for National’s Sam Lotu-Iiga to retain his seat.
The Herald “mashup” of the proposed electoral boundaries combined with the party votes at 2650 polling places from the 2011 election reveals a reshaped political landscape.
The proposed Upper Harbour electorate is strongly National overall, with a few polling stations on the southern boundaries that could be considered marginal for either of the main parties.
Most of the polling places in Kelston – which would replace Waitakere, currently held by National’s Paula Bennett – are strongly Labour-leaning. These polling places were formerly inside the New Lynn, Te Atatu and Mt Albert boundaries. Consequently, the three electorates end up with more evenly split voting patterns, when earlier they were more favourable to Labour.
Te Atatu, currently held by Labour’s Phil Twyford, loses a moderately Labour-leaning polling place and adds a strong National-leaning one. Auckland Central loses polling places that are either marginal or Labour-leaning.
Another big change is in the Mt Roskill electorate, which loses a number of Labour-leaning polling places to gain strong National-leaning ones.
A crude calculation based on party votes within the proposed new Mt Roskill electorate shows National with a majority of about 1500 over Labour. However, this only takes into account the party vote and only indicates that Phil Goff – who has held the seat since 1999 – will have a closer fight on hand.
Goff would be heard to beat. But a strong fresh candidate who campaigns on time for a change, could do well.