Can Labour win back Te Tai Tokerau?

November 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Mana leader is under pressure to hold his Tai Tai Tokerau seat with a new poll showing him running a close second to a yet-to-be-selected Labour candidate.

The Te Karere-Digipoll asked voters when they choose their local MP which party would the candidate likely come from.

Labour had the edge with 32 per cent over Mana with 28 per cent.

A Maori party candidate would get 14 per cent, the survey found.

Harawira held the seat in 2011 with a 1165 majority over Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

Labour have said they want to win all seven Maori seats. Flavell looks very safe in Waiariki. I thought Harawira would be streaks ahead in , but it seems not.

There was strong backing for Harawira’s performance as the local MP with 14 per cent rating it “fantastic”, 39 per cent above average and 31 per cent average.

Only 12 per cent rated it either below average or poor. 

That suggests the locals like him as their local MP. The question is will they vote to keep him.

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20 Responses to “Can Labour win back Te Tai Tokerau?”

  1. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    I’d take this poll with a huge grain of salt. It assumes people are thinking about the difference between their electorate and party votes – and many (most?) voters at this point in the electoral cycle have no idea about this. So when asked “when [you] choose [your] local MP, which party [will] the candidate likely come from”, a fair number (even most?) will respond with the name of the Party that they support.

    In short, a poll that doesn’t mention individual names and ask voters which they’ll pick as their local MP come election day is likely to be pretty useless in predicting outcomes. Harawira’s brand is “Harawira” first and “Mana” second – hell, I’ll bet there’s a chunk of Tai Tai Tokerau voters think he’s in Labour anyway!

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  2. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    That suggests the locals like him as their local MP.

    You really think it has been his execution of his MP’s duties that they like?

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  3. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    This is good news. It means votes for the mana party will be wasted votes and remove possibly two far left MPs from the new Parliament.

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  4. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    Having actually bothered to read the story(!), I see they did ask a separate “who would you party vote for?” question. But I still think a question “who will you choose as your local electorate MP?” that doesn’t mention candidate names doesn’t tell us very much at all.

    Other points to note:

    “Another 18 per cent were either undecided or picked another option [for their electorate candidate preference], but the pollsters did not provide a breakdown.”

    “The survey of 500 had a margin of error of 4.3 per cent.”

    So … Harawira may lose come 2014 (after all, he only got 41% of the electorate vote in 2011, and his winning margin was only 5.9%). But this poll doesn’t tell us all that much.

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  5. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    If Kelvin Davis stands again I’m not sure he would win. His platforms are education, jobs, progress and looking forward. This is anathema to Hone and his disciples.

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  6. Nigel (516 comments) says:

    I think he might get in mark, my take is that there is a realisation that protest driven politics has left nga puhi a generation in skills development behind the other major nz tribes who settled early.
    The divergence in affluence/opportunities in the north via hone’s politics vs those other areas is getting tougher by the day to explain away for hone.

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  7. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    I may be going where angels fear to tread but as a resident of the Far North (Paihia) and with some small interest in politics and Maori politics (with the latter its a case of the more you know the less you know) there is no doubt in my mind that Hone will win in 2014. He tells his constituents what they want to hear. He articulates a view and a vision that Maori are downtrodden and second rate citizens, deserving as of right massive government largesse in some sort of Maori version of the Cargo Cult movement that existed in many pacific island nations long after the end of WW2. In short he plays to their prejudices and argues they can all be Lotto winners without buying a ticket.

    His constituency is the poor and the uneducated, those locked into a permanent grievance mode and those who don’t want to work (unless you call raping the fisheries and growing wacky baccy on the side work). There are enough Maori up here who fall into one or more of these categories to ensure Hone will win and win well.

    The problem is that by doing that they are perpetuating themselves as losers.

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  8. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Please make it so! I would love to see an end to the two racist parties.

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  9. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Anyone foolish enough to say publicly that they don’t like or won’t vote for Hone is likely to get a “visit” from a member of clan Harawira to disabuse them of that piece of erroneous thinking. And if you’re lucky it will be one of his male relatives…

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  10. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Of course they’ll vote to retain him as their local mp, with the party vote going heavily to Labour.

    It’s not just rich white people in the inner east of Auckland that are smart enough to vote in a tactical fashion

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  11. iMP (2,386 comments) says:

    Maori always need to be assessed in context (to Maoridom issues and parochial tribalism) but the general trend is for a pruning of minnow parties under MMP and back to cohesive amalgams. Bye bye ACT, UF, NZF and I suspect Mana, subsumed back into their wombs of National and Maori, respectively.

    This is perhaps true, too, of the cannibalism of the Green vote back to Labour in latest poll.

    The one outlier, is of course the Conservatives, a brand new baby (keeping the womb metaphor going) which – like Maori contextualism – needs to be seen in the parantheses of Conservative vs Liberal trends (that transcend party boundaries).

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  12. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    With the ever diminishing returns the Nats are getting from the Maori party surely it’s time to start campaigning to do away with these racist seats once & for all like they promised to do in the lead up to 2008.
    I don’t have a problem with racist party’s per se, if they can get 5% of the vote good on them, & as been mentioned many times Maori have more than enough representation in parliament (some may say over representation) without the need for special raced based seats.

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  13. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    How are these polls taken? On the phone or in the street and where, and what time?

    We are overwhelmed with polls but almost none of them include information on how the poll was taken. I’m sure that influences the outcome and is more relevant than the polls simply stating what margin of error the poll has.

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  14. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    Last time I heard Harawira speak he went on and on about education, for the best part of an hour, calling for Maori parents to get involved in their kids’ schools and make sacrifices to ensure their kids’ success. Naturally this wasn’t considered worth reporting by the MSM (who were present). If he’d called somebody a motherfucker, he’d have hit the headlines.

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  15. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    Kelvin Davis will have to out-promise Hone Harawira, something that would be hard to do, but I am confident Labour will have a go, it’s not like they aren’t already.

    The Far North has many, many folk, mostly Maori it has to be said, that don’t intend to do very much in the way of work or behaving responsibly at all, ever, let alone move to where there is work.

    Half of it’s a shit hole and most of NZ pay it no heed whatsoever

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  16. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Half of it? Let’s go with all of it (says this Northland born and bred)

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  17. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Sam Buchanan – that’s the sad reality of pulp media dominated politics.

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  18. Tauhei Notts (1,721 comments) says:

    Ross Miller’s post at 12.09 ties in with the opinion of every Northlander that I have spoken with that has an attention span in excess of 119 seconds.

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  19. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Sam – probably true of most politicians.

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  20. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    True, Pete – to add salt to the wound, the Dominion Post wrote a snide editorial a couple of months later lecturing Harawira on how he should be encouraging Maori to get better educated. Useless as a source of reliable information.

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