Fairfax’s 2014 predictions

January 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The gallery team make 20 predictions for 2014:

1. National will get a lift in the polls early in the year as the economic news gets better.

2. John Key will reshuffle his Cabinet lineup in the first two months of 2014.

3. At least one of the Green MPs will step down before the general election.

4. Two of Labour’s “old guard” will go on the list to give themselves the option of quitting after the election without triggering a by-election.

Jones is one of them. I presume they mean list only. Not sure who the other will be.

5. Brendan Horan, Eric Roy and John Hayes will not be MPs by the end of the year.

6. Irrespective of the election result, David Cunliffe will stay on as Labour leader.

That’s a big call, and I would’t predict that.

7. The Genesis Energy sale will go ahead, but for the election campaign National will call it a day on the partial privatisation programme.

That’s not a prediction. National said some months ago there were no more planned.

8. Conservative leader Colin Craig will stand in the East Coast Bays seat, his party will get into Parliament but will not cross the 5 per cent threshold.

Agree they will make it.

9. The economy will start flagging late in 2014 as rising interest rates start to bite.

10. The brawl between Judith Collins and Steven Joyce over who will inherit John Key’s crown will heat up as the election approaches.

11. Mr Key will give the thumbs up to talks with all of National’s potential allies: ACT, the Conservatives, the Maori Party and UnitedFuture. But he will make it clear NZ First will be his last cab off the rank if he is in a position to form a Government.

Key may rule them out again, as he did in 2008 and 2011.

12. The Maori Party will win two seats at the election.

I said at least two. If they get 2% party vote they get a third seat.

13. Mr Key will visit the White House and host a high-profile return visit.

14. ACT will not get more than 1.5 per cent of the vote.

That high?

15. New Zealand’s push for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council will be successful.

I predicted the other way.

16. A senior member of David Cunliffe’s office will quit.

Statistically likely

17. Housing will be one of the most contentious themes of the year, prompting National to announce further measures to help low-income and first-home buyers.

18. There will be upsets in the seats of Napier, Mt Roskill, Te Tai Hauauru, Ohariu and Maungakiekie.

19. The election will be held in October.

20. National will form a Government with at least two other parties.

Another big call. I like that they are willing to make . Would be fun if other gallery teams did the same, and one could judge them all at year end!

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21 Responses to “Fairfax’s 2014 predictions”

  1. jims_whare (399 comments) says:

    I cant argue with too many of them – especially Cunliffe staying on. Should mean a easier ride for the Nats heading towards 2017.

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  2. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Fairfax predictions would be as irrelevant as their editorial policy.

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  3. duggledog (1,414 comments) says:

    Key has to rule out Winston absolutely. He is a risk taker which is part of the reason why he became as successful as he is and I think this is a risk worth taking.

    Make it absolutely clear to New Zealanders they can either go with National (and Cons, Dunne, Act whatever) or Labour Greens NZ First Mana etc. Stable proven government or a committee of opposing views

    Shit it would be great to see Winston left high and dry

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  4. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    “14. ACT will not get more than 1.5 per cent of the vote.”

    It’s a bit like predicting the Greens won’t get more than 25% of the vote.

    “18. There will be upsets in the seats of Napier, Mt Roskill, Te Tai Hauauru, Ohariu and Maungakiekie.”

    Agreed with Napier provided Stuart Nash stands, his slashing of Tremain’s majority by over 5000 votes was one of the surprises of the last election. Tremain’s exit only makes things easier.

    Mt Roskill-the new boundaries aren’t kind to him, but Phil Goff should hold on with a slashed majority (against Alfred Ngaro perhaps?) if he stands again.

    Te Tai Hauauru-Tariana Turia will be a big loss for the Maori Party, and the door is open for Labour here. However Turia does have a reasonable majority (a 3200 majority for a Maori seat is equivalent to a 6400 majority in a general seat IMO), so I think that Rahui Katene will have a good chance of hanging on if Turia’s prepared to campaign alongside her.

    Ohariu-I think Peter Dunne needs more than a cup of tea here; IMO he needs National to not even stand a candidate, as Bolger did in 1996. Ohariu sans-Dunne would not be a safe National seat; it would be just be National-leaning. In a pure National v Labour contest in the seat, Labour would probably win the seat one out of every three elections. Given the cloud Dunne’s found himself under in recent times, if National stand a candidate, I think vote-splitting will hand the seat to Labour. If they don’t, Dunne retains.

    Maungakiekie-On the new boundaries, you’d think it would be an upset if National retain. Lotu-Iiga does have two advantages here: one, he’s Samoan and he may benefit from split vote from the large number of Samoan voters in the electorate, and two, his opponent will likely be the uninspiring Carol Beaumont.

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  5. ShawnLH (4,323 comments) says:

    ACT and UF are dead in the water. That limits Key’s choices considerably. I understand the antagonism towards Winston Peters, but given the similarities policy wise between the Conservatives and NZF, a Nat/Conservative/NZF coalition may be the only way the Nats are able to form a government.

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  6. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    “Key has to rule out Winston absolutely. He is a risk taker which is part of the reason why he became as successful as he is and I think this is a risk worth taking.

    Make it absolutely clear to New Zealanders they can either go with National (and Cons, Dunne, Act whatever) or Labour Greens NZ First Mana etc. Stable proven government or a committee of opposing views

    Shit it would be great to see Winston left high and dry”

    While he had success taking this risk in 2008, he tried it again in 2011 and it cost him big time.

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  7. Colville (2,149 comments) says:

    Assuming ACT stand a articulate rich wite guy in Epsom they will win it.

    Dunne will retain his seat, he is bland as bland can be but works hard in his electorate and very centerist obviously as he never has an opinion on anything!
    I wonder if Manolo lives in Ohariu? :-)

    CCCP to get around 4% with Craig winning a seat.

    Maori with 2 or 3 MPs.

    WinsonFirst wont pass the 5% and will slide into the abyss.

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  8. Colville (2,149 comments) says:

    Shazzadude.
    How did Key lose anything in 2011 by ruling out Winston?
    If anything he won bigtime by Winnie eating into Liarbours vote and another leader getting knifed because of it.

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  9. kiwi in america (2,462 comments) says:

    All in all pretty good predictions. I think Peter Dunne is safe in Ohariu. Yes he’s been foolish over the Vance communication but he fell on his sword quickly. He always was a good constituent MP going to the opening of envelopes and since resigning from Cabinet has had even more time to kiss babies. It will depend on the quality of who National stands and how Key chooses to endorse Dunne.

    I’m not sure that ACT can win Epsom unless they field a high profile candidate without too much baggage. I wouldn’t rule out Matthew Hooten who has strong links to the electorate and a reasonably high profile. But even Hooten would fail to lift ACT high enough to win another seat.

    Lightening won’t strike twice and Winston Peters will not be gifted a poll lifting grandstanding opportunity during the 2014 campaign like the cup of tea imbroglio did in 2011. That said he is likely to bang a loud enough populist drum to cross the 5% threshold. Key would be wise to treat Peters as a last resort. Peters will even more irrelevant in the next Parliament as he has been in the current one.

    If Key persuades Obama to visit NZ, it will be a poll boosting feather in his cap as clearly he and Obama get on well and will enhance the feel good factor from Prince William’s visit. I’m with David – if (no when) Labour lose, Cunliffe is toast. The party membership and the unions took a gamble and lost. Shane Jones is their only front bench MP who can win back Waitakere Man for Labour.

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  10. thor42 (961 comments) says:

    Most of the predictions seem pretty good.

    One thing I’m wondering about is if anyone in Labour will try to undermine Cunliffe. I’m not convinced that all of the rifts in Labour have healed.
    I would *love* to see someone white-ant him.

    I’m sure that Cunners’ big-spending “promises” will come back to bite him in the campaign. If he goes ahead with them, he’ll be seen as economically reckless. If not, he’s a liar. If he doesn’t commit either way, he’ll be seen as a coward.
    As for the Greens – both “warming” and “declines in polar bears” have been refuted so they will have their work cut out to come up with something else.

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  11. duggledog (1,414 comments) says:

    Those are very good points Thor42. Effectively Cunliffe’s own rhetoric will silence Labour or render them impotent no matter what the message. So the party of recklessness, lies and or cowardice (yeah, nah).

    All that’s left is internal party strife (great for National) or even more power to the braying Greens.

    What the hell can Cunliffe do? It’s a no-win situation no matter what he does, I reckon, simply because National have got it all locked down, at this point. Possibly the only thing that can stop the incumbent winning the next election is a massive scandal and it is here that Boag’s brilliant decision bears fruit (it was her, wasn’t it?) because there are no skeletons in that particular closet.

    Boring old John Key – no Len Brown type scuttlebutt there, just a family man from humble beginnings who took on the world and won.

    God Labour must hate being in opposition

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  12. grumpyoldhori (2,412 comments) says:

    kiwi in america
    Obama in NZ, good god man you will have all the raving rednecks out shouting he should be strung up for being a Kenyan socialist.

    Shane Jones, yep he is smart but damn it he is a scruffy bugger.

    Maybe it is time for Labour to remind voters about how we were all customers under a National regime, so what else do the Nats have in mind to give away ?

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  13. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    Colville “Shazzadude.
    How did Key lose anything in 2011 by ruling out Winston?
    If anything he won bigtime by Winnie eating into Liarbours vote and another leader getting knifed because of it.”

    Thanks partly to the oxygen given by National and the general right, Winston getting back in stopped National from reaching the holy grail of a majority win under MMP. No need for Dunne, Banks or the Maori Party. It also made the road to victory in 2014 for National much harder. Unless National can get more than 45% of the vote, they’re going to have no choice but to talk to Winston.

    Goff of course would’ve gone Winston or no Winston.

    thor42 “One thing I’m wondering about is if anyone in Labour will try to undermine Cunliffe. I’m not convinced that all of the rifts in Labour have healed.
    I would *love* to see someone white-ant him.”

    The problem for any ABCs in the caucus is the new leadership voting rules now mean that the leader needs to be unpopular with the broader membership and the unions as well as with the caucus, so they’re contained until the public sentiment against the leader is strong.

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  14. MH (671 comments) says:

    i understand he wouldn’t have been incarcerated in anycase,in accordance with current western policy

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  15. UpandComer (517 comments) says:

    I would put money on the election being in September David :)

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  16. kiwi in america (2,462 comments) says:

    grumpyoldhori
    I fail to see how the few Obama hating birther rednecks in New Zealand who manage to get any substantial NZ media airtime will negatively impact on National’s re-election chances.

    If Labour’s campaign managers could airbrush Helen Clark turning her from a frumpy academic to an almost soft more feminine look, they can easily flossy up Jonsie as well.

    Labour ran that line in 2011 – didn’t work then and won’t work in 2014.

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  17. NK (1,102 comments) says:

    Re #9 – that means either McCully won’t stand, or probably National won’t stand a candidate. Because if McCully stands, Craig won’t beat him. McCully could retire of course; he’s been there long enough. DPF obviously knows more about the inner workings of what’s going on there to affirm this. So my prediction is that McCully will retire, or go on the list only and National won’t stand a candidate in ECB.

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  18. Mobile Michael (428 comments) says:

    NK – The Nats have a requirement to stand in all General Electorate seats. But if they stand a bland candidate with a good list place then it sends the right signal to voters.

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  19. Andrew McMillan (49 comments) says:

    Number 5; Eric Roy’s already announced he won’t stand in 2014, so that’s no prediction.

    Number 18; Peter Dunne losing Ohariu would not be an upset. It’s pretty delicately poised and he only won by small majorities in the last two elections. There’ll be new blood up against him though as neither Shanks, Chauvel nor Hughes are re-standing in Ohariu.

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  20. Neil (569 comments) says:

    Andrew I don’t think Eric has said anything definitive about standing next year. I think you will find that candidates from Clutha-Southland might roll over to Invercargull. Invercargill is probably not marginal seat country now with Invercargill coming right to Mataura.
    Eric has been an excellent deputy speaker but perhaps his profile has been a bit low key.

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  21. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael-NK – “The Nats have a requirement to stand in all General Electorate seats. But if they stand a bland candidate with a good list place then it sends the right signal to voters.”

    I’m sure that could be amended if need be. National didn’t stand a candidate against Peter Dunne in either 1996 or 1999.

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