Labour have spent the last decade condemning tactical voting in seats like Epsom and Ohariu, where National has indicated to supporters that it may be in the party’s overall interest to vote for another candidate.
Little has now done the same in Northland. Now I have no problem with his decision to encourage people to vote for Peters. It makes tactical sense. But the issue is their hypocrisy of having spent a decade condemning National for the same.
Interestingly while having Peters win Northland may be a tactical victory for Labour, it could also be a strategic blunder for Labour and the Greens.
If Peters does win Northland, then that is a potential lifeline for NZ First post Peters. They can’t be guaranteed to make 5% with someone else leading them, but if they win and can hold Northland, then they would be able to continue post Peters.
Now neither Ron Mark nor Tracy Martin could I think hold Northland (if Peters wins it), but Shane Jones could. If Peters wins Northland, then Shane Jones could stand in the next election (or the one after) for NZ First, and he would be very likely to hold it.
Now think about what this means for the Greens and Labour? Can you imagine a Shane Jones led NZ First ever letting the Greens into Government? he hates them more than Winston.
Also can you imagine Shane Jones going into coalition with the party that he said no longer has room for people like him in it? I think it is unlikely.
So the irony of Little’s ploy is that it may give the left a tactical victory, but it may be a strategic blunder that pries NZ First away from the left and leaves Labour and the Greens marooned in near perpetual opposition.Tags: Andrew Little, Northland, Shane Jones, Winston First