Who made these predictions?

September 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

One highly paid political strategist and pundit made the following predictions for the election. They were:

  1. ACT will lose Epsom
  2. Maori Party will lose all their electorate seats
  3. Maori Party will not gain enough party votes for a List MP
  4. Dunne may hold on, but it will be close
  5. NZ First will get 6.8%
  6. Greens will get 13% to 15%
  7. Conservatives will not make 5%
  8. National will get 43% to 45%
  9. The Government will be Labour-NZ First supported by the Greens
  10. The polls showing National winning by a landslide are wrong

One out of ten!

If you wonder who made these predictions, the answer is on Whale Oil.

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Fairfax’s 2014 predictions

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

The Fairfax 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 predictions. Would be fun if other gallery teams did the same, and one could judge them all at year end!

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Fairfax scores their predictions

January 1st, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Fairfax score their 2013 predictions:

At an annual salary of almost $145,000 plus allowances, Brendan Horan will continue to believe he is needed in the House and will tough out the criticisms and stay on in Parliament – unless the police intervene. 10/10. With a backdated pay rise before Christmas, this is a prediction with legs for 2014.

Rarely lose if you predict an MP will hang on!

Official interest rates will end the year no higher than they started it at 2.5 per cent, and if the Reserve Bank moves at all it will be to cut the OCR. 10/10. Predictions vary as to when the bank will move in 2014, with March the new favourite. But it flatlined in 2013.

It’s been 2.5% since March 2011, so a fairly safe and accurate prediction.

David Shearer will win unanimous support for his leadership from his caucus in the February vote, and remain safe from any serious challenge throughout the year. 0/10. As wrong as a wrong thing. No-one knows for sure how the vote went, but unanimous it wasn’t. Neither does jumping before you are pushed qualify as “safe from a serious challenge”.

I thought he would stay also.

Aaron Gilmore will return to Parliament and be joined by a least one other replacement list MP – though Gilmore will make no better an impression in 2013 than first time around. 9/10. We were simply too kind. One mark off because we did not pick how much worse he could be. The luckless Mr Gilmore out-did his own bad press as he came and went in just a few months. 

Could mark lower for not predicting he would go, but to be fair no one did.

5 Arise Sir Lockwood Smith. The former Speaker will be knighted in the Queen’s Birthday honours. 10/10. A bit like putting a dollar on the All Blacks to beat Japan, but on the money all the same.

As inevitable as the sun rise.

Hekia Parata will remain in Cabinet but lose the education portfolio. 3/10. We were holding our breath when the OECD figures showed New Zealand’s rankings plummeting but John Key held his nerve and she not only kept her seat at the top table, she kept the education role too.

Most of the plummeting is for kids who had their primary education under the last Government.

Labour will rewrite its list selection rules to give the regions and the unions less power, but not without a major controversy. 6/10. They rewrote the rules along those lines, but we failed to pick the major controversy would be around gender quotas and the late-but-unlamented “man ban”.

I’m not at all sure the new rules give unions less power.

National will fail to find a cross party “consensus” on changes to the MMP rules, but Opposition parties will pledge to implement the main Electoral Commission recommendations if they win power. 7.5/10. Sure enough Justice Minister Judith Collins used the “no consensus” line to justify no change, but the Opposition has not waited for the election but is rallying behind Iain Lees-Galloway’s member’s bill.

I’d score that one 10/10

The referendum opposing the sale of state assets will get the numbers and go ahead in October. But the partial sale of Mighty River Power will go ahead, after the Maori court challenge over water rights fails. The Government will also sell shares in Meridian and Genesis in 2013.7/10. The referendum went ahead (but in November) and the Government did sell three of its planned partial privatisations, although it opted for Air NZ ahead of Genesis after the share market developed indigestion over energy shares.

I never thought Genesis would go ahead in 2013. I believe Solid Energy would have, if it had not near collapsed.

10 John Key will make international headlines again for a gaffe to rival the Beckham putdown, but he will resist the urge to become a full time talkback host. 2.5/10

No gaffe, gov’r

11 Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples will bow to pressure and give up the co-leadership, opening the way for Te Ururoa Flavell. But Dr Sharples will not relinquish his portfolios. On the button! It’s a shame they don’t give more than10/10.

A good call.

12 Maurice Williamson and one other minister will announce they will not stand for re-election in 2014. 4/10. Come on Maurice – don’t keep us waiting! Oh, all right then, stay. Chris Tremain did surprise everyone with his decision to call politics quits. Kate Wilkinson and Phil Heatley were pushed out of Cabinet and have joined the exodus.

Keep watching – but maybe not for Maurice!

13 A new Right-wing party will emerge, offering to fill the need for an ally for National. But National will be less than enthusiastic. 6/10. There are a number of contenders including the 1Law4All Party that recently pamphlet-bombed some suburbs with policies that hark back to Don Brash’s Orewa speech. There is also a rumoured ACT-like party in the wings, but so far National only has eyes for its existing allies – and Colin Craig’s Conservatives.

A bit generous there. The party cited is a fringe party that will make no impact. Unless they have a significant leader or funding base, hardly counts.

14 The Government will launch the year with a major economic policy promising to boost job numbers and make employment its top priority. 9/10. It made the promises all right, with a John Key speech launching a big push on apprenticeships. Forests also gave their all for a series of glossy “business growth agenda” booklets. But did anyone notice?

Safe prediction that the Government will focus on jobs.

15 A minister will resign over allegations surrounding events that emerge from the past. 10/10. ACT leader and minister John Banks quit after he was hauled into court to defend his disclosure of donations during his campaign for the Auckland mayoralty.

Possibly a bit generous there. The resignation was not over events that emerged from his past. The events were well known in 2012.

16 As a consolation for missing out on the speakership, National list MP Tau Henare will be offered a diplomatic post in the Pacific. 3/10. Sure enough he missed out to new Speaker David Carter and was apparently sounded out on whether he was angling for a post, but it seems no formal offer was made.

His Excellency Tau Henare – has a ring to it :-)

17 The Greens will not top 15 per cent in any major poll in 2013. 9.5/10. The third party’s support has held up remarkably well during the year, but it only hit 15 per cent once – in the volatile Roy Morgan survey – and never bettered its target mark. So we are claiming vindication by a nose.

More recently Labour seem to be taking support from them.

18 Andrew Little and David Clark will be promoted to the Labour top 12 and Nanaia Mahuta will not hold the prime responsibility for education by year’s end. 6.5/10. Two out of three aint bad. Ms Mahuta gave way to Chris Hipkins in education. He hung on despite being on the wrong side of the leadership spill. David Clark did scrape into the top 12, before being demoted after the change at the top. Mr Little is still waiting . . .

Cunliffe demoted Clark to 20. still unsure why.

19 Growth will fall short of Treasury’s pick of 2.3 per cent in the year to March but the economic mandarins will be closer to the mark on unemployment, which will be near their 6.9 per cent forecast. 0/10. Don’t take investment advice from us (or Treasury). Growth actually bettered Treasury’s forecast reaching 2.7 per cent in the March year, while unemployment fell to a surprisingly low 6.2 per cent – though there was some questioning of the data.

A good one to be wrong on.

20 David Bain will be paid some compensation, even though a second review will be more ambivalent about his innocence – but he will get less than $1 million. 0/10. We are still awaiting the final outcome.

A new review will start once the judicial review action by Bain is dealt with.

Their overall score was 133/200. Not bad.

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My 2014 predictions

December 31st, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Here’s my 20 political predictions for 2014:

  1. Colin Craig will be a Member of Parliament by the end of 2014
  2. The election will be held in October 2014
  3. Genesis Energy will be sold by May 2014
  4. There will be two new Ministers before the election
  5. At least one electorate Labour MP will be successfully challenged for their party’s nomination (or will withdraw before the vote)
  6. At least two more National MPs will announce they will retire before the election
  7. Brendan Horan will not be an MP by the end of 2014
  8. The 2014 Budget will project a surplus of between $100 million and $250 million for 2014/15.
  9. NZ will not win the election for the UN Security Council
  10. At least two Green MPs will be ranked outside the top 15 on the Green list
  11. The Maori Party will have at least two MPs after the election
  12. Len Brown will go
  13. Hone Harawira will attend less than half the House sitting days in 2014
  14. National will campaign on tax cuts and Labour on tax increases
  15. Jamie Whyte will be elected the Leader of ACT and candidate for Epsom, but ACT will not make it back to Parliament
  16. Peter Dunne will be re-elected MP for Ohariu
  17. NZ First will have fewer MPs after the election, than they got in 2011
  18. A prominent journalist will stand as a candidate for the Kim Dotcom Party
  19. National will both gain and lose electorate seats at the election
  20. After the 2014 election, Parliament will be at least 38% female, up from 34%
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Scoring my 2013 predictions

December 31st, 2013 at 7:50 am by David Farrar

On 24 December 2012 I made 20 predictions for 2013, emulating the annual Fairfax tradition. My predictions and how I scored them were:

  1. At least two state owned power companies will have successful partial floats. – 1 (MRP and Meridian floated)
  2. Tracey Martin will be elected/anointed Deputy Leader of NZ First. – 1 (occurred a couple of months ago)
  3. Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill will not be passed into law in 2013, even if amended. – 1 (killed off near unanimously)
  4. There will be at least three new Ministers by the end of 2013 (new being not Ministers today). – 1 (Nikki Kaye, Michael Woodhouse, Nick Smith)
  5. Louisa Wall’s marriage bill will pass into law by June 2013, with at least 75 votes at third reading. – 1 (77 votes in April)
  6. David Shearer will demote at least two front-benchers to the backbenches. -1 (Street and Mahuta in February)
  7. David Carter will be elected Speaker of the House, but it will not be a unanimous vote. -1 (Elected 62 to 52 over Mallard)
  8. Paul Foster-Bell will become an MP in 2013. – 1 (May 28)
  9. The 2013 census will see two new general seats and one new Maori seat. – 0 (only one general seat and no Maori seat)
  10. David Cunliffe will not be rehabilitated and remain off the front bench. – 0 (I could argue a half mark as he wasn’t rehabilitated, he was voted in by unions and members, not caucus)
  11. An MP will get engaged and a different one will get pregnant. – 1/2 (Holly Walker announced pregnancy in May, unaware of any engagement)
  12. Current or former Members of Parliament will contest both the Wellington and Auckland Mayoralties. – 0
  13. David Clark’s Mondayisation Bill will pass 61 votes to 60 at 3rd reading. – 1 (passed 61 – 60 on 17 April)
  14. During the year at least three National MPs will announce they will retire at the 2014 election. – 1 (I would score this higher if I could – eight retirements announced so far)
  15. Over the year, National will on average of all public polls, poll higher than Labour and Greens combined but not Labour, Greens and NZ First. – 1 (On averaged National 1% higher than Lab/Gre but 3% below Lab/Gre/NZF)
  16. Brendan Horan will not be an MP by the end of 2013. – 0 (here to stay!)
  17. The 2013 Budget will project a small surplus for 2014/15. – 1 ($75m is as small as it gets!)
  18. NZ will not win the election for the UN Security Council, as too many countries think we are part of Australia who have just got elected. – 1/2 (not decided until September 2014)
  19. Winston will get thrown out of the House by the new Speaker. – 0 (I thought he had been, but can’t find a reference to it)
  20. The thresholds for parliamentary representation will remain unchanged at 5% party vote or 1 electorate seat. – 1

So overall I score myself 14/20. Happy with that.

UPDATE: An MP did get engaged in 2013, but they also got unengaged later. However I still score that as a 1/2 so my score goes up to 14.5/20.

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Fairfax’s 2013 projections

January 5th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Fairfax gallery team have made their 2013 projections:

1. At an annual salary of almost $145,000 plus allowances, Brendan Horan will continue to believe he is needed in the House and will tough out the criticisms and stay on in Parliament – unless police intervene.

2. Official interest rates will end the year no higher than they started it at 2.5 per cent, and if the Reserve Bank moves at all it will be to cut the OCR.

3. David Shearer will win unanimous support for his leadership from his caucus in the February vote, and remain safe from any serious challenge throughout the year.

4. Aaron Gilmore will return to Parliament and be joined by a least one other replacement list MP – though Mr Gilmore will make no better an impression this year than first time around.

5. Arise Sir Lockwood Smith. The former Speaker will be knighted in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

6. Hekia Parata will remain in the Cabinet but lose the education portfolio.

7. Labour will rewrite its list selection rules to give the regions and the unions less power, but not without a major controversy.

8. National will fail to find a cross party “consensus” on changes to the MMP rules, but opposition parties will pledge to implement the main Electoral Commission recommendations if they win power.

9. The referendum opposing the sale of state assets will get the numbers and go ahead in October. But the part-sale of Mighty River Power will go ahead, after the Maori court challenge over water rights fails. The Government will also sell shares in Meridian and Genesis this year.

10. John Key will make international headlines again for a gaffe to rival the Beckham putdown, but he will resist the urge to become a fulltime talkback host.

11. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples will bow to pressure and give up the co-leadership, opening the way for Te Ururoa Flavell. But Dr Sharples will not relinquish his portfolios.

12. Maurice Williamson and one other minister will announce that they are not standing for re-election in 2014.

13. A new Right-wing party will emerge, offering to fill the need for an ally for National. But National will be less than enthusiastic.

14. The Government will launch the year with a major economic policy promising to boost job numbers and make employment its priority.

15. A minister will resign over allegations surrounding events that emerge from the past.

16. As a consolation for missing out on the Speakership, National list MP Tau Henare will be offered a diplomatic post in the Pacific.

17. The Green Party will not top 15 per cent in any major political poll in 2013.

18. Andrew Little and David Clark will be promoted to the Labour top 12 and Nanaia Mahuta will not hold the prime responsibility for education by year’s end.

19. Growth will fall short of the Treasury’s pick of 2.3 per cent in the year till March but the economic mandarins will be closer to the mark on unemployment, which will be near their 6.9 per cent forecast.

20. David Bain will be paid some compensation even though a second review will be more ambivalent about his innocence – but he will get less than $1 million.

No 13 could be interesting. Not sure about the unions having less power in Labour list ranking, as they just gave them increased power in leadership selections.

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Fairfax scores its 2012 predictions

December 31st, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Fairfax gallery team put up 20 political predictions at the start of each year. I like that they are game enough to do so, as events can be hard to predict.

They have scored their 2012 predictions and got 126.5/200. Their best prediction:

3. Former forecaster Brendan Horan will prove to be NZ First’s own weather bomb.

Soothsaying at its very best. The embarrassing allegations about his use of his dying mother’s money, and his expulsion from NZ First speak for themselves. He was the party’s weakest link, goodbye. We thought it was worth a good 10/10 but the auditor gave a generous 12.5/10 noting it was “luck bordering on genius”.

A good call indeed. Balanced with:

17. NZ First will pick former North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams as its deputy leader.

Winston Peters is still teasing that an announcement will be made “soon” but after a year we are still waiting so . . . 0/10

I think they will annoint one in 2013, and it will be Tracey Martin.

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20 predictions for 2013

December 24th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Okay, let’s see if I can improve upon 9.5/20 as I got for 2012 predictions. Here goes ,y predictions for 2013.

  1. At least two state owned power companies will have successful partial floats.
  2. Tracey Martin will be elected/anointed Deputy Leader of NZ First.
  3. Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill will not be paseed into law in 2013, even if amended.
  4. There will be at least three new Ministers by the end of 2013 (new being not Ministers today).
  5. Louisa Wall’s marriage bill will pass into law by June 2013, with at least 75 votes at third reading.
  6. David Shearer will demote at least two front-benchers to the backbenches.
  7. David Carter will be elected Speaker of the House, but it will not be a unanimous vote.
  8. Paul Foster-Bell will become an MP in 2013.
  9. The 2013 census will see two new general seats and one new Maori seat.
  10. David Cunliffe will not be rehabilitated and remain off the front bench.
  11. An MP will get engaged and a different one will get pregnant.
  12. Current or former Members of Parliament will contest both the Wellington and Auckland Mayoralties.
  13. David Clark’s Mondayisation Bill will pass 61 votes to 60 at 3rd reading.
  14. During the year at least three National MPs will announce they will retire at the 2014 election.
  15. Over the year, National will on average of all public polls, poll higher than Labour and Greens combined but not Labour, Greens and NZ First.
  16. Brendan Horan will not be an MP by the end of 2013.
  17. The 2013 Budget will project a small surplus for 2014/15.
  18. NZ will not win the election for the UN Security Council, as too many countries think we are part of Australia who have just got elected.
  19. Winston will get thrown out of the House by the new Speaker.
  20. The thresholds for parliamentary representation will remain unchanged at 5% party vote or 1 electorate seat.
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Scoring the Dom Post’s 2009 predictions

December 31st, 2009 at 9:51 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post gallery team make a set of 20 predictions at the beginning of each year, and get them marked at year end. They’re the only team brave enough to make predictions, so good on them.On the 1st of January 2009 I added in my own thoughts on the predictions.

I comment on the results, and add in my own scores:

1. Attempts to reach cross-party accord over the Electoral Finance Act will founder and its replacement will prove a thorn in National’s side as the parliamentary term rolls on.

The Greens were not happy with the interim return to the previous rules. Labour carped but backed it. The issue has slipped off the radar for now, thanks to Simon Power’s glacial consultation process, but we are still waiting for a new law. In the Christmas spirit a generous 5/10

That is a bit generous. While there have been some aspects Labour and Greens have not agreed with, it hasn’t been a thorn at all, as the process has been so open and transpaent. I’d say 3/10 at best.

2. Former prime minister Helen Clark will be appointed to an overseas post and quit Parliament before the end of the year, to be replaced in her seat by Phil Twyford.

Right call on resignation and overseas post, wrong on replacement. It went to Phil Goff’s hand-picked candidate David Shearer, partly to stop Judith Tizard returning off the list. Note to selves: Never underestimate Labour’s factionalism or its ability to kneecap those out of favour. 5/10

5/10 is a fair score. I should point out that I had already blogged about the Tizard Factor before 2009 started.

3. Former finance minister Michael Cullen will be gone from Parliament by lunchtime on Budget day – or soon after.

We read your mind, Mikey! 10/10

Yep. 10/10

4. National’s early attempt at reaching out to the unions will quickly fall by the wayside as workers mobilise against plans to extend the 90-day probation law and roll back the Holidays Act.

Things started turning very sour toward the end of the year, with a fight looming over the Holidays Act. But we lose marks for failing to highlight the biggest union bugbear; ACC reform. 8/10

Not a difficult prediction. I’d even go 9/10.

5. Miss Clark’s right-hand woman – H2, or Heather Simpson – will pop up in a surprising new role.

Our independent assessors reckon it is no surprise she followed Helen Clark to a job at the United Nations, but we did not know Miss Clark would get the job when we made the prediction, so there. 8/10

Perhaps more surprising is that Heather is still there, as she originally agreed to three months only. 8/10 also.

6. Annette King will signal her intention to quit Parliament before the next election, making way for a deputy leadership candidate from the Left of the Labour Party.

We were as wrong as a wrong thing. We would like to unreservedly apologise to the member for Rongotai for our negativity and cynicism. This year, maybe? 0/10

I said at the beginning of the year that I thought 2010 was more likely than 2009 for a retirement. Agree this is a 0/10

7. There will be at least two by-elections triggered during the course of the year.

Only one. We tried a partial justification by saying Hone Harawira was “that close” to going, and it was not our fault Richard Worth was a list MP, but our reviewers were unbending. 5/10

Two was a ballsy call. 5/10 for one right.

8. The Reserve Bank will lower interest rates to less than 4 per cent, but the Government will bow to pressure to boost the economy with even more fiscal stimulus than is currently in the pipeline.

Boy, did Alan Bollard go under 4 per cent! The rate hit a low of 2.5 per cent and is forecast to stay there till mid-2010. With some extra money for infrastructure and one last spendup in the 2009 Budget, not to mention the cycleway (so we won’t) things were more expansionary than they looked at Christmas 2008. We lose a mark because the tax cuts went west for now but, on the other hand, so did Cullen fund contributions. 9/10

A bit generous. There wasn’t a huge amount of extra fiscal stimulus so I would make it 7/10.

9. There will be trouble within ACT that will sideswipe the Government as its feisty members agitate against the Government’s economic line.

Sir Roger Douglas did little but agitate against the Government’s economic picks, as did the whole party over the Maori seats on the Auckland super-city and the emissions trading scheme … and then there was Rodney Hide’s travelling junket show and his unguarded remarks about John Key’s do-nothing style. We could go on, but then we’d have to give ourselves 11 out of 10, which our independent assessors say is not allowed. Grinches. 10/10

An easy prediction. 10/10 is fair enough.

10. The plan to cap and reduce the number of bureaucrats will create even more bureaucrats.

More here, less there – a mixed picture overall and the full extent of the Whanau Ora policy, and its potential for a parallel bureaucracy, is yet to be seen. A perhaps generous 6/10.

I think this one is a clear failure – maybe 3/10. There is no doubt the numbers have reduced. I would mark it 3/10.

11. National’s poll ratings will stay above 40 per cent despite the economic crisis.

10/10. But we wish we had been brave enough to say 50 per cent.

Yeah too easy in hindsight. 10/10

12. Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will announce that she will stand aside and is likely to be replaced by Metiria Turei.

Sorry, Sue Bradford, but we always thought this is the way it would go. 10/10

I thought Jeanette might announce her retirement in 2009 and have the replacement elected in 2010. Didn’t expect her to vacate her role so quickly. Don’t think anyone but Sue Bradford ever thought she would become co-leader. 10/10

13. A junior minister will have egg on their face within six months, testing Mr Key’s promise to set a high level of accountability.

We have only two words to say to that. Richard Worth. Bingo. 10/10

An easy prediction also. Worth noting that Worth of course went quickly. 10/10

14. Jim Anderton will finally signal an end to his long parliamentary career, putting the future of his Progressive Party in doubt.

He has effectively folded the tent and merged his party with Labour under a “joint membership” clause, even handing over his key strategist John Pagani to advise Phil Goff and help run the Mt Albert by-election. But at 71, and even after a bout of pneumonia, he is vowing to fight on so we still await the public announcement of his quitting date. 8/10

I’d score this 5/10 as he has not made an announcement yet. My pick is for 2010.

15. Labour will be a very strong opposition, with poll ratings in the high 30s by year’s end.

They were relatively good in opposition, but the “very” and the fact that they have struggled to get above 35 per cent means our rating is even worse than Phil Goff’s here. 2/10

The last poll of the year had them at 27.5%. Agree 2/10.

16. Lockwood Smith will prove to be a flexible and able Speaker, promoting Parliament’s traditions without too many histrionics … or the need to bellow “Order!” as loudly as his predecessor.

You heard it here first, folks. His approach to holding ministers to account and his restrained manner have proved a winner. 10/10

A good pick and deserved 10/10.

17. Labour’s ousted West Coast MP Damien O’Connor will be back – if he wants to be – but those occupying the next few slots on the list will come under considerable pressure to step aside, in the interests of renewal, if more replacement MPs are needed.

He is back, and boy, have the others come under pressure – see our comments on Phil Twyford, David Shearer and Judith Tizard above. 10/10

Yep. 10/10

18. The Maori Party will find itself voting against the Government far more than it votes for it, especially on law and order and social issues, leading to some soul-searching among its MPs.

A poorly worded prediction, which loses points for vagueness. As a support party they were with the Government on most bills, but on a raft of controversial bills there were obvious divisions, with in some cases the party casting split votes. 3/10

A fair score. Agree on 3/10.

19. The emissions trading scheme will survive, and with few changes.

It has survived, largely intact, but the expected Labour-National deal did not eventuate so the changes were more extensive than we expected. 6/10

About right. I’d even make it 7/10 as the changes are not as major as some claim.

20. Finance Minister Bill English will embrace Labour spokesman David Cunliffe’s offer of a bipartisan approach to the world economic meltdown. Yes, we are joking.

Perhaps we should have points deducted for sarcasm, but it had a serious point too – Labour has repeatedly tried and failed to get National around the bipartisan table so Phil Goff can share the limelight with John Key. 10/10

Not sure Cunliffe is into job sharing either :-)

That is a final score of 145 points out of a possible 200 – a small improvement on 2008 but maybe not enough to trade in the word processor for a crystal ball.

I scored it slightly lower at 140/200, but still a pretty good result.

In 2007 they scored themselves 145 and I scored them 127. In 2008 they scored themselves 138 and I scored 132. In 2009 it is 145 and 140 respectively.

Modesty prevents me from scoring my own predictions, but I will point out that I did get right the Phil Twyford and Annette King predictions :-)

I look forward to the 2009 predictions tomorrow. Maybe iPredict can set up markets on some of them, so we can see what the public think!

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Dominion Post’s 2009 Predictions

January 1st, 2009 at 5:38 pm by David Farrar

Stuff has the 2009 Dominion Post Predictions:

1: Attempts to reach cross-party accord over the Electoral Finance Act will founder and its replacement will prove a thorn in National’s side as the parliamentary term rolls on.

Not so sure about this. I think there is a limit to what the parties will agree on, but should not be a thorn or National so long as it allows good process. Remember there are two stages to this – the repeal of he EA which will happen early next year and the passing of a new law to replace it, which probably won’t happen until late 2009/2010. In the interim the old Electoral Act will apply but with the transparency provisions around donations inserted into them.

2: Former prime minister Helen Clark will be appointed to an overseas post and quit the House before the end of the year, to be replaced in her seat by Phil Twyford.

Heh I named Twyford at the replacement some weeks ago. They just need to find a solution to the Tizard problem I blogged about.

3: Former finance minister Michael Cullen will be gone from Parliament by lunchtime on Budget day – or soon after.

Yep, that is the timing I would expect.

4: National’s early attempt at reaching out to the unions will quickly fall by the wayside as workers mobilise against plans to extend the 90-day probation law and roll back the Holidays Act.

Well most unions will attack National, regardless o what National does. They are effectively branches of the Labour Party. If the Dom Post is suggesting the 90 day probation period law will be extended this year, then I think they are wrong.

5: Miss Clark’s right-hand woman – H2, or Heather Simpson – will pop up in a surprising new role.

Who knows. Simpson is incredibly capable, and is too young to retire so will do something. However a job where you have to persuade people instead of instruct them could pose a challenge.

6: Annette King will signal her intention to quit Parliament before the next election, making way for a deputy leadership candidate from the Left of the Labour Party.

Also predicted here some time ago.  The question is whether Andrew Little will go for Rongotai or Hutt South. Having said that I do not think King will announce her retirement in 2009. I would expect it more mid 2010.

7: There will be at least two by- elections triggered during the course of the year.

Hmmn ballsy call. Mt Albert is an obvious one. Rongotai may have been a possibility before she became Deputy Leader. Hodgson will be bored, but can’t see him going early. Maybe a National MP becomes an Ambassador?

8: The Reserve Bank will lower interest rates to less than 4 per cent, but the Government will bow to pressure to boost the economy with even more fiscal stimulus than is currently in the pipeline.

Not sure they can afford to. 5% o GDP is at the upper end around the world, and we have a structural deficit. You could only do it if you suspend contributions to the Cullen Fund – that way borrowing would not increase but we would have a greater stimulus.

9: There will be trouble within ACT that will sideswipe the Government as its feisty members agitate against the Government’s economic line.

Fairly easy call. The question is whether it will be constructive criticism, or the other sort.

10: The plan to cap and reduce the number of bureaucrats will create even more bureaucrats.

Ha, except they may be called consultants. Actually I am not as cynical as the Dom Post. I think you will see a signiicant slow down and even maybe a halt to the massive growth in the bureaucracry. Will be an interesting one to watch.

11: National’s poll ratings will stay above 40 per cent despite the economic crisis.

I’m not so sure. Governments tend to get held responsible and it could be a very short honeymoon. But overall I think probably will stay in the 40s, but could have the odd dip below.

12: Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will announce she will stand aside and is likely to be replaced by Metiria Turei.

Yepm the only question is whether it is in 2009 or 2010. I suspect she announces in 2009 and Turei is elected in 2010.

13: A junior minister will have egg on their face within six months, testing Mr Key’s promise to set a high level of accountability.

Almost inevitable. But mere egg on the ace is not a sackable offence. It depends on how long the egg boils or.

14: Jim Anderton will finally signal an end to his long parliamentary career, putting the future of his Progressive Party in doubt.

I don’t think there is much doubt over its future. Again this may be a 2010 announcement though.

15: Labour will be a very strong opposition, with poll ratings in the high 30s by year’s end.

Yep I have said they will be strong. And they got 34% so getting high 30s should not be hard. But will votes come from Greens or National?

16: Lockwood Smith will prove to be a flexible and able speaker, promoting Parliament’s traditions without too many histrionics . . . or the need to bellow “Order!” as loudly as his predecessor.

I hope so, and so far has looked good in the job. Peters gone helps.

17: Labour’s ousted West Coast MP Damien O’Connor will be back – if we wants to be – but those occupying the next few slots on the list will come under considerable pressure to step aside, in the interests of renewal, if more replacement MPs are needed.

Dead right. Again I said this a few weeks ago. After Damien they have a series of undesirables on the list. One or two may step aside, but will all of them?

18: The Maori Party will find itself voting against the Government far more than it votes for it, especially on law and order and social issues, leading to some soul- searching among its MPs.

I’m not sure it will. I think it will vote for more Government bills than against. But certainly some issues will test their MPs.

19: The emissions trading scheme will survive, and with few changes.

Probably the very changes indicated in National’s manifesto.

20: Finance Minister Bill English will embrace Labour spokesman David Cunliffe’s offer of a bipartisan approach to the world economic meltdown. Yes, we are joking.

Heh, only if they can agree to job share :-)

As always, will be good to score in a year’s time.

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Scoop’s predictions

November 4th, 2008 at 7:35 am by David Farrar

Scoop have done a very long and superb article focusing on the election and individual electorates including predictions of  who will win what electorate. Also some insights into how Clark will keep Goff from becoming Leader:

Publicly and within the media, Phil Goff is seen as Helen Clark’s most likely successor.

Clearly he has prime ministerial and leadership qualities. Politically, he’s savvy. He’s young enough to progress the country forward to a new level. He is more of a pragmatist than most National MPs, but sounder on human rights and justice. Once free to display to the public the leadership talents that he currently keeps clothed, Phil Goff would likely counter the populist lures of National’s leader John Key. Surely, Labourites would fall in behind to assure a chance at challenging National’s rise – albeit post-election and after Helen Clark…

But the factional whispers talk of a different future for Labour. Sources suggest earlier this year the feminists and unionists forged a pact. Scenarios were shaped. The rainbow block was pulled in close. The word was: Helen Clark would be secure until she chose to leave – irrespective of whether Labour was in government or opposition. Seems fair and only right considering the talent she offers.

But a plan was sprung.

First off, the unionists moved to have Mark Gosche become Labour Party president after Mike Williams departs after the election. After-Clark, the unionists and feminists and the rainbows will move to block the Goff-camp from taking leadership. They will shuffle David Cunliffe as a contender. The feminists move Maryan Street forward as a contender for deputy leadership. Ruth Dyson and Street will be the powerbrokers and the unionists will want to fast-track Andrew Little into parliament and then through the ranks. Phil Twyford would be a front runner for the Mt Albert electorate – again should Helen Clark eventually step down.

Read the full thing, but this is the summary of their predictions. Seat changes are bolded:

  • Northland: National holds Far North, Whangarei and Rodney
  • West Auckland: Key holds Helensville. Carter and Cunliffe hold Te Atatu and New Lynn. Waitkaere to be close with Pillay holding on with under 1,000
  • North Shore: National holds East Coast Bays, North Shore and Northcote whose majority will be at least 4,000
  • Auckland City: Clark holds Mt Albert easily. Goff holds Mt Roskill by around 4,000. Peachey holds Tamaki by 10,000 or more. Hide to retain Epsom. They predict Nikki Kaye to win Auckland Central by 2,000 votes. Also Pesata Sam Lotu-Inga to win Maungakiekie by 1,500 votes.
  • South Auckland: Labour holds Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East – with Field losing by a large number in Mangere, Hawkins by 4,000 and Robertson by his largest ever majority. Williamson to win Pakuranga and Pansy Wong to win Botany with over 60% of the vote. Collins to win Papakura even though it should be a Labour seat. Hutchison to win Port Waikato
  • Waikato: Ardern to hold Taranaki-King Country. Tisch to win Waikato by 10,000 or more. Goudie to hold Coromandel. Hamilton West too close to call between Gallagher and Macindoe.  Hamilton East to return Bennett by 5,000 or more. Louise Upston to win Taupo. Simon Bridges to beat Winston Peters by at least 3,000. Ryall to hold Bay of Plenty by 12,000. Tolley to hold East Coast by 6,000. In Rotorua Todd McClay to win by 3,000 votes.
  • Central North Island: In New Plymouth Duynhoven will hold on but result may be closer than one would expect. Borrows to retain Whanganui by 5,000 votes. Iain Lees-Galloway to hold Palmerston North for Labour. Nathan Guy to beat Darren Hughes in Otaki. In Napier Tremain to win with Labour distant second. Foss to extend his majority in Tukituki. Hayes to extend majority also in Wairarapa. Power to increase majority by 20% in Rangitikei.
  • Wellington: Labour to retain Rongotai, Wellington Central, Mana, Hutt South and Rimutaka.  Dunne to hold Ohariu.
  • South Island: National to hold Kaikoura, Nelson, Selwyn, Rangitata, Waitaki, Clutha-Southland and Invercargill. West Coast-Tasman very close but O’Connor with a slim lead.  In Christchurch Labour holds Port Hills and Christchurch East easily. Brownlee romps home in Ilam and Anderton rettains Wigram for life. In Waimakariri they predict Cosgrove will hold off Wilkinson – but only by a whisker. For Christchurch Central they say it is too close to call but suggest Burns comes through if voters are not too parochial. Hodgson and Curran to win Dunedin North and South respectively.
  • Maori Seats: No predictions, just reported poll results

I can’t comment in detail on what seats I think will change hands but will say there isn’t too much I disagree with Scoop on – however I do certainly differ in three or four seats, so will be interesting to see.

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