I thought I’d do a ‘quick and dirty’ analysis of the Labour front bench vs the National front bench based on individual electoral performance.
1. David Shearer holds Mt Albert with an impressive personal majority (23rd highest majority in the country) and took a face-saving 37% of party vote for Labour
2. Grant Robertson holds Wellington Central, but Labour took a huge hit in the party vote (finishing third behind National and the Greens)
3. David Parker holds no seat and barely made a difference in Epsom even at a strategic level (15.5% of party vote for Labour). It also must have hurt having to tell voters to vote for the National candidate.
4. Jacinda Ardern has now failed multiple times to win a seat. She couldn’t even get back the Labour stronghold of Auckland Central even with strategic voting by the Greens… scary to think that Tizard can hold that seat but not the anointed Jacinda. The Labour party vote in Auckland Central was rather low as well (25.4% – Greens just behind Labour on 22%)
5. David Cunliffe holds a pretty good personal majority (over 5000) and, like Shearer, recorded 37% for the party vote in New Lynn
6. Clayton Cosgrove. Labour website stillsays Clayton holds Waimakariri but he actually lost it to Kate Wilkinson. Clayton returned 23.4% for Labour party vote
7. Shane Jones failed to win a seat again but did return one of the more respectable party votes for Labour (41.5%)
8. Nanaia Mahuta won Hauraki-Waikato again (by over 6500) and recorded the fifth highest party vote for Labour at 46.5%.
So, in all not exactly a stunning front bench as far as results. Based on electoral performance, the Cunliffe/Mahuta combo certainly is more formidable than Shearer/Robertson but Shearer and Robertson are the ‘nice guys’.
Now let’s have a look at National’s front bench:
1. John Key recorded a massive electorate vote (won by over 21,000) and party vote at 65.8%
2. Bill English also recorded a formidable electorate vote (won by over 16,000) and party vote at 62.9%
3. Gerry Brownlee won Ilam by over 13,000 and a very respectable party vote at 60.4%
4. Steven Joyce, doesn’t hold a seat and didn’t stand in one in 2011. However, as the Campaign head could claim the 48% party vote across the country
5. Judith Collins won the Papakura seat by almost 10,000 and captured over 59% of the party vote
6. Tony Ryall won Bay of Plenty by a massive 17,000+ and captured over 67% of the party vote
7. Hekia Parata lost Mana but is closing the gap in a traditionally Labour-held seat. Recorded an increase in the National party vote to a reasonable 42%
8. Chris Finlayson is a List MP. At an electorate level he only captured 33% of the party vote for National but this was an increase from 2008. Annette King proved herself once again to be a formidable opponent at electorate level.
Both front benches have a mix of electorate and list MPs, however based on the last election it is easy to surmise that National’s front bench have (as a whole) also done the work at the electoral level (even those only seeking the party vote).