The Dom Post political team have made 20 predictions for 2007. I’ll quote and review them below. The actual article doesn’t seem to be online.
1) A by-election in Mangere.
Not sure if there will be. Field may just go Independent once he works out Labour won’t allow him to stand again. And the Electoral Integrity Act has not yet been passed which would allow him to be forced out, and in fact without his vote they may be unable to pass it.
2) Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard will have to wait a little longer for his promotion to finance minister.
Agreed – Labour will not go into the election with Mallard as Finance.
3) For the first time since 1999 National will go a whole year without leadership speculation.
Indeed. Several years in fact, although of course Labour will try and spin such speculation.
4) British American Tobacco’s corporate box will be a politician-free zone — or at the very least there will be none puffing cigars.
They won’t be puffing cigars but I am sure as hell MPs won’t be saying no to free concert hospitality in the future.
5) Helen Clark will succeed in getting cross-party support for reform of campaign funding that will end the legacy of the pledge card, the Exclusive Brethren campaign and National’s secret donations.
There will be cross-party support to limit or close off (easier said than done) anonymous or trust donations. The area of third party campaigns is more difficult and will depend on proposals. And I am unsure what law changes would stop the pledge card being an issue in future unless it is state funding of all campaign expenses, which would certainly not have cross-party support.
6) Rodney Hide will find more money in the Act party coffers after the resignation of Don Brash but few, if any, extra votes.
Very well expressed. Yes some donors may return home, but they are going to have to work hard to convince voters they are viable.
7) Jeanette Fitzsimons will decide to stay on as Green co-leader until after the 2008 election.
Yep. Esp with Greens polling so high and that Ministerial warrant so close.
8) The Government will announce tax cuts phased in over several years that will amount to much more than the $10 a week on average that Dr Cullen has so far signalled.
Not sure they will. Cullen seems very resistant to anything beyond tokenistic.
9) NZ First MPs will start to get wobbly over their low poll rating, and speculation about their leader Winston Peters’ long-term future will start in earnest. The party will position itself closer to National.
I doubt there will be much earnest speculation. The NZ First Party is Winston Peters. As much as I admire some of their other MPs, I am unconvinced it has a brand without Peters.
10) National will stay ahead of Labour in the polls.
On average, I expect so. But not necessarily for every poll at every point. Remember the TV3 poll has *never ever* shown National ahead of Labour since the election.
11) The Maori Party will celebrate the creation of another Maori constituency seat, which it can target in 2008, increasing its influence.
The extra seat is likely, but not guaranteed, I would favour the Maori Party to pick it up if it is created though.
12) National will move on from its “Labour lite” repositioning and talk tough on health, tax, and law and order.
I wouldn’t state it that way. First task is to get rid of the negatives – Brethren, nuclear uncertainty etc. Then you need to show where you differ from Govt. That is not necessarily talking tough but may equally be policy development.
13) United Future will struggle to find a high-profile policy once the business tax-cut package is in place.
Yes, and Peter Dunne may sadly find how hard it is for minor parties to gain credit.
14) Jim Anderton’s Progressives will not hold an annual party conference — because there is not really a party left to confer with.
Matt will turn up still. And besides how else can Jim get standing ovations while awake, so I think they’ll still have one.
15) Rakaia MP Brian Connell will work out that even when he is on his best behaviour there is no welcome mat at the caucus door — and then who knows what he will do …
They key timing will be later in 2007 when the lack of a mat is obvious, plus candidate selection will be commencing. Does he retire with dignity or try and do a Neeson and fight?
16) A senior Cabinet minister will surprise everyone by announcing his or her retirement before 2008.
Hmmn I take senior to be in the top ten. It won’t be Clark, Cullen, Maharey, Goff, Mallard or Hodgson. It could well be Jim Anderton. If from Labour possibly King but unlikely. Maybe Horomia (he can only go down from here) or Burton. If one goes into the second row maybe Benson-Pope for personal reasons but he is pretty junior.
17) Miss Clark will reshuffle her ministry towards the end of the year, promoting finance and expenditure committee chairman Shane Jones.
Yes, and also Tim Barnett unless Tim has resigned to become Mayor of Christchurch.
18) Immigration Minister David Cunliffe’s competence will be rewarded with more responsibilities in the Cabinet reshuffle.
Yes, clearly earned in both Telecommunications and Immigration.
19) The minor parties will step up their co-operation, and demand a stronger voice on statutory bodies and in parliamentary processes than the old two-party club allows.
Don’t see that especially happening this year. Their best time for this was 2002 – 2005 when Labour/Nat only got 60% of the vote compared to 80% last election.
20) All the parties will set aside personal attacks and concentrate on policy. It will be wall-to-wall sweetness and light all year. Okay, we don’t expect to be right all the time.
Ha such sarcasm!