The 2008 Labour Party List

has released its 2008 party list, with an optimistic 77 list candidates. They have been quite bold with their rankings, which is good to see.

Labour has 85 candidates in total. 8 are standing for electorates only, 62 are standing for electorate and list and there are a massive 15 list only candidates.

The eight electorate candidates not on the list are in Ilam, Kaikoura, Manukau East, Manurewa, Napier, New Plymouth, Waikato (no candidate selected yet which is bizarre) and Whangarei.  Four of them are MPs – Hawkins, Robertson, Duynhoven and Fairbrother. This means Fairbrother is out of Parliament barring a miracle in Napier.

Labour currently has 31 seats. Polls show them behind in Te Tai Tonga and Ikaroa-Rawhiti. The latest Colmar Brunton Poll (the only one which asks electorate vote) has National at 50% and Labour at 40% on the elctorate vote. On my electoral pendulum this has Labour losing just five seats – Taupo, Rotorua, Otaki, Hamilton West and West Coast-Tasman.

Note this is not a prediction. Thsi is simply applying the gap in the polls on a linear basis to the 2005 majorities on the new boundaries. I happen to think National will pick up more seats than that, but this is the best scenario available on the public polls.

So that leaves Labour with 24 electorate seats. On the time and date weighted average of the public polls, Labour has 36.3% and there is 3.2% wasted vote giving them an effective vote of 37.5%. That would give them 45 MPs – 24 electorate MPs and 21 list MPs.

So who will be in the Labour Caucus? Well remember that Hawkins, Robertson, and Duynhoven are not on the list at all. But let us look at those who are:

On this list there would be several new Labour MPs, if their current polling holds up. They are:

  1. Rajen Prasad, Chief Families Commissioner – in on 22%
  2. Jacinda Ardern, former Clark staffer – very highly respected – in on 25%
  3. Raymond Huo, rumoured to help significantly with funding – in on 26%
  4. Phil Twyford, former Oxfam head – in on 30%
  5. Carol Beaumont – in if wins Maungakiekie or on 31%
  6. Kelvin Davis – Northland school principal – in on 31%
  7. Carmel Sepuloni – young Pacific Islander working at Auckland Uni – in on 35%
  8. Stuart Nash – defeated by Russell Fairbrother but more likely to be an MP – in on 36%
  9. Clare Curran – will win Dunedin South
  10. Grant Robertson – if he wins Wellington Central
  11. Chris Hipkins – if he wins Rimutaka
  12. Iain Lees-Galloway – if he wins Palmerston North
  13. Brendon Burns – if he wins Christchurch Central

13 new MPs would not be bad. In fact you have to congratulate Labour for finally not protecting their incumbent MPs. They should have done it last time, but better late than never. And the new intake are rather more diverse than the normal union/academic background of most of them.

Now which MPs are at risk?

  1. Russell Fairbrother – dog tucker
  2. Lesley Soper – only back in 42% – also dog tucker, and no surprise
  3. Louisa Wall – huge surprise here. She had really impressed me to date. But she has an unwinnable position unless Labour gets 41%
  4. Dave Heroera – out unless they get 40% – no loss.
  5. Martin Gallgher – out unless they get 39% or win Hamilton West
  6. Mahara Okeroa – out unless he can retain Te Tai Tonga or Labour gets 38%
  7. Mark Burton – out unless he holds Taupo (most unlikely on new boundaries) or Labour get 38%
  8. Judith Tizard – out unless she holds Auckland Central or Labour get 37%
  9. Damien O’Connor -out unless he holds West Coast-Tasman or  Labour gets 37%
  10. Rick Barker – – out if Labour drop below 34%
  11. Darien Fenton – out if Labour drop below 34%
  12. Ashraf Choudary – out if Labour drop below 33%
  13. Steve Chadwick – out if she loses Rotorua and Labour drops below 32%

Labour’s current polling would see nine go, but if the latest scandals push them down further, a further four MPs at immediate risk. The real surprise to me is Louisa Wall. She is brand new and had promise.

So what will Labour’s Caucus look like? Well on the current public polling scenario giving them 45 MPs, it would be:

  • Only 8 MPs or 18% from the South Island
  • 38% female, which isn’t bad at all
  • 49% would be aged in their 50s though
  • They would have only six Maori MPs – the same number as National! They would be Horomia, Mahuta, Jones, Ririnui, Mackey, and Davis
  • Four Pacific Island MPs – Laban, Sio, Chauvel and Sepuloni
  • Three Asian MPs – Choudary, Prasad, and Huo

Now again this is just a scenario based on public polls. The electorates won or lost will differ, and that changes things. But overall Labour look to be in pretty good shape even if they drop in the polls – they will get some new talent in, and most of the MPs they risk losing, are losable. I’d be thinking I did a pretty good job if I sat on the Labour Committee.

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