But then it occurred to me that he could siphon off a lot of Labour votes by highlighting their policies on wages, and that he has been walking the walk on those issues, with Labour being a reluctant convert to some of them – and Kris having no history with advocacy for those on low incomes.
Matt can walk to up voters and ask them if their kids have ever worked for McDonalds, and if so Matt is the one who got them paid adult rates.
Matt can walk up to voters and ask them if any of their family have been on the minimum wage, and how he got 300,000 signatures on a petition to raise it to $15.
Matt can point out that Labour refuses to commit to a $12 minimum wage until Greens and NZ First forced them to do so, and how they refused to commit to a $15 minimum wage in Government until his union got all the sugnatures.
Matt can point out they kept youth rates in place for eight years, until the Greens forced Labour to vote to get rid of them.
If Matt succeeds in defining the race as “Who will be a more effective advocate for the low paid workers of Mana”, then he could do quite well. And the irony is that Labour was planning to make wages the centre-point of their campaign – yet if they do so they may face Matt saying “Who do you think will be a more effective advocate for increasing low income wages – the former TV reporter or me”.
UPDATE: Bryce Edwards has a must read analysis of McCarten and Mana.
UPDATE2: For a different view, Phil Quinn blogs on why McCarten will struggle to get even 400 votes.