Is Twyford in trouble?

Matthew Hooton blogs at

As Ian Llewellyn has pointed out already, Mr Twyford has been at some risk in Te Atatu.  Since Ian wrote his piece a few weeks ago, things have got worse for Mr Twyford, with today’s trading having the probability of him winning now down to 72% from over 80% on 1 August.

To put that in context, is now saying that Te Atatu is the fourth most marginal seat in the country, after West Coast-Tasman, Tamaki Makarau and New Plymouth.

To put it even more in context, iPredict is saying that Mr Twyford has less chance of winning Te Atatu for Labour than Nathan Guy, Ms Kaye and Sam Lotu-Iiga have of winning the previously safe Labour seats of Otaki, Auckland Central and Maungakiekie for National.

This is disastrous for Labour, especially with Paula Bennett looking stronger than ever in Waitakere, and given the political importance of West Auckland.

Worse for Mr Twyford personally, party bosses have given him the insulting low ranking of 33 on Labour’s disgraceful, protect-all-the-losers listAs I discussed recently, this means that, if Mr Twyford loses to Mr Henare, he’s toast (while Mr Henare could expect to be rewarded with a return to Cabinet for such an historic win).

Keep in mind, of course, that Mr Twyford is still most likely to win Te Atatu.  But how extraordinary that a previously safe Labour seat is now grouped with the most marginal in the country.  It suggests Labour has terrible problems in West Auckland and perhaps suggest why John Key to remain prime minister is trading so incredibly high.

As Matthew says, Twyford remains the favourite to win in Te Atatu. But a market probability of 72% is significantly below most safe seats, and indicates that one or more people are willing to spend money on the basis Twyford may not win.

If people think Twyford is a sure bet, then they should buy up his stock and make some money. If you buy at 72% and he wins, you make a 39% return on investment in just four months, which is an annualised return of 119%. So is Twyford a safer bet than a finance company?

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