Christchurch East

Stuff reports:

 

National Party nominations for the Christchurch East open today.

 

The party's Canterbury Westland regional chairman, , said the seat, to be vacated by mayoral hopeful Lianne Dalziel, had been held by Labour since 1922.

 

A sitting government had never won a by-election in a seat it did not hold, but National had a good story to tell about the rebuild, a strong economy and improving public services, he said.

I've been amused by how Labour and some in the have been talking up National's chances in Christchurch East, suggesting the seat is marginal. Here's three facts:

  • No Government has won a seat off an Opposition in a by-election since the advent of political parties
  • National has never ever held the seat.
  • Lianne Dalziel won the seat in 2011 with a 19% margin over Aaron Gilmore

Yes National got 46% of the party vote, but that doesn't change the political reality that no Government has ever won a seat off an opposition in a by-election. There is no real incentive for voters to do so.

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