Labour leader David Cunliffe believes the party can win the Rangitata electorate in 2014.
He said draft boundary changes, which give parts of Rakaia to Selwyn, mean the seat is “anybody’s game”.
I recall people saying Labour will win the seat in 2011 because of the South Canterbury Finance actions of the Government. They didn’t get close. Jo Goodhew is a very effective and good local MP.
In 2005 she won the Aoraki seat off Labour by 6,937. In 2008 she won Rangitata by 8,112 and in 2011 won again by 6,537. Goodhew got around 56% of the total vote and Labour’s Blanchard 37%.
In the last election Labour polled well in Timaru but National was stronger in the Ashburton district.
Labour actually lost the party vote in Timaru, but their candidate did win more votes than Goodhew there. However Timaru makes up just one third of the electorate.
Mr Cunliffe, in South Canterbury to rouse the party faithful in Temuka, believes Labour can win Ashburton this time.
“Geraldine’s coming back in, we’ll have Point, we’ll have Temuka; I think we can win this seat.”
Rangitata is losing 1,600 people only to Selwyn around Rakaia. Geraldine and Temuka are not changing and included in the 2011 result.
It looks like three polling places are lost – Rakaia, Chertsay and Dorie. Adding them up Blanchard got 249 votes and Goodhew 676. Hence her majority would be expected to drop by around 427 votes, which is around 7% of her 6,537 majority.