A Stuff article on how Stuart Nash was the only Labour MP to win a seat off National in 2011. How did he do it?
Here’s my summary of what worked for him:
- He campaigned relentlessly for over two years. He didn’t just turn up for the last six months
- He got himself appointed the local Labour spokesperson so he could maintain a media profile
- He identified a couple of hot local issues, and got on the popular side of them
- He had a high profile gimmick such as his red fire truck
- He had good advisors
It also helped Stuart that the incumbent MP retired. that creates opportunities, and is often the best time to win a seat off the other party.
Even though National will be seeking a fourth term in 2017, it is not at all impossible that they could pick up some electorate seats off Labour. National now has new high energy List MPs in Hutt South, Port Hills and West Coast – Tasman. The incumbent electorate MPs are probably going to retire in 2017 (or sooner if Cunliffe gets re-elected Leader), and if the new National MPs of Bishop, Korako and Pugh work hard to be great local MPs, they could win those seats in 2017.