Tag Archive: 2018 Northcote by-election

Bidois wins Northcote

The Northcote by-election has been won, and National has held the seat, with their candidate Dan Bidois winning.

Congrats Dan and condolences Shanan.

Labour did move their share of the vote up from 2017 from 34 to 44%, but the kicker for them is that National’s share of the vote barely fell at all – their’s went from 52.8 to 51.1%.

So all of the Labour’s vote was cannibalized from the Greens and NZ First.

I think this shows the problem that Labour has – while their share of the vote continues to rise, it is all coming from the Greens and NZ First. National voters are staying staunchly with National.

How do they go about fixing that problem? I’m not sure.

However, all in all, this was a well-run campaign by Labour, and cutting a majority of 6000 down to 1000 is no simple task.

Finally, this has changed my perception of what type of seat Northcote is – before, I would have said it is a safe National seat, now, I’m calling it a seat that leans National. A well-run campaign there by Labour in 2020 could see them wrestle it off National.

Once again, congratulations Dan.

What constitutes good and bad in the Northcote by-election

Tomorrow, the Northcote by-election happens.

So, what is a good or a bad result?

An amazing result for Labour and terrible for the Nats would be if Labour’s Shanan Halbert wins Northcote. That shows huge support of the government in an electorate that is generally considered a safe National seat – and all that happening with the Greens splitting the left vote.

A great result for Labour and the left and a narrow escape for the Nats would be if National’s Dan Bidois wins, but the combined left vote – Labour + Greens – is higher then National’s total. Labour will be bitterly disappointed, of course, but it still shows huge support of the government.

Should Bidois win by around 3000 – 4000 votes, Labour will be concerned, but the Nats will be satisfied. Labour will have cut National’s majority compared to last years general election in Northcote, but by not enough for a new government, who generally gain popularity when they are still new and fresh.

Should Bidois win by over 5000 votes, National will be elated. National won Northcote by 6000 votes in the general election last year, and when you factor in the fact that by-elections tend to have lower turn out, it’s almost the same as building on their majority. This would show no new support for Labour and the government – something which would be very troubling given that new governments are generally more popular.

Tomorrow will most certainly be an interesting day.

Halbert vs Glenfield Mall

Labour’s Northcote candidate Shanan Halbert got into a spat with Glenfield Mall in Northcote a week back. 

Labour was told that both parties were not allowed to campaign in the mall, however, the following day National’s candidate Dan Bidois posted pictures on social media of him campaigning there.

Halbert went to Glenfield to try and sort it all out, but was told that despite Bidois being allowed to campaign, he would not be allowed to. In the end, security had to be called, although it looks like Glenfield’s manager just wanted him out sooner rather than later rather than Halbert being too persistent.

I can see both sides of this argument.

On one hand, it’s utterly unfair to give one candidate permission but not the other. Either give both permission or give none.

On the other hand, Glenfield is private property.

I personally side somewhat with Halbert here, but it is a sticky situation all around.

Jaung the Greens candidate

The Green party has announced their candidate for the Northcote by-election, and it’s their 2017 candidate, Rebekah Jaung.

Jaung is not really a great choice for the by-election. There’s no chance of the Greens really winning it, their participation in the by-election is just about raising their profile and showing that they are different from Labour.

The Greens would have been much better to select someone who the public actually knows, like Chloe Swarbrick or Golriz Gharaman. Both of them are new MPs with respectable public profiles. People would have known who they were.

And it’s not unheard for the Greens to stand a list MP for a by-election. Julie Anne Genter stood in Mount Albert back during the 2017 by-election there.

On the plus side, this will give Jaung a chance to show her worth to the party, and perhaps go for a higher list placing for 2020. And, if she ends up in parliament come 2020, it will give Northcote someone local in parliament.

Still, for the short term anyway, it would have been smarter for the Greens to stand one of their list MPs.

Northcote by-election Bridges’ first test

Two years ago, NZ First upset National by winning the Northland by-election.

Now, the question is whether Labour can do the same thing in the Northcote by-election.

Stuff reported:

The Northcote by-election might look like a romp in the park for National – but in reality could be anyone’s. National launched its campaign in Northcote on Sunday, and has a lot riding on its candidate Dan Bidois holding the seat.

National’s leader Simon Bridges knows how quickly things can turn better than most. He was at the sharp end of the Northland drubbing, after scarpering up there in its early days to deliver locals the promise of 10 new bridges.

The Northcote by-election is Simon Bridges’ first test as National leader.

If National’s candidate Dan Bidois wins the seat, then Simon Bridges can feel relief that, at least for the moment, the country, and what is a safe National seat, approve of him.

If Labour pull out a shocker and win Northcote, however, then Simon Bridges should be worried, especially as Labour have to deal with the Greens splitting the left vote.

And while I do see it as exceedingly unlikely that Labour and Shanan Halbert will win Northcote, it is worth noting that Bridges was only at 10% in the preferred PM poll, compared to Ardern’s 37%.

And I can also disgruntled Northcote residents using the by-election as a protest vote.

Simon Bridges, National, and Dan Bidois must all campaign like it’s the 2020 election – there is no way they can afford a repeat of Northland back in 2015.




A good decision by the Greens

The Greens have announced that they will stand a candidate in the Northcote by-election against Labour’s Shanan Halbert and National’s Dan Bidois.

The Greens were apparently tossing up about whether or not to run a candidate, mainly for financial reasons, apparently.

However, there’s also the fact that had they not run a candidate, Labour’s Shanan Halbert would have had a better chance of taking what is generally seen as a safe National seat.

But, now that they are running a candidate, they have an opportunity to try and distinguish themselves as separate from Labour, and, with the party only just above the 5% line, that is something that is sorely needed.

And, this is probably the safest opportunity for the Greens to do that.

Northcote is a safe National seat, having been held by National since 2005. Shanan Halbert’s chances of winning it were always going to be small. With the Greens running a candidate, they are now minuscule. But, given they were always small, it’s a reasonably good opportunity for the Greens to distinguish themselves.

The other opportunity they will have to do that is when it comes to the passing of certain bills in the house, such as the waka jumping bill and the Kermadec Islands marine reserve bill.

However, while going against their coalition partners in those bills might help show their independence, it will do more harm than good for the coalition as a whole.

Overall, the Greens have made a good call by standing a candidate.

Tava’s candidacy a good strategic move

Former Green party leadership contender Vernon Tava has been tipped to run for for National in the Northcote by-election.

Tava used to be a member of the Greens and ran in the male co-leadership election in 2015 (despite not being an MP) and campaigned on moving away from a left-wing party to centrist environmentalist party.

Tava left the Greens in 2017, stating that he had joined what he thought was an environmentalist party, but was actually a socialist party. He later joined the campaign team for National in the East Coast Bays electorate.

If Tava does end up running for National, then he’ll almost certainly become an MP, as Northcote is a fairly safe seat for National.

But, the fact that he appears to be a front-runner for the nomination hints at National leader Simon Bridge’s long term plans.

Tava’s environmentalist background and the fact that he is a former Green party member makes a clear political statement from National to the Greens.

Bridges is trying to cosy up to them. Bridges is hoping for a teal deal come 2020. And if Tava becomes an MP, then the teal deal chances of happening increase.

Whether a teal deal is achievable though…. Well, that’s another story.