Tag Archive: Shanan Halbert

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.

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.