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.