National – The natural party of opposition, ctd

iPredict now has Shane Jones beating Pita Sharples.

For the first time, Labour’s Shane Jones is forecast to win Maori Party?co-leader Pita Sharples’ Tamaki-Makaurau seat, according to this week’s?snapshot from New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict. ?As a result, the?Maori Party is expected to hold just two seats, the same number of MPs as?the Mana Party is forecast to secure.

I do not believe Jones will win, as Sharples has done the hard yards in the electorate over many decades. Jones has worked for Maori, but not in the same way. He was at the top end of town in board meetings while Sharples was on the marae fighting for the little guy. This will count a lot for Sharples on election day.

The Tamaki-Makaurau prediction however reinforces my view that under MMP National will lose all its coalition partners and become the Natural Party of Opposition. Readers who see ACT or the Maori Party expanding their vote over the next few cycles should write why they believe this will happen in the comments section.