Even Rudman understands why Labour shouldn’t run in Northland

It seems everyone except Andrew Little understands why Labour shouldn?t have run in Northland.

Brian Rudman lays off bludging for a new theatre to point this out.

On National Radio yesterday, Labour leader Andrew Little was talking up his candidate’s chances, and questioning Mr Peters’ electoral appeal. In his position, it was the only thing he could do. He said Ms Prime “has a profile and understanding you might not see sitting in Wellington or Auckland”.

Rather desperately he added that “Labour has always struggled to get good numbers there” but “circumstances may well have changed and [she] may well be in with a chance”.That seems highly unlikely. Since the seat was created in 1996 it has been solidly National. At last September’s general election, National’s Mike Sabin, whose sudden resignation for undisclosed personal reasons triggered the present contest, scored 18,269 votes to Ms Prime’s 8969. The party vote gap was even wider, National on 17,412, Labour, 5913. New Zealand First, with no candidate, was close to Labour on 4546.

Then there is the strategic implications of placating Winston and changing the dynamics of parliament.

He says Mr Peters endorsed Kelvin Davis, Labour’s winning candidate, in the Maori seat of Te Tai Tokerau last election and now Labour should return the favour. He reckons the New Zealand First leader, who has family connections in the North, is the only person who, “on a good day”, could win the safe seat off National and create all sorts of turmoil for the Government. ?

With Mr Sabin gone, National holds 59 seats in the 121-seat Parliament. If Mr Peters were to win an electorate seat, he could resign his list seat, and under MMP rules, be replaced by the next NZ First candidate on the party list. National would be down to 59, but with support from Act leader David Seymour, United Future’s Peter Dunne and the two Maori MPs, would still have a majority in votes of confidence.

But on issues like such as reform of the Resource Management Act, National could be stranded once more. Of its allies, only Act is likely to back it.

If there was a time for the Opposition parties to think strategically and gamble on the Winston card, this was it.

Labour could try to persuade supporters to vote against their candidate, but many would not heed the call.

Andrew Little has missed an opportunity to cause problems for National and reach out to Winston Peters to show he understands the realpolitik of MMP.

Instead he is running a losing candidate in a losing campaign and pissing off Winston all at the same time.

Labour runs the real risk now of coming third, and that will be enough for Robbo and his mates to begin in earnest what is only being whispered of right now…a destablisation plan to get rid of Andrew Little.

 

– NZ Herald

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