Mt Albert

When is a win… a win?

Lethargy won in Mt Albert.

It does show that Mt Albert is ripe for a bit of external campaign pressure. ?With that level of lethargy, anyone can take that electorate in September. ? But I doubt a party will bother as it will prefer to put energy into true marginals.

More importantly for Jacinda Ardern, it has elevated her profile once more. ?Little would be an idiot not to have her front and centre for the general election.


– Twitter

More people are seeing Jacinda’s star on the rise

Claire Trevett declares the Mt Albert rout the most boring by-election ever. ? But it has once again boosted Ardern’s profile:

It is likely by now Little is wondering if he could squeeze a bit more profile and a few points in the polls out of having Ardern as his deputy instead of King.

That is no indictment of King – but there is a bit of magic about Ardern.

The by-election was a handy chance to road test how the two went side by side on the campaign trail.

Other than that the only vaguely interesting bit was The Opportunities Party leader Gareth Morgan saying the by-election would be a litmus test on whether the party stood in the general election. It’s a silly litmus test – Geoff Simmons was hardly well known there.

Like a school sports day, it was reduced to being about participation rather than competition.

The concept of using Jacinda as political eye candy has to be considered. ?Other MPs jobs may depend on it. ? Read more »

Face of the Day

Photo: Photo / Nicholas Jones via NZ Herald

Well, she did it. ?She absolutely creamed everyone else standing for parliament in Mt Albert. ?And with it, Jacinda Ardern is now a Labour electorate MP. ?More importantly, she’s now permanently embedded and, believe it or not, on track to become party leader. ? Read more »

“Strangest election” really just a total waste of money

Auckland’s Mt Albert electorate is having one of the strangest election contests New Zealand has seen. The only real contenders are two young women from the same side of the political fence who get along so well they have carpooled on the campaign…

Labour’s Jacinda Ardern and the Green’s Julie Anne Genter are trying to hold a contest between parties that might campaign as a prospective coalition at the general election in September. The Greens certainly intend to do so, they have decided not to stand a candidate in Peter Dunne’s Ohariu seat in the hope that Labour’s new recruit, former Police Association spokesman Greg O’Connor, can win it and deprive National of a likely coalition partner.

The Green strategy does seem a little confused. ?As a list-only party, they need to be campaigning for the party vote wherever they can. ?? Read more »

The Mt Albert by-election freak show has got its cast list published

The Electoral Commission has released the candidate and voting place details for the Saturday 25 February by-election in the Mt Albert electorate.

Thirteen candidates are seeking election as the Mt Albert Member of Parliament. Four advance voting places will be available, and 23 voting places will be open on election day.

Nominations for the by-election have closed, and the following candidates have been confirmed: Read more »

Bill English is “gutless”?

While Andrew Little is cycling in the South Island Labour are using Wes Craven’s dental nurse to put the hits in.

The 69 year old old bint who is deputy leader has called National and Bill English “gutless” for not standing in the Mt Albert by-election.

Labour is ready and keen to talk about the problems facing electors in Mt Albert despite the gutless decision of Bill English not to front a National candidate there, says Labour Deputy Leader Annette King.

“English is running scared from his first test as a leader. He clearly doesn?t want another bloody nose after the Mt Roskill defeat.

“We are more than ready for another contest and relish the chance to talk to people in Mt Albert about how Labour can help them deal with the problems around rising crime, health, public transport and housing affordability.

“It?s typical of National. They don?t like building houses, so they don?t have a Housing Minister. They don?t like by-elections so they don?t run in them. ? Read more »

Nats won’t play in Mt Albert by-election

The National party isn’t going to waste any time or money on the Mt Albert by-election.

The National Party will not be standing a candidate in next year’s Mt Albert by-election.

Prime Minister Bill English said the by-election would be held on 25 February.

The seat will be left vacant when the resignation of Labour’s David Shearer takes effect on 31 December.

Labour is yet to confirm its candidate, but list MP Jacinda Ardern has said she would like to stand for the seat.

Mr English said his party was focused on winning the general election later in the year. ? Read more »

A by-election Labour can ill afford

Labour is faced with another by-election after David Shearer quits the Labour party for the peace and quiet of South Sudan.

He will be able to reacquaint himself with mango distribution from the back of a truck.

Shearer is expected to be formally announced as the head of the UN’s mission in war-torn South Sudan on Tuesday and will resign almost immediately. His job starts at the end of January.

That will spark a byelection in his Mt Albert seat unless English opts for an early election, which is unlikely.

Labour’s candidate is likely to be MP Jacinda Ardern, who now lives in the electorate but was initially aiming for a third tilt at winning the marginal Auckland Central seat. ? Read more »

Phil Quin reckons Little should run in Mt Albert

Following on from Farrar’s sledge, Phil Quin also made the suggestions that Andrew Little run in Mt Albert:

Let’s be honest: few outside his notoriously bolshy inner circle could contend with a straight face that?Andrew Little is a naturally gifted politician.

The Labour leader is a grafter, whose talents fail to match his ambitions by some considerable margin.

The “Angry Andy”?thing has stuck, as tends to happen when alliterative nicknames align so neatly with public perception.

Little approaches media interviews as hand to hand combat; his tone veering between defensive and pugilistic.

It’s as if he considers questions from journalists impertinent by their very nature.

What’s more, Little often seems woefully underprepared for what should be considered straightforward lines of inquiry.

It’s hard to tell who dreads the Labour leader’s TV appearances the most: Little himself, the interviewer, or the viewing public, all of whom cringe to varying degrees through the awkward encounters.

Read more »

Things are pretty bad for Cunliffe & Labour when Brian Rudman attacks

Brian Rudman usually saves his columns in the Herald to call for subsidies for the arts or the building and/or restoration of his favourite theatre.

A dyed int he wool cloth cap socialist spending his last days in print typing away interviewing his keyboard he sometimes comes up with a ripper.

Yesterday he excoriated David Cunliffe and Labour:

Late Saturday night, while Labour Party workers were still cleaning up the blood from the worst electoral thrashing the party had received since 1922, leader David Cunliffe was busy on his computer trying to save his skin. In a mass mailing to members and supporters he said, “Let’s congratulate ourselves” on “a campaign well-fought” and declared his intention to stay on as leader.

Just how he can declare himself “immensely proud” of a campaign that resulted in Labour receiving 22,353 fewer election night votes than in 2011 against a two-term National Government is a mystery. Only measured against the 2011 election night calamity when Labour lost 165,000 votes on its 2008 result, does Saturday’s result start to look less than a total disaster.

After the 2008 debacle, leader Phil Goff immediately fell on his sword, to be replaced first by David Shearer, and then when he was judged to be under-performing, by Cunliffe. Now it’s Cunliffe’s turn. His departure seems inevitable.

It was a disaster. Nowhere int eh world, generally, does a government win a third term on an increased vote, and certainly not ever before under the mMP system, let alone majority. The scale of the disaster for the left has yet to be realised.

It took National two election to recover from Bill English’s disastrous 2002 election campaign. I suspect it will take Labour much longer. Especially as their fool leader won’t quit.

Whether kicking and screaming or gracefully is over to him. The problem for Labour is, who next? The retread, David Shearer; the steady back room policy wonk, David Parker; or the new generation team of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern?

Labour’s challenge is not just solving its leadership problems. It also has to decide whether it wants, in two years’ time, to celebrate its 100th birthday celebrations as the generally accepted, centre-left “broad church” alternative to the National Party. Under MMP, this is no longer a given. Since the election, both Green co-leader Russel Norman and New Zealand First’s Winston Peters have made claims to the leadership of the Opposition. A try-on for sure, but with Labour stuck in its present doldrums, is it any wonder the mice are playing?

Read more »