BIG NEWS: 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

i-Predict update: election 2011

Pretty accurate, I recon - except I 'm not convinced that United Future will have two MPs...

John Key would be able to continue as Prime Minister after this year’s General Election with the support of one of the Act, UnitedFuture or Maori parties, this week’s snapshot from New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict, again suggests.

The snapshot also indicates that the Maori Party would be down to three MPs, with Hone Harawira expected to win Te Tai Tokerau as an independent or representing a party other than the Maori Party, while Labour’s Rino Tirikatene is now marginally favoured over the Maori Party’s Rahui Katene in Te Tai Tonga.

All party leaders are strongly expected to retain their positions through to the election. The most vulnerable continues to be Labour’s Phil Goff, but with just a 15% probability he will lose his position, down from 16% last week and 19% the week before. There is a 13% probability Maori Party co-Leader Tariana Turia will lose her position, up from 12% last week.

New parties are not expected. The probability of a new left-wing party around at least two of former Alliance President and current Unite National Secretary Matt McCarten, former Green MP Sue Bradford and Mr Harawira is down to 34%, from 37% last week. The probability of a new right-wing party around former National Party leader and Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash has lifted slightly to 11%, from 10% last week and 9% the week before.

Forecast party vote shares are: National 45.0% (down from 45.9% last week), Labour 32.3% (up from 30.5%), the Greens 8.0% (steady), New Zealand First 4.2% (down from 4.5% last week), Act 3.2% (down from 3.4%), the Maori Party 2.2% (down from 2.4%) and UnitedFuture 1.3% (down from 2.4% last week).

Act Leader Rodney Hide has a 74% probability of retaining Epsom for his party (steady from last week) and UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne a 62% probability of being re-elected in Ohariu, up from 53% probability last week.

Mr Harawira is expected to retain Te Tai Tokerau as an independent or for a party other than the Maori Party (65% probability, compared with 53% probability last week). Labour is expected to retain Ikaroa-Rawhiti (53% probability, steady compared with last week) and pick up Te Tai Tonga (50% probability), leaving the Maori Party with three seats.
Winston Peters is not expected back in Parliament, with just a 30% probability he will be elected, down from 32% last week.

Based on this data, the market is forecasting the following Parliament: National 59 MPs, Labour 42 MPs, Greens 10 MPs, Act 4 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, UnitedFuture 2 MPs and Mr Harawira. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply.

National could govern with the support of one of the Act, UnitedFuture or Maori parties. No politically plausible combination would exist to allow a Labour-led government to be formed.

The market continues to forecast a National prime minister (80% probability, up from 79% last week).

iPredict has also analysed what would happen under scenarios where Te Tai Tonga was retained by the Maori Party and/or Mr Harawira won Te Tai Tokerau for a New Left Party which won all of the 2% of the vote which is currently undecided. While the latter assumption would bring in two additional New Left MPs, there is no scenario in which Mr Key would not be able to form a government with the support of the Act Party alone.

Of the four electorates for which stocks were launched last week, Otaki is most marginal with a 60% probability it will be retained by National’s Nathan Guy over Labour’s Darren Hughes. There are no surprises in any of the other three electorates, with a 98% probability Labour’s Phil Goff will retain Mt Roskill, a 95% probability a National candidate will retain North Shore and a 93% probability a National candidate will retain Northland.

Other than Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Ohariu and Otaki mentioned above, electorates where the predicted winner has less than 65% probability of winning are: New Plymouth (60% probability of being won by Labour’s Andrew Little from National’s Jonathan Young, up from 58% last week), Waitakere (50% probability of being won by Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni from National’s Paula Bennett, down from 52% last week), and West Coast-Tasman (55% probability of being retained by National’s Chris Auchinvole over Labour’s Damien O’Connor, down from 58% probability last week and 69% the week before).

There is a 98% probability National’s Jami-Lee Ross will win the Botany by-election, down from 99% last week.

There is an 85% probability voters will elect to retain the MMP voting system in the referendum to be held on election day, up from 84% last week.

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