Wednesday, October 27, 2010

McCarten to stand in Mana

So former political party leader and former Labour member Matt McCarten is standing against Labour in the Mana by-election. It looks like Winnie Laban is going to have a dent in her majority. Hekia Parata may even win.

Winnie Laban got a 6155 majority in 2008. So what - two thirds of electorate MPs have an even higher majority. Many of these voters cast their party vote for someone other than Labour. And it is the party vote we should be looking at here, actually. Some voters of the left may decide to vote for McCarten.

Green voters are primarily from the far north of the electorate, which is why Jan Logie was campaigning in Paraparaumu during he weekend. In addition National gets a lot of votes from this area, whereas Labour tends to get its votes from Porirua East (especially Cannons Creek) and Titahi Bay. Three quarters of voters in these areas party- voted Labour in 2008, meaning that a good proportion in the north who voted for Winnie Laban cast their party vote for National or the Greens.

However Labour has a greater strength in the Porirua East compared to National strength in the North of the electorate, which is why Laban won in 2008. That’s not to say that Labour will win in 2010 as many Labour voters may back Hekia Parata for a candidate – and a byelection – vote in November.

In 2005 Labour got half the party vote, in 2008 it got 43%. A similar drop will see Faafoi get 36%, which is what Hekia Parata got in 2008, increasing National's 2005 vote. Of course this is a byelection so its a different dynamic. Independants have won by-elections - Winston Peters and Tariana Turia have; and Matiu Rata polled well when he contested a by election as an independant. All three started political parties that entered Parliament. Perhaps McCarten will be the next one to do that? Actually, wasn't McCarten Tariana Turia's by-election campaign manager?

The full list of contenders are : Kelly Buchanan for the Alliance, Julian Crawford for Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, Colin Du Plessis for ACT, Kris Faafoi for Labour, Libertarianz candidate Sean Fitzpatrick, Jan Logie for the Greens, Hekia Parata for National, and Unite union member Matt McCarten as an independent.

UPDATE Bryce Edwards, as always, has a good post up, discussing McCarten's candidacy. Edwards claims that if McCarten does well it will almost certainly be the launching pad for a new left political party.

I`m really looking forward to the candidate meetings now. Can someone tell me when the next one is?

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