Based on the 1 November 2021 Morgan poll and considered calibrations of experience political analysts, Labour and Greens will take the Treasury benches next General Elections - if they form a coalition.
The calculation of “colleagues with backroom political experience”, suggests that Labour will not garner sufficient votes to rule in its own rights. But on present polling and trends, it has the best chance to form the next government.
The analysis disappointed me. I felt sure I had sensed in the political breeze, a larger swing of the pendulum. However, if one accepts the bad news, one can then set about to remedy the situation.
History is a teacher.
In 1994 – when it became clear that Prime Minister Jim Bolger was going to replace First Past the Post and introduce MMP as the system to select the government in the forthcoming 1996 elections, it also became clear that my safe National seat of Hobson would evaporate. I would then be dependent on Mr Bolger for favourable List placing to return to Parliament for a fourth term. The erudite King Country farmer made it clear that was not likely.
Predicated on the following extract from Wikipedia (which I had no part in editing), if readers accept that the team which worked with me, understood and had done the maths prior to forming RoC/Conservatives, perhaps that concession might be extended to the contemporaneous analysis which we present below at, “Back to the Present”.
“Meurant often clashed with the leadership of the National Party over Maori policy, (and) in September 1994, decided to break away from National and to establish his own party, adopting the name "Right of Centre" (or "ROC"). The acronym represented Meurant's right-wing economic philosophy of privatisation of government assets.”
“Meurant held the view that the new MMP formula for delivering parliamentary seats precluded any single party from achieving an outright majority (except in the most exceptional circumstances).
“Misguidedly, he anticipated that Prime Minister Bolger and his trusted aide, Finance Minister Bill Birch, would recognise the mathematical inevitability of the MMP formula and embrace Meurant and the former National party conspirators (former Lt colonel Rob Munro x MP Invercargill & Graeme Reeves, lawyer x MP Miramar), in a post-election coalition.
“But Meurant had mis-read the animosity Bolger had for him that, in the final analysis, condemned Meurant’ party to oblivion.
“Though history did vindicate Meurant’ belief that the MMP formula would not deliver an outright winning party at the polls.
“In fact, in 1996, the Bolger government finally accepted the inevitability of Meurant’s claim and reached a pact with ACT, the second political party to be formed under MMP.” (1)
Back to the present.
“Except in the most exceptional circumstances”, transpired in 2019 when a tragedy for the country produced a fortuitous event for Jacinda Ardern, elevating her to international acclaim as she haemorrhaged grief across the media.
The Christchurch massacres, followed as they were by another world profiling tragedy; the White Island volcano eruption shortly after the 2019 General election, cemented her as a new world face.
Back home, an extended period of No COVID provided another fortuitous twist which allowed the Government to entrench a rule of fear. Faceless bureaucrats intimidated thousands, with their worst-case scenarios.
Like sheep, New Zealanders paid fealty to this new Icon (in this case herdswoman), as she ruled with impervious arrogance often refusing media scrutiny. (2) Meanwhile, “Rome burned”, or in our case, commercial activity plummeted as the aspirations of small to medium business owners were trashed.
It took Sir John Key to shake the sheep from dreamtime when he proclaimed: “We need to break free of the hermit kingdom and stop ruling by fear on Covid-19,” (3) while a blog by business tycoon High Perrett on “Maorification” (4) seemed to encourage a change from obsequies acceptance of Labour’s policies of dividing the nation on the basis of ethnicity. (5)
These recent contributions by successful profile New Zealanders, seem to have provided a turning point for the pendulum of power. I thought I felt in the winds of change but based on recent polling (includes Morgan poll 1 November 2021 and political experience of sage but hitherto silent contributors), it seems the breeze is yet a zephyr.
The Party vote rose from 956,184 in 2017 to 1,443,546 in 2020. 1 Nov 21 poll 39.5% down from 50% Election Night. A loss of 303,145 votes from the election total of 1,443,546.
46 electorate seats, 19 list seats = 65 total.
November Roy Morgan poll:
39.5% =51 MPs.
20 Electorate seats lost i.e., from 46 to 26
26 electorate + 25 list (which is what the MMP formula delivers) = 51 seats total.
On the assumption that the lost voters gave “two ticks” to Labour in 2019, taking only the General (not Maori) seats, that is a loss of 5052 constituent votes per General electorate.
Maori party to hold their Electorate seat, given the “favours” bestowed on them by this Government
If the General Election was now.
Even if NONE of these votes go to the second placed candidate then any Labour Electorate MP with a majority of less than 5052 is “gone”.
Hamilton East – Strange – 2973 majority – GONE
Hutt Sth – Anderson – 3777 majority – GONE
Ilam – Pallett – 3463 majority – GONE
Maungakeikei – Radhakrishnan - 635 majority – GONE
Nelson – Boyack - 4525 majority – GONE
New Plymouth – Bennett – 2555 majority – Gone
Northcote – Halbert – 2534 majority – GONE
Northland – Prime – 163 majority – Gone
Otaki – Ngobi – 2988 majority – GONE
Rangitata – Luxton – 4408 majority – GONE
Tukituki – Lorck – 1590 majority – GONE
Upper Harbour - Walters – 2392 majority – Gone
Whangarei – Henderson – 431 majority – GONE
Minimum probability: 13 Constituency seats lost, all to National i.e., returning to their usual home.
However, if ALL of the 5052 lost Labour votes go to the second placed candidate then a majority of more than 10104 is required for Labour Member to survive.
East Coast – Allen – 6331 majority – GONE
Hamilton West – Sharma – 6267 majority – GONE
Napier – Nash – majority 5856 – GONE
Takanini – Leavasa – 7724 majority GONE
Wiararapa – McAnulty – 6545 majority GONE
West Coast-Tasman – O’Connor – 6208 majority GONE
Whanganui – Lewis – 8191 majority GONE
Maximum probability: Another 7 electorate seats to National giving a total of 20 Electorate seats.
Auckland Central - Swarbrick 1068 Majority over Labour goes to National with a majority of 2196
That gives maximum seat gain for National of 21
Labour with 26 Electorate seats and 25 List seats (i.e.,33% party vote) = 51@ seats Total.
ACT – The Party rose from 13,075 votes in 2017 to 219,030 in 2020.
Siting on 1 electorate seat 9 list seats 7.59% of the party vote.
Roy Morgan poll:
16% - 20 MP’s
1 Constituency 19 list seats
This rise can virtually all be attributed to Seymour’s stand on the “Gun Confiscation Law” which drew the recreation shooters into his fold. The Euthanasia Bill may have contributed some and also the proposed vehicle “Ute Tax”.
However, much of his support appears to have come from reaction to Government actions rather than his good ideas, and, is also attributable to the performance by National in Opposition which most former Tories regards as – disappointing at the very least.
Outcome: 1 Constituency 19 list seats
National - The party vote 1,152,075 in 2017 dropping to 738,275 in 2020
Sitting on 23 Electorate seats 10 list seats = 33 total.
Roy Morgan poll 26%
National gain 13 constituency from Labour = 26 Electorate seats.
MMP formula provides 33 seats for 26% which translates into 3 in excess of 120 seats to produces a 123 seat Parliament (corrected to 122 seats when wasted votes removed from calculation).
National gain of 21 constituency seats (1 Green, 20 Labour) 23+21 = 44
131 seat parliament
National’s poor performance can largely be put down to the incompetence of its Parliamentary team at the replacement of Simon Bridges with Todd Muller whose ego appeared to surpass his ability and had to be in turn replaced with Judith “Crusher “Collins.
This was a complete farce and the electorate caned National for that debacle. Many today still blame that incompetence for the fact the current Labour government in power. However, many will not forgive and forget National’s pathetic behaviour.
National’s failure to clearly articulate its opposition to policies of Labour’s apartheid policies which Muriel Newman brands as dividing our nation (6) and the deafening silence on Labours strategy of COVID rule of fear, and its abuse of legal process (7), is compounded by the view of many, that Judith Collins is not a likeable leader.
The bright light on the horizon for National is that they will claim back the 19 constituency seats the lost to Labour and maybe more. There is a strong possibility National could become a constituency party with no list seats at the 2023 election
Greens – Party vote rose from 126,443 in 2017 to 226,757 in 2020 – won Auckland Central.
Note: In 2014 they received 257,356. The Metiria Turei benefit fraud debacle cost them dearly in 2017.
Sitting on 1 electorate seat 9 list seats 7.86% of the party vote.
Roy Morgan poll:
13 MP’s = 1 Constituency 14 list seats.
Supported by alternative life-stylers or the young who are not income focused or dependent (still living off their parents); the latter consideration probably the reason Greens want the voting age lowered to 16. Or welfare beneficiaries.
A drift from “save the environment’ to “save humanity (example: bring refuges from war ISIS ravaged zones), may have lost support of the older “Blue Green” vote of Fendalton, Karori and Remuera.
What’s left of save the environment presents to many as: “Kill the cows and sheep, save the trees as carbon sinks, everything has to run on electricity of which we don’t have enough because coal and gas and oil extraction must be banned.”
On present polling, Greens could form a centre left government with Labour.
Maori Party 1 electorate seat 1 list seat = 2 seats party vote 30580 in 2017 essentially static to 33632 in 2020 (31,850 in 2014)
Rawiri Waititi defeated Tamati Coffey, Labour for the Waiariki seat bringing two MPs into Parliament.
Given the Maori party vote is static at a bit over 30,000 they must win a constituency seat to survive.
Likely to retain Waiariki to hold two seats i.e., one electorate + one List.
NZ First Out of Parliament.
Party vote 186,706 in 2017 down to 75,020 in 2020.
Does not figure in the Roy Morgan poll as getting over 5%.
Caned in 2019 for:
From the perspective of the Right: Going with Labour rather than National in the first instance.
From the perspective of the Left: the mainstream media painted Winston Peters as the “hand brake” on Labour advancing “progressive” policies.
Can NZ First make a comeback?
NZF is not sunk by the Serious Fraud Office Court Hearings prior to the campaign.
NZF presents as a, “One people, One country NZ First” anti-apartheid.
NZF delivers an unequivocal message of equal opportunity for all.
NZF needs to assess whether Shane Jones is an asset or a liability.
NZF needs to demonstrate that Age Shall Not Weary nor the Years Condemn.
Outside possibility 5% = 6 list seats.
Does NOT return to Parliament.
TOP 43,449 votes 1.51%
New Conservative 42,613 votes 1.48%
Advance NZ 28,429 votes 0.99%
Legalise Cannabis 13,329 votes 0.46%
7 others with total of 19,928 votes 0.77%
Total vote = 7.81% includes NZF 2.6%
Unless these minnows put aside the preciousness and come together, they will all miss out. Multi splitting of the possible 10% centre mostly conservative voters, is a proven recipe for failure.
Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies & V.I.P. security; currently Honorary Consul for an African state, Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.