Sunday, 17 February 2013

Poll dancing

The latest Colmar Brunton poll on David Farrar's Curia blog shows the government's in a good space at the moment, thanks to a 5% bump for National. Labour has slid two points while the Greens slid one. This appears to be all down to John Key's popularity as preferred Prime Minister increasing 5%.

On these numbers, National would be on 62 seats, which plus Act and United Future with 1 each gives them a majority of 1. Should the Maori Party survive or at least retain its 3 seats, the John Key led bloc will have a majority of 4.

Of course MMP politics isn't always this simple. David Farrar's numbers assume everyone retains their seats. My guess is that Act will lose its seat at the next election, with the National candidate taking it, while Peter Dunne may survive in Ohariu. As mentioned above, the current ructions in the Maori Party could see all three of their seats lost to Labour. And that's where it gets interesting. If Labour wins back all of the Maori seats (bar Hone's), there won't be the overhang their currently is.

Using the handy MMP calculator from the Electoral Commission's website, if the Maori Party loses all its seats, there will be no overhang and parliament will revert to 120 seats. This means National could govern alone, with 63 seats. Ironically, the death of the Maori Party at the polls could very well deliver Key his third term.


  1. Farrar assumes A.C.T. will still have Epsom at the election. And that National or Labour don't trump Dunne in Ohariu.

    What happens if one or both go? There go National's allies in Parliament.

    1. I think it's more likely Banks will lose Epsom to Paul Goldsmith. The voters of Epsom only put Banks into parliament because they thought he'd bring at least 1 or 2 more MPs with him - without that they've got no reason to keep him. That's assuming National doesn't cut a deal (which is a probability but not likely).

      Dunne's pretty safe in Ohariu. He's well liked and a hard-working advocate in the electorate. Labour and the Greens keep putting up sitting MPs (Charles Chauvel and Gareth Hughes), giving them no real reason to get rid of Dunne. The only real threat is if they move the boundaries northwards into more of Hutt South (which is pretty strong Labour territory).

      However, even under the scenario where both Banks and Dunne lose their seats, National still has a majority, albeit much smaller than before.


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