Scoop Column: Frankenstein Government Ahead
Say Hello To Frank Image From Compaint
The only thing that can be said with any degree of certainty on the basis of current polling is that either Green Leaders Jeanette McDonald and Rod Donald will hold the balance of power come 10pm tomorrow night or…….taratraratrara… Winston will. More likely the former.
Judging by the entries flooding into our competition there is a widespread belief that Labour the Alliance and the Greens are going to romp home.
This Scoop again…. respectfully disagrees with the prevailing mood.
The great successes of the 1999 election campaign have clearly been ACT and the Greens.
Labour and National have both performed badly - and will tomorrow, it seems likely, be punished for it.
It should also be observed that the Electoral Commission - whose job it is to explain MMP - has done an abysmal job and that voters seem destined to elect themselves precisely the sort of government they say they do not want.
Scoop suggests that next time round the message should be put more simply - "You have one real vote THE PARTY VOTE - USE IT WISELY…. and one stuff-all vote which doesn't matter a lot but which can be entertaining."
A case in point is the much celebrated Wellington Central which this time round has four candidates all of whom are assured of being elected, and two of whose names will not appear on the ballot paper. Go figure?
Now Wellington Central voters are flattered, to be sure, but does it really deserve so many MPs? What about Taranaki? The whole province ends up with two MPs if its lucky. (Unless it defeats its sitting - and hot favourite - candidates in which case it will get double representation because they will both get elected anyway on the list.)
That said I still think MMP is wonderful.
On the other hand welcome to Frankenstein government!
We will almost certainly have a government come 10pm tomorrow night involving three parties, probably four, and possibly five plus a few independents. United's Peter Dunne will almost certainly form a government with whoever else is doing so - making four - five brings in NZ First and Delamere and Derek Fox may both make it in as independents.
What To Watch Tomorrow Night
Coming down to the wire there are a few crucial seats which could still influence the outcome - most of them are Maori or heavily Maori influenced, Tauranga, Te Tai Tonga and Whangarei, Ikaroa Rawhiti and Delamere's seat. The first three are significant because unless one of them is won it might be good night Winston.
Ironically, given all the pressure on Coromandel and Wellington Central in the campaign, at the end neither is crucial anymore as both ACT and the Greens look likely to comfortably beat the 5% threshold.
The big question tomorrow night is how will Labour will perform. If Labour is polling around 36% or above it will probably romp in. If it polls under 33% it starts to get marginal whether it will be possible for it to form a government. As polls have variedly put Labour on anywhere form 33% to 39% in the last week it is a hard ask to pick.
This Scoop will nevertheless revise his prediction for the result. (As many of our competition entrants have waited so late to put in their entries it seems only fair to have another crack.)
Impact Of The Final Week
The Greens have received a huge boost by becoming - as Rod Donald said in his closing address - the Cinderalla of the party. Add in the growing food-safety hysteria and the effective branding of the Greens with the anti-GE cause - add a pinch of 60% of women not knowing that the Party vote is more important - and you have a recipe for the Green vote to keep rising - at the expense particularly of Labour and the Alliance.
Going out on a limb (and giving myself a maximum chance of winning the Whisky!) I am now picking 12 MPs from the Greens including the long-suffering Dana Glendinning, another star of the documentary Campaign (***** Highly Recommended), and who can take fair bit of the credit for bringing us MMP in the first place.
I am also of the view that National has done better out of its attacks on the Greens than the media is inclined to pick up on - and than the polls have had a chance to register. Add in the Delamere drama - which has played well for Both Shipley and Delamere and badly for ACT, and National may have received a bit of a boost.
This all ads up to:
Party Vote Percentage Prediction (after discarding wasted - below the threshold parties - votes.)
NZ First 4%
This would result in a small
majority. Just how many MPs we end up with with an overlap of three is anybodies guess.