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Right suffers defeat at hands of the working class

Right suffers defeat at hands of the working class

Election 2005 saw the defeat of the most concerted, open attempt by the extreme right to govern New Zealand that we have ever seen, the Alliance says.

Co-leader Jill Ovens says the Labour/Greens' victory on the night came despite millions of dollars spent by sinister right-wing front organisations like the Exclusive Brethrens, the Business Roundtable and the Maxim Institute to try and win control of the New Zealand Parliament through the Brash-led National Party.

"They have failed. The right cannot form a Government unless NZ First or other parties betray their electoral mandate and support National," Ms Ovens says.

The Alliance says it was the turnout of the working class vote in electorates like those in South Auckland that gave Labour its victory on election night.

"Maori and Pacific Island voters, the backbone of the New Zealand working class, saved the day when they overwhelmingly gave Labour their party vote. This is reflected in Mangere where Labour received around 15,000 more party votes than National."

Ms Ovens salutes the efforts of Labour Party members on the ground and unions like the Service and Food Workers' Union who worked tirelessly for the entire campaign to turn out the working class vote.

Labour supporters were still out there enrolling people on Friday night and door-knocked in the pouring rain right up till the close of polls at 7pm on Saturday, she says.

"During the campaign it became perceived wisdom that blue collar workers were being sucked in by National's tax cut bribes. But the results of the election show it was provincial and middle-class New Zealand that took the bribe. There is a clear red/blue divide on the electoral map of New Zealand after last night."

Ms Ovens says the lesson of Election 2005 is that the working class is loyal to its organisations, even though this loyalty is not always repaid.

"Despite the blatant attempt by the extreme right to govern New Zealand, it was the power of the working class that stopped them."

The Alliance congratulates the Green Party in holding its vote when most other minor parties were squeezed out by the desperate struggle between the two big parties. The exception was of course the Maori Party, which was the big winner of the night.

"It was an amazing effort to come so far in such a short time," Ms Ovens says.

Alliance members and supporters cannot help but be disappointed with their Party's vote (0.07% on election night), but Ms Ovens says she is proud of the part the Alliance played in the campaign.

The Alliance used its small broadcasting allocation to warn of the dangers of a return to the 1980s and 1990s when unions were attacked, thousands lost their jobs and wages were slashed.

"Though it did not translate into votes, the Alliance has gained respect among significant layers of working class and left-minded people through our principled stand in the election."


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