National & Greens gain from "state of the nation" speeches
iPredict: National & Greens gain from "state of the nation" speeches; Labour slips back
* National and Greens gain from "state of the nation" speeches while Labour slips back * John Key forecast to govern, needing support of just one of the Act, UnitedFuture and Maori parties * Probability of new left party involving Hone Harawira rises * West Coast-Tasman now marginal * Contract bundles for Mt Roskill, North Shore, Northland and Otaki to be launched at midday today
This week's snapshot from New Zealand's prediction market, iPredict, suggests the National and Green parties both gained from their leaders' "state of the nation" speeches last week, while the Labour Party went backwards. National's forecast share of the party vote has risen to 45.9% (from 45.6% last week), the Greens are up to 8.0% (from 7.5% last week) while Labour is down to 30.5% (from 32.0% last week). John Key would be able to continue as Prime Minister with the support of one of the Act, UnitedFuture or the Maori Party. The probability of a new left-wing party has risen.
The election is now overwhelmingly expected to be held in Q4 2011 (95% probability up from 90% last week). All current party leaders are expected to retain their positions between now and the election, with the probability that the most vulnerable, Labour's Phil Goff, will lose his position down to 16% (compared with 19% last week). There continues to be a 12% probability Maori Party co-Leader Tariana Turia will lose her position.
At the time the snapshot was taken, the probability of a new left-wing party around at least two of former Alliance President and current Unite National Secretary Matt McCarten, former Green MP Sue Bradford and current Maori Party Mr Harawira was 37%, up from 28% last week. The probability of a new right-wing party around former National Party leader and Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash remains lower, at 10% compared with 9% last week.
In addition to National, Labour and the Greens outlined above, forecast party vote shares are: New Zealand First 4.5% (down from 5.0% last week), Act 3.4% (up from 3.2%), UnitedFuture 2.4% (steady) and the Maori Party 2.4% (up from 2.3%).
Act Leader Rodney Hide has a 74% probability of winning Epsom for his party, up from 73% probability last week, and UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne a 53% probability of being re-elected in Ohariu, up from 52% probability last week.
Mr Harawira is expected to retain Te Tai Tokerau as an independent or for a party other than the Maori Party (53% probability, compared with 50% probability last week). Labour is expected to retain Ikaroa-Rawhiti (53% probability, up from 50% probability last week), leaving the Maori Party with four seats.
Winston Peters is not forecast to be returned to Parliament.
Based on this data, the market is forecasting the following Parliament: National 60 MPs, Labour 40 MPs, Greens 10 MPs, the Maori Party 4 MPs, Act 4 MPs, UnitedFuture 3 MPs and Mr Harawira. There would be 122 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 62 MPs on confidence and supply.
National could govern with the support of one of the Act, UnitedFuture or Maori parties. No politically plausible combination would exist to allow a Labour-led government to be formed.
The market continues to forecast a National prime minister (79% probability, down from 81% last week).
Because of the increase in the probability that a new left-wing party will be formed, iPredict has also analysed what would happen were: such a party to achieve 2% of the party vote (taken from the current market prediction that "other" parties will receive 2.1% of the vote); Mr Harawira to win his seat for this party; and all other parties' support, including Labour and the Greens, to remain constant.
Under this scenario, Parliament would be as follows: National 58 MPs, Labour 39 MPs, Greens 10 MPs, the Maori Party 4 MPs, Act 4 MPs, UnitedFuture 3 MPs and the new left party 3 MPs. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply. Mr Key could continue to govern with the support of one of the Act, UnitedFuture or Maori parties.
Were the Maori Party to win Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Mr Key would need the support of two of the Act, UnitedFuture or Maori parties to govern.
There are no surprises in any of the electorate races for which stocks were launched last week. A National candidate is forecast to win Coromandel (92% probability), National's Anne Tolley is expected to retain East Coast (90% probability), National's Jonathan Coleman is expected to retain Northcote (89% probability) and Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway is forecast to win Palmerston North (79% probability).
Looking at marginal seats, other than Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Ohariu and Te Tai Tokerau mentioned above, West Coast Tasman has become marginal over the last week, with a 58% probability it will be retained by National's Chris Auchinvole (down from 69% last week). Other marginal seats are New Plymouth (58% probability to be won by Labour's Andrew Little from National's Jonathan Young, steady compared with last week), Te Tai Tonga (58% probability to be retained by the Maori Party's Rahui Katene, down from 63% last week) and Waitakere (52% probability to be won by Labour's Carmel Sepuloni from National's Paula Bennett, steady compared with last week).
There is a 99% probability National's Jami-Lee Ross will win the Botany by-election, up from 98% last week. iPredict correctly forecast that Mr Ross would be selected as National's candidate over Maggie Barry, Aaron Bhatnagar and two other candidates.
There is an 84% probability voters will elect to retain the MMP voting system in the referendum to be held on election day, steady compared with last week.
iPredict is owned by Viclink, the commercial arm of Victoria University of Wellington. Details on the company and its stocks can be found at www.ipredict.co.nz
The company will be providing full election coverage this year, including of every electorate race in the country. Bundles of contracts for every electorate will be launched progressively through to the end of March. Contract bundles will be launched at midday today for the Mt Roskill, North Shore, Northland and Otaki electorates.
The weekly political snapshot is taken at a random time each week to avoid market manipulation by political parties and activists. This week's was taken at 8.21 am today.