Don’t buy National’s spin on by-election result


I was disappointed that the mass media largely bought the National Party’s spin on the Mt Roskill by-election. National said a loss would be catastrophic for Labour (and Andrew Little would be toast) but a loss for National wouldn’t mean a thing.

After the election John Key claimed it was a Labour seat (because it had been held by a Labour MP Phil Goff) and that Labour’s Michael Wood had been aided by the Greens not putting up a candidate.

However, the voting figures from the 2014 General Election show that National should have had the edge. Not only did National win more party votes than Labour in 2014, but National plus its ACT and Conservative allies beat Labour and its Green ally by 47% to 45% in the party voting.

Surely it was a stunning defeat for National to reach only 27% in the by-election when the 2014 party vote for National plus allies was 47%.  They dropped 20 percentage points.

Likewise it was a stunning victory for Labour to poll 66% in the by-election when Labour plus the Greens only got 45% of the party vote in 2014.

The media pundits have recognised Labour’s success, but have largely allowed National to spin out of the blame. National dropping a “safe” seat in Northland, and now losing big in Mt Roskill certainly increases the likelihood that John Key’s party will not survive the next general election.