Here are my final thoughts on Ikaroa-Rawhiti, party by party.
Labour have everything to lose and very little to win. Rightly or wrongly, the result will be a verdict on David Shearer’s leadership, if Labour win by a margin less than a 1000, Shearer will be in trouble. Wanting to ‘terrorize’ his opponents and SkyCity corporate box hopping will be seen as contributing factors. As a candidate, Meka has been a fizzer. She can’t connect with her audiences and her cold demeanor hasn’t helped the impression that her win via her Brother’s vote in her selection propelled a candidate minus the abilities into the position. The mess the Labour leadership has made of the selection process by trying to parachute in a candidate hasn’t helped.
While never in the running to win this (something Marama herself has admitted), the Greens wanted a candidate who would project to the wider national audience and in Marama they have found an incredible candidate who must be awarded a top 10 list placement for her sterling candidacy. My guess is that come 2014 election, Marama Davidson will be an MP off the Green Party list.
Really strong run by Na, but the fuel has all gone from the Maori Party tank. Most of the Party infrastructure have walked off and joined MANA. If Maori Party place 3rd or 4th, it will be the death rattle of the Party.
Higher advanced voting than last election is a testament to MANAs get the vote out early campaign. Te Hamua has proven to be a far stronger candidate than Labour expected. His resonance with the electorate on the ground is far greater than any other candidate, he has charmed voters in the exact same way his Uncle did. The youngest Party in Parliament has given the Labour ‘machine’ a run for their money and MANAs performance will be a victory for flax roots political movements. MANA will have the momentum for the other Maori electorates running into 2014 election.
I think there is a 25% chance of an upset here and that Labour may lose this seat. The Maori electorates are infamous for huge swings in support and the buzz Te Hamua has managed to create amongst the younger demographic, if carried on the day, could see him win.
Maori Party 4th
Maori Party 3rd
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