Goodbye Nikki Kaye? Will National & Greens face a Party vote backlash in Auckland?



The writing must be on the wall for Nikki Kaye. The great bright hope for liberal values within National had no greater champion than Kaye. Her stance against mining on Great Barrier early in her career had many hoping that Kaye was the intelligent brake pedal to the more crazy elements of National, how such dreams crash and burn.

Kaye’s disgusting subservience to National over the GCSB mass surveillance laws must see her banished by one of NZs most liberal electorates in the 2014 election. The ferocity of disgust at the law saw Auckland Town Hall packed to the rafters, the first time that has happened in over a decade, and that type of mass action doesn’t bode well for Kaye at all.

Rumour has it that her good friend David Farrar has been polling Auckland Central for Kaye, which a year out from the election smells a wee bit desperate.

The housing affordability crisis is most intense in Central Auckland and all those apartment dwellers never seeing a future of home ownership will vote against the Government, but it won’t just be the Central City intelligentsia who are likely to spit the dummy, Cunliffe’s extraordinary Auckland support suggests Auckland’s 18 electorates may turn their back on National.

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East Coast Bays – 62% party vote for National, 17% party vote for Labour
North Shore – 62% party vote for National, 16% party for for Labour
Northcote – 52% party vote for National, 25% party vote for Labour
Auckland Central – 42% party vote for National, 25% party for Labour
Mt Albert – 36% party vote for National, 37% party vote for Labour
Te Atatu – 41% party vote for National, 38% party vote for Labour
Waitakere – 40% party vote for National, 37% party vote for Labour
New Lynn – 39% party vote for National, 37% party vote for Labour
Mt Roskill – 39% party vote for National, 43% party vote for Labour
Epsom – 64% party vote for National, 15% party vote for Labour
Tamaki – 64% party vote for National, 17% party vote for Labour
Maungakiekie – 43% party vote for National, 36% party vote for Labour
Pakuranga – 62% party vote for National, 18% party vote for Labour
Botany – 61% party vote for National, 24% party vote for Labour (although Michael Wood did far better in the by-election)
Manukau East – 19% party vote for National, 66% party vote for Labour
Mangere – 14% party vote for National, 71% party vote for Labour
Manurewa – 26% party vote for National, 57% party vote for Labour
Papakura – 52% party vote for National, 27% vote for Labour

There are some interesting points to note in the Auckland Party vote breakdown…

-Paula Gillon, despite getting very little support from Labour hierarchy, managed to gain 25% party vote support in Northcote and needs to be given a lot more respect for her achievements. She is a star performer and yet gets little for her talents.

-When a lackluster candidate like Melissa Lee can almost beat Shearer in Party vote in Mt Albert, the warning signs should have been flashing before he was handed the leadership by the ABCs.

-Cunliffe’s poor Party vote turn out must reverse with his new status as leader.

-Michael Wood could cause real damage to National’s Party vote in Botany

-Labour Party candidate selections are going to be critical in the South Auckland electorates. If Efeso Collins can’t be selected for Manukau East it will be a signal that Labour are not selecting on meritocracy.

There are many places in Auckland where Labour can rob National of Party votes and gain for themselves and to date Labour seem to have done a very poor job of managing to target and win those Party votes.

There is another point to be made if Auckland is swinging to Labour, this momentum could provide real problems for the Wellington-centric Green Party who have never performed well in Auckland. Nation wide the Greens managed an impressive 11.06%, in Auckland’s 18 electorates however they only scored a percentage higher than the national result in 4 of those electorates.

East Coast Bays – 8.7%
North Shore – 10.8%
Northcote – 10.9%
Auckland Central – 22.7%
Mt Albert – 17.1%
Te Atatu – 7.2%
Waitakere – 10.6%
New Lynn – 12.1%
Mt Roskill – 7.2%
Epsom – 12%
Tamaki – 8.7%
Maungakiekie – 9.5%
Pakuranga – 6.2%
Botany – 4.4%
Manukau East – 3.3%
Mangere – 3.8%
Manurewa – 3.9%
Papakura – 5.4%

With a resurgent Cunliffe, Auckland’s progressive voters could leave Greens in droves – there are more reasons for the Greens to work with Labour than there are for Labour to work with the Greens if Cunliffe generates the momentum.

Central Auckland is one electorate the Greens & Labour could work together pre-election if the Greens were to not stand a candidate OR run Denise but mute her to ‘I want your Party vote’ clearly articulated as an MMP tactic. My feeling however is that the Greens don’t want to work together with Labour pre-election and this lack of solidarity and unity could hurt the Greens even more, especially if MANA and Labour manage to come to an arrangement over the Maori electorates.

As someone who has previously argued that Labour need to see the Greens as a strength and not to go to war with them for votes, I admit to having second thoughts.

The Greens could be left standing alone on the progressive voting spectrum and their stubbornness not to work together could be used repeatedly by those wishing to cause mischief to see their Party vote drop to 10%. The left love to punish those not seen to be working as a team and if the Greens are perceived to be stand-offish in working with Labour to rid the country of John Key they could expect a lot of undermining in the 6 week election campaign.

The Green’s Emerald Stormtroopers wouldn’t be happy and that would be a shame.

Auckland’s massive party vote pool is the prize and it unlocks who can run NZ, Labour must focus on the largest city in NZ if they want the Treasury Benches.


  1. The Greens are rapidly distancing themselves from National and Labour over climate change.

    This is a good thing.

    Over 60% of New Zealanders want the government to do more on climate change.

    “People want more action on climate change”

    64.4 per cent wanting Parliament to do more
    60.6 per cent wanting the Prime Minister to do more and
    62.9 per cent saying government officials should do more.

    The news isn’t good for Prime Minister John Key, with 15.4 per cent saying he’s doing the right amount, 26.1 per cent saying he should do more, and 34.5 per cent saying he should do much more. Just 2.7 per cent want him to do less.

    Horizon August 10, 2012

    The latest polling backs this up.

    Not surprisingly, the latest New Zealand poll shows that concern about climate change is strongest among respondents who voted for the Greens in the last general election (78.3 per cent).

    But Maori Party voters (77.2 per cent) felt nearly as strongly, followed by Mana (64.7 per cent) and Labour (60.3 per cent).

    Among respondents who voted National at the last election, more think climate change is not a problem (47 per cent) than think it is (40.6 per cent), placing them further to the right on the climate-denying spectrum than Conservative voters (52.6 per cent of whom consider it urgent or a problem for now) than even Act (44.6 per cent).

    These figures point to a huge untapped constituency.

    This government’s ability to act on climate change, is as the record shows, their worst performing portfolio. National could take some real hits here, as could Labour whose policies over climate change seem to be little different to National, ie Labour support Deep Sea Oil & Gas exploration and Fracking, Labour support mining of Denniston Plateau. And finally but not least Labour support the bail out of Solid Energy and in fact have signaled that they would have given more cash sooner.

    On the Solid Energy Bail out; Gareth Hughes of the Greens called on the government to “cut their losses”. While Clayton Cosgrove for Labour said the government had done, “too little, too late”.

  2. I voted for Cunliffe and I’m glad to see him as leader but really Martyn?

    “-When a lackluster candidate like Melissa Lee can almost beat Shearer in Party vote in Mt Albert, the warning signs should have been flashing before he was handed the leadership by the ABCs.
    -Cunliffe’s poor Party vote turn out must reverse with his new status as leader.”

    You don’t see those two statements as a little bit of a contradiction? Why should Labour’s poor party vote in New Lynn reflect the same concerns?

    “Central Auckland is one electorate the Greens & Labour could work together pre-election if the Greens were to not stand a candidate OR run Denise but mute her to ‘I want your Party vote’ clearly articulated as an MMP tactic.”

    The Greens gained 7,797 party votes in Auckland Central last election without those votes. That’s effectively half an MPs party vote there alone. Personally, I’d love to see Jacinda as Auckland Central’s MP but I really don’t see what the Greens would gain from running a lackluster campaign in AC. Do you think it really concerns them if Jacinda or Nikki is the electoral MP for Auckland Central? It seems pretty clear lot of Green supporters either a) don’t understand tactical voting or b)don’t particularly won’t the Labour candidate elected anyway.

    Finally, I don’t see a massive shift away from the Greens the latest series of polls all have them exactly the same as their 2011 result or even a few slightly higher. Which Labour shouldn’t see as a bad thing there are plenty of right-leaning environmentalists who won’t vote for Labour but with another persuasion could vote for the Greens.

    • If you need to have the differences between Tim Groser and Melissa Lee explained to you I’m wasting my time in replying.

      I’m not suggesting for one second the Greens ignore CA for the Party vote component, and if the Greens don’t care who wins electorates it doesn’t bode well for a left win next year or the idea that the Greens can work well once inside a Government.

      You must not have seen the Roy Morgan Poll then.

      I still think not attacking the Greens is the smartest tactical approach, but that’s only if the Greens are willing to work with Labour prior to the election.

      • Given that the Greens are likely to get +10% of the party vote, meaning that there will be no overhang, is it necessary for them to be on the wrong side of a cup of tea?

        That said, in the last election Paula Bennett only carried her electorate due to a split Labour / Green vote. Having the Green candidate in Waitakere support Labour might lead to Paula failing to carry her electorate, doesnt change the number of MP’s, but it would sure feel good.

        I disagree that the Greens need Labour more than Labour need the Greens.
        The Greens are democratic to the very core, think long term and have that one thing no other party in NZ possesses; Integrity – they won’t give that up for anything

      • The last few Roy Morgan polls have the Greens little changed within the margin of error.

        And it’s not the Greens who don’t wish to work with Labour, it is Labour who seem afraid to work openly with the Greens.

      • You mean the latest Roy Morgan poll that showed the Greens were still polling 0.5% higher than the general election? (h

        It’s pretty hard to run an exclusive party-vote campaign, voters will still vote for the electoral candidate and again I don’t see what’s in it for the Greens. I’m optimistic that given Ardern’s public profile she’ll have a very good chance of being elected.

          • Martyn – seriously… we had two polls putting the Greens at 14 and 15% just before – now if you take the mean to be around 12.5% (which is what the trend line shows) then all that has happened is that the poll is bouncing around within the margin of error. And the Herald poll had the Greens on their highest poll rating ever in that poll – so what to make of that? Trying to read stuff into individual polls may be fun but you have to be careful.

            You look at the trend lines and they are now going the right way (up) for Labour and are steady for the Greens (at a higher level than the election result which is in itself interesting and unprecedented) and going down for National.

    • Denise Split the Vote for Ak Central giving the seat to Nikki Kaye. Stupid as she never had a chance of winning.if she had only gone for the Green party vote she would have been on the payroll. Nikki would have been in on Nats party list and Labours Jacinda Arden would have Been AK MP The Greens Need to realise that They Need Labour in to get in to Power. or they will be just making noise from the sidelines.

  3. I’d like to see both parties differentiate themselves on what their core issues are, while still retaining the ability to work together. The Greens should be focused particularly on environmental issues, while Labour should focus on social and economic issues, since those are their respective strongest points.

    That doesn’t mean that the Greens should have absolutely no policy on social and economic issues, nor that Labour should have no policy on environmental issues. It also doesn’t mean that they can’t work together on issues, especially those which affect both areas (such as transport). But they need to distinguish themselves as two fairly different parties. Otherwise, they will just be sucking votes up from each other, rather than the other parties.

  4. I’m sorry Martin, but calling Paula a star performer is just laughable. She ran one of the most woeful campaigns I’ve ever been involved with and managed to single handedly destroy every network of influence that Northcote Labour had built up over the years. It has taken years to recover from the damage she did and the fact that she had any reasonable result speaks to the hard work the team did in spite of her incompetence. She will never be a Labour candidate again and for that I’m eternally grateful.

  5. If you ignore all of the actions and behaviour of the Greens since 2008, then factor out virtually all of the actions and behaviour of the Labour Party over the same period, then your analysis is spot on.

    • Thank you Jon, I’m not suggesting the Greens haven’t been poorly treated by Labour in the past, but Cunliffe’s leadership suggests a unique break with that past.

  6. Getting rid of Key and his regime will only matter until it happens, whether next year, or in 2017. What is going to matter 7 generations from now? If Cunliffe betrays the rhetoric and statistics he gave us so convincingly in his dolphin and dole queue speech, and carries on with most of the Nat’s eco-cidal policies (eg continued oil, gas, coal mining) in spite of the plain evidence of climate change, fossil fuel decline, and the end of growth-based economics, are we really any better off? At least under Key we know the government is an enemy of the environment, and they’re honest enough to say they value the growth of capital over the sustainability of life on this planet.

    Will the children of that 7th generation look back and say “whew! at least they got rid of John Key in 2014”? No. They’ll say just as well environmentalists and the radical left criticised Labour just as harshly for their crimes against the biosphere as they did National, and any other party, including the Greens if they sell out as they continue to grow. That’s assuming we win, and there are children in 7 generations. Something the likes of National and Labour as institutions, seem entirely oblivious of.

    • Exactly…now is not the time to be cheering on Cunliffe, especially since it appears as though it will be another Labour term of soft-neoliberalism. We need to be looking 50 years ahead, not just 5 years ahead.
      Cunliffe should be using Mana’s policies as a bare minimum, otherwise he will do nothing but sustain this system. Its looking like an Aunty Helen MkII, which means he’s just keeping the seat warm for when Simon Bridges becomes PM in 6-9 years.
      Pundits here need to stop brown-nosing Cunliffe, its not helping at all. If we are wanting change then Labour shouldn’t even be considered. The end of neoliberism should be questioned, not gobbled up as if we are that stupid. Wake up and be part of the solution, not the problem

  7. A party vote cast in Bluff is of identical value to one cast in Auckland. Labour has done badly in the provinces since 2005, losing both party and electorate votes (and seats). If it stands good candidates in electorate seats, it also boosts its chances of a higher party vote. I don’t think you JAFA’s have through this one through properly. My analysis applies to Auckland Central just as much as it does to Invercargill: if Labour stands good candidates in both seats, it can win and hold them for years, plus it can lift its party vote and get more MPs elected from its list.

  8. There is zero chance of the Greens not running a candidate in Auckland Central. They know that when they don’t run a candidate their party vote suffers. I really don’t think the Greens are too bothered about winning electorates anyway, it will have little impact if any on outcome of the election.

    I also think Nikki could possible hang on in Central next year. She’s a ferocious local campaigner and her electorate is is one of the wealthiest in the country (She represents David Cunliffe in Herne Bay!).

    • Personally I think that the Greens could take Auckland Central, covering as it does the island suburb of Waiheke, that is if they really push their environmental and climate credentials. Issues that generally exercise the minds of middle class constituencies more than those in blue collar electorates.

  9. Climate Change is the sleeper issue. If the Greens come out swinging on this one, they will have the floor to themselves. It is the one issue National and Labour do not want to be drawn on. It is the one issue in which both these parties are failing miserably. Climate Change is the defining issue of our generation and Labour and National have got nothing to say. The Greens could really clean up here. Statistics show that a majority want our leaders to do more on climate change. If the Greens give a strong lead, by putting the case for taking action to cut our green house gas emissions, by alerting the public to the danger the Greens will increase this majority and the Greens will become a pole of attraction around this issue. With all their other good social policies I expect that they would become a real force to be reckoned with in these elections, especially, (but not only), on the list.

    Labour and National want the 2014 election campaign to be a rerun of the Obama vs Romney campaign where climate change by gentlemen’s agreement was not to be mentioned by either camp. Not even when, Super Storm Sandy blew through their campaigns and shut them down. (Nature and physics had the last laugh).

    To make a real breakthrough the Greens need to smash this tidy consensus and make Climate Change an election issue.

  10. I’ve never understood this idea that Auckland is where elections are won and lost. Auckland is about one third of New Zealand’s voters – why is it more important to winning or losing elections than the other two thirds?

    Do you have reason to believe that Aucklanders are more likely to be swing voters? or that because they all live in the same area they all think the same and therefore their votes move as one?

    if not, the third of the voters who live in Auckland are no more inherently significant than the third who live in the South Island and Wellington, or the third who live in the North Island outside Auckland and Wellington.

    • I think the population density of Auckland makes it far easier for motivating and bringing large numbers of people together. Most electorates are vast and sparse, Auckland offers something unique in that regard.

  11. Aready promised Nicky outcome if she didn’t cross the floor over the GCSB vote..
    She didnt.
    Penny and I collected 1000 signatures against her re-election. (She won seat by 535 votes)

    Read more: from Aucklanders in Ponsonby and the CBD alone were pretty keen promising to campaign against her relection too.
    We promised to keep Banks’ feet to fire
    Doing that.
    Next court case next Monday morning….
    Promise made at last of the three ANFS marches to try to stop MRP float and or encourage apathy and confusion…
    Kept that.
    Always keep promises Martyn.
    Nikki will be gone..
    Paula too!

    Hopeful tactical Greens/ Labour Mana combo will see off National in a few spots..
    Act’s final curtain ( sic) hopefully.

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