Labour: Ever heard of tactical voting?

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The vote is now so close that a refusal by Labour to consider tactical voting is more than stupid – it could be suicidal.
Current polling indicates that the Maori Party candidates have a modest lead in two electorates – Waiariki and Te Tai Hauāuru. I think that the polls exaggerate that lead but let us accept they are accurate for now.
The party is second place is Mana in Waiariki and Labour in Te Tai Hauāuru. The combined Mana and Labour electorate vote would be enough to defeat the Maori Party candidates and prevent them bringing anyone in from the list if that were possible.
That would eliminate 2 or three potential National Party allies in the next parliament. That could be enough to prevent the National Party being able to form a majority government. It is very unlikely that Act or United Future can win more than the seats they have been gifted by National.
The Labour Party made a decision to encourage their supporters to tactically vote for Jeanette Fitzsimons in 1999 because it looked like they may not make the 5% threshold and all those votes would have been wasted for the task of getting rid of the then National Government.
On a local level the Labour Party are actually encouraging people to tactically vote for the National Party candidate in Epsom in order to prevent the Act Party getting into parliament. That makes sense although I somehow doubt personally I could do that without throwing up.
It makes even more sense to do a deal with Mana in Waiariki and Te Tai Hauāuru to ensure the defeat of the Maori Party candidate.
The Labour leader has foolishly said that he won’t do deals that allow smaller parties to “coat tail” MP’s into parliament. Mana does not need a deal to get into parliament. They are already there with Hone Harawira and will be there again. His seat is safe.
The tactical voting deal can be supported on the basis that it is simply logical for two parties that share a common interest in defeating the Maori Party in the Maori seats to support whichever person is number two in the polls against the Maori Party if they are number one.
There is one added benefit. NZ First currently have the balance of power and can decide who the next government will be. They cannot be trusted not to go with National. If we are a bit lucky and the polls shift some more over the next two weeks then the Labour, Green, Internet Mana bloc may get a majority without NZ First and therefore neutralise his current kingmaker role.
In those circumstances it is probable that Labour will still invite NZ First to be part of the next government. But Winston’s negotiating power to dilute the lefts influence will be radically reduced.
Why is that so difficult to understand or support. It makes sense to me.
More importantly it makes sense for the people of New Zealand who want a change of government. We need to send a message to Labour that if deals need to be made to ensure we get a change of government then that is what should be done.

12 COMMENTS

  1. “On a local level the Labour Party are actually encouraging people to tactically vote for the National Party candidate in Epsom in order to prevent the Act Party getting into parliament. That makes sense although I somehow doubt personally I could do that without throwing up.”

    See, this is exactly the sort of attitude that makes progressive voters not vote tactically. Leave your emotional baggage at the polling booth door and put on your rational tactical voting hat. So what if you vote for Goldsmith? It’s one less vote to bring ACT into Parliament. It’s not like the Labour, Green, and Mana candidates have got snowball’s chance in hell of winning Epsom anyway. Even if Seymour pulls through in the end, at least you know that you’re vote was both (somewhat paradoxically) wasted by not helping National and not wasted by not helping ACT.

    Remember, to use to cliché Key aphorism, at the end of the day it’s your party vote that matters the most. You can afford to loose your electorate vote if you live in the deepest of deep blue electorates. You can’t change that. But, unless you live in a strategically tactical electorate, use your party vote to give more seats to the parties that will change this government—because, to be honest, I’m actually sick of them.

    • Dead right – drop the emotion – make the electorate vote that best fulfills your overall intentions.

      Every vote counts!

    • I fully agree Brendan
      Tactical voting isnt dirty it’s an effective way to address cynical situations like what is happening in Epsom, sadly it wont happen.

    • The whole article is about tactical voting, but you critique it because you think progressive should enjoy voting national?

      Your a wanker.

    • “On a local level the Labour Party are actually encouraging people to tactically vote for the National Party candidate in Epsom in order to prevent the Act Party getting into parliament. That makes sense although I somehow doubt personally I could do that without throwing up.”

      This is not about preventing the ACT Party getting into parliament.
      It is about transNational gaming the system.

      The end make-up of parliament is determined by the percentage of party vote. If transNational get 50% of the party vote they get 60 seats – end of story.

      If Goldsmith (Nat) wins – they end up with 60 seats.
      If Seymour (ACT) wins – they end up with 61 seats.

      60 seats from their 50% of the party vote plus one from Epsom electorate.

      That is why National instruct their voters to vote for Seymour – not because they want ACT in parliament but because this device allows them to parlay an extra seat into their bloc.

      This device is what should make you throw up – not acting against it.

  2. We are in crisis mode, and with that comes a tendency to compromise on other ideals. This is a step too far for me.
    The Maori Party occupy a critically important role in this country, and the left especially should respect that. I’m not afraid to see them as kingmakers; to me that’s a victory in itself.
    Besides which, does anyone really expect them to settle for so little at such cost again?

    • “does anyone really expect them to settle for so little at such cost again?”

      Yes. Yes we do.

      They betrayed Maori once before, they’ll do it again.

      The only sure predictor of future behaviour, is past behaviour.

  3. Winston has said previously he wont work with Mana or The Greens , and given that a Winston/Labour coalition wont cross the line on its own momentum , it seems to me its highly probable a vote for NZ First is a vote for another National Govt .Albeit one with some constraints.

    While both the Conservatives and NZ First have benefited in raised poll ratings from National voters disenchanted with dirty politics,they are now dropping close to or under the 5% as the Key clean up campaign sees a rebound back to National on todays latest polls .

    Side line Collins .Shut down whale dumps twitter .Get an injunction to stop media publication on the Ede/slater emails and hope like hell nothing new comes out in the next two weeks.Its total lockdown mode.
    If the move back to National is to be slowed or reversed we need the mainstream media to be able release more whale dump now. Conversely Nationals battle not to release it is in full swing.An injunction for Slater is a Win for Keys and buys him time for the next two weeks.

    All roads lead to Rome ,but will we get to see the map ?

  4. I’m really glad that you raised the subject of tactical voting, Mike – it’s something that’s really dropped off the radar over the last couple of months.

    We all know that, along with a high voter turnout, “pooling” votes for whichever Left candidate is most likely to take out an electoral seat is critical to ensure a new progressive government.

    Let’s face it, we’re only talking about a handful of seats where this is really required, and success will be a double whammy – take one seat, and take multiple seats from the right – much like a “ten point try”.

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