Will Labour stand aside in Northland to let NZ First beat National?



There is a private poll doing the rounds that shows NZ First neck and neck with National in Northland if the Labour candidate doesn’t stand.

Seeing as National’s outright majority is under threat with a loss in Northland, such a tactic could be under consideration.

Labour may not have the guts to make the decision as clear cut as removing their candidate, but there will probably be a lot of nods and winks given to Labour voters throughout the campaign to ensure National loses Northland.

Labour, NZ First and Maori Party showed  that they could work together in Te Tai Tokerau to eliminate an opponent, doing it again in Northland isn’t too far a stretch.

My guess would be that if this deal is cooking and Winston is looking to run, then we will see him using Parliamentary privilege to start asking the PM hard questions about Mike Sabin. My suspicion is that once voters hear why Sabin isn’t running, the backlash will be immense, immense enough to tarnish National and risk a safe electorate.

Doing such a deal with NZ First to win Northland would cement a relationship between Labour and Winston that the Greens should find deeply concerning.


  1. Could be, should be…

    Winston should run as there are people dirty on the Nats that just will not bring themselves to vote Labour, if he siphons off those and Willow-Jean holds and slightly improves she could just upset…more “coulds” of course

    Winston and Labour need to hammer this line–“what have all those blue votes ever got you?” The North needs infrastructure, rail, air, road and power/IT to even approach 21st century service other kiwis get.

  2. Are you predicting a NZ First win should Winston Peters run in Northland? I would not make any predictions if I were you, as you tend to get them more wrong than right.

  3. I don’t think NZ first will be able to overtake National even if Labour was on board, but I’d say there won’t be any co-operation anyway.

  4. Labour should do it. They need to start taking risks and strategies to win (even by default to get National out). Personally I would start to think Labour are more viable if they can take the strategic direction against the standard tired non winning strategy they have taken for 3 terms now. If they can work with other parties and leave entitlement and arrogance at the door to take down National.

    Don’t think this will hurt the Greens. They have already decided not to run.

  5. By-elections are always unpredictable because people can see the best and worst scenarios more clearly than in a general election. The Greens have already said they will not stand. If Labour stands down and Winston Peters decides to contest the seat, he is popular enough to have a serious chance of victory.
    The government would also need to be unpopular during the election period but that is not impossible -there is an awful lot of ammunition lying around that the media ignores but can hardly ignore if raised during the contest. Housing perhaps?

  6. Winston will not stand he loses too much face if he loses.

    The speaker has already ruled any reference to Sabin out of order and will not allow his name to be spoken in the House. (probably forever, after their mates in the judiciary rule complete and permanent name suppression)

    Labour will stand and do poorly (sorry)

    A National party no-name donkey will win with a large majority on a low turn out (again, sorry but true)

  7. Northland has the opportunity to change the direction this country is heading in (down). They have always been ignored. Time to make people sit up and take notice!

  8. Can somebody explain the maths on this? If NZF win a seat then they lose somebody from the list right? And if National lose a seat then they gain one from the list, so nothing changes. Or am I wrong?

    • A by election is a mini “first past the post” electorate seat contest, the party (list) vote does not apply.

      So if Nats lose they are down one in parliament. If NZF or Labour won they would get an extra member in parliament, and if that candidate was on the existing list everyone ranked below could move up a place but not necessarily into parliament.

  9. I keep checking the Metservice reports for Hell… but so far I don’t see the thermometer dropping anywhere close to freezing…

    So much for expecting Labour to step aside for Peters…

  10. Is this from the same independent polling company that predicted an easy victory for Hone Harawira at the last election?

  11. In the election, National got what 16,000, Labour 8,000 and the Greens 3000 (or thereabouts, fuzzy memory). The Greens are not standing, so let’s hope those 3000 vote for Labour. Labour also took at least 2000 more votes from National compared to the last election . . and I feel they can take even more come this by-election.

    When the floods hit . . where was National? Now here to be seen (well no, they were holding interviews from Wellington about it). Where was Labour – right there, in the thick of it distributing food, blankets and looking after people.

    I think you need to give Willow -Jean a chance Martyn. She is a local, she is very well respected throughout many of the communities and she is passionate about Northland. So passionate that she has turned down job offers so she can come back in work in Northland. She was on the council, but realised she could make more of an impact in government and is giving it all she can. She was out campaigning 6 days after the birth of her first child, if that is not dedication, what is?

    I’m not politically savvy like a lot of people on here are – but I know, that Willow-Jean is genuine and has the best interests of Northland at heart – which is just what is needed. All she wants to do is be able to make a positive difference. We need to support Labour in this by-election.

    • Agree with you, lived in the North last 20 years and as a kid before that so know the political scene a bit.

      I am still majorly critical of Labour for boosting Kelvin in the West Auckland end of Te Tai Tokerau last year, that little bit of skullduggery in league with Winston, Dover, John Key and even the Greens won’t be forgotten in a hurry, but this is a chance to trip the Nats majority.

      Winston or NZ FirstX will serve as a spoiler at best to allow Labour a show imo. Plus for the future it is time there was a credible non national candidate like Willow Jean. Reuben Porter is giving it a good shot too for Mana.

    • Absolutely however, if Winston stands he will rob National of votes and that advantages Ms Prime. She would be brilliant for Northland.

      • I hope so – I worry he will steal votes from both parties and National but not take enough from National to make it count.

        Thank you Shona 🙂

  12. Yes Martyn,

    Good call, – Labour should clearly follow national strategy during the Act deal last election and also stand aside & let Winston run for the Northland seat.

    We now need to see some smart approach strategy from Opposition members as National did successfully.

    National only clings onto power by doing dirty back room deals and cups of tea sessions to force this type of election rigging, so the gullible electorate will vote for their candidate in an air of false hopes.

    Winston is a best choice here to roll National.

    If Labour stands they will loose or split the vote during a first past the post election

    So splitting the vote will Kill any chance of weakening national grip on parliament.

    Winston is very popular everywhere we saw him either on the east coast or HB.

    Winston’s ancestral home is the Northland also, so we agree labour should offer support for Winston, in the same strategy National used during the election for Act.

    NZ First clearly is best choice and Labour/NZ First deal with them at the same time to show in a powerful message to the North electorate that there is real hope out there for them to vote for to change Government direction.

    Also Northland will clearly see that a NZ First/labour co operative partnership vote that is ready to nobble and clip the wings of the enemy of the state John Key is a winning strategy, as Key is killing the provinces including northland.

    Even Steven Joyce is worried over the state of the provinces as he was reported to say last week that “NZ’s success is the sum of all it’s parts that includes all the provinces”.

    The provinces are suffering very badly right now.

    This NZ First/labour partnership would clearly be poison to National but good for the country.

    Our future hopes will be brighter with politicians that will positively represent the wishes of the 99% of the people and not just represent the 1% that are the rich & greedy and desperate to cling to power for their greedy wishes.

  13. Now Winston has finally confirmed he is standing for the Northland seat, let’s hope that Labour will come to the party.

    I’m sure some sort of deal could be cut here between NZ First and Labour, to have Winston take the seat from the Natsies.

    That said, I wouldn’t put it past the nasty Natsies to pull something dirty here!

  14. Labour should stand aside. It is in their interests to weaken the National Government. Unfortunately they will probably say they need to stand a candidate so that Labour is represented at an important by-election. Blah Blah Blah

  15. It would have been better if Winston has stood aside as the Greens did to allow Willow-Jean a clear run. He decides not to (because let’s face it, it is free publicity to the Winston cult) and suddenly Labour are the baddies?

    Willow-Jean is amazing. Without disclosing too much of a confidential meeting, during selection in Auckland, she was a real credit. She did bloody well, and expect to see her in Parliament at the next election.

    She has shown such loyalty to the people of Northland that she does Labour credit. Where was Winston at times of need? Sorry. Willow-Jean is the better Candidate by a LONG way, and we need to get in behind her as the perfect Candidate.

    Just saying.

    • Unfortunately I think most peoples issues seem to stand not with Willow-Jean but the party she represents.

      Which, is a shames, as you hit the nail on the heads. This is someone that deeply cares for Northland, has strong ties and knows what issues this region is facing.

      She is not in it for the money, or the glory (what glory). She is in it as it is the best way she can see to make a difference in the part of NZ that holds her heart.

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