Why National might lose Northland and why Labour can’t win



The Northland by-election is shaping up to be a titanic battle of self interest masked as national interest.

First up, I don’t think there is much reality of Labour winning Northland. It’s not that Willow Jean Prime isn’t an incredible candidate, she is. The problem is the electorate. Northland is a banjo twanging red neck Hicksville bled white from most Maori being on the Maori roll rather than the general roll. These people voted for a thick necked Police thug for Christ’s sake, book burning is recreational here.

Progress in Northland is people not burning witches when there’s an eclipse.

So Labour are going to have one hell of a mountain to climb to win this. Do they have the money? Do they have the machine on the ground? I don’t think so. It’s a lot of money to spend to fight Winston who they are desperately trying to align with rather than the Greens.

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Secondly National have real problems here. The moment the allegations against Mike Sabin comes out, the backlash from a conservative electorate like Northland will be immense and the fury from the rest of the country will follow close behind. Watch for Winston to start using Parliamentary privilege to out Sabin and base his entire campaign on  that backlash.

Which thirdly leaves Winston himself. If he wins, what does he do? National will try and woo him with baubles and will offer him something in return for his vote, which they would require to gain Parliamentary majority to pass their legislative agenda. National may decide Peter Dunne is a better play thing to prop up their Government than Winston so will leave him on the outside.

If Winston does win, that bodes ill for the Greens who will have to watch NZ First and Labour cuddle up and quietly plot to push the Greens out of Cabinet again if 2017 goes the Oppositions way.

The Northland result has many ramifications.




  1. Its a worry that Winston might give his vote to National . maybe he could be persuaded to stay neutral, after all giving his vote to National
    would defeat the object,curbing Nationals control.
    Time for Winston to give assurances , but given he usually holds all his cards close to his chest and liking to be king maker it might hurt his chances if he dosnt come up with assurances.

    • Winston Peters might think twice before giving his vote to the Nats too often. If he does, he may find himself and his Party tarred with the same brush that has coated Peter Dunne and the Moari Party with the rank odour of Tory lapdogs.

      Does he really want to become so aligned with Key that people start recalling his disastrous relationship with National in the late 1990s?

      And even those who are too young (or too distracted by Reality TV) to remember may see him as being part of the National-led bloc, and then wonder what is the point of voting for him if he is perceived to be part of the government.

      As always, small parties walk a fine tight-rope between being seen as “independent” or “obstructive” or “inconsequential”.

      I hope he’s learnt the lessons of the 1990s.

      • True every bit Martyn,

        Winston spoke very forcefully against all National policies as a mitigated disaster for NZ’s future.

        Elle can rest easy here as we assume at both the meetings we attended in Napier & Gisborne his vitriolic speech against them, he will carry the fight to destabilise this future wrecking ball called National.

        Go Winston.

        • I damn well hope so because this country has become a bloody train wreck.

          When young people with diabetes and associated disabiulities are thrown to the wolves and told if you need more money for your meds go bleed your friends and relations dry and if it bankrupts a few tough shit.

          This neoliberal bullshit has to come to an end and a real social demopcratic health / welfare system put in its place.

          Believe you me i have been going through the above with a young diabetic who has had minimal help from winz and it has damn near bankrupted me paying for his hospital and health bills.


  2. “The moment the allegations against Mike Sabin comes out, the backlash from a conservative electorate like Northland will be immense and the fury from the rest of the country will follow close behind.”

    I don’t know, I’ve pretty much lost faith in the New Zealand voting public. They will make a few loud noises but go on voting for Key. Those who support Key have shown they don’t have a problem with any of his behaviour to the point of actually voting for Labour or anyone else.

    • “The moment the allegations against Mike Sabin come out . . . ‘

      It will be palmed off a left wing conspiracy theory and the media will be loath to give it decent airtime.

  3. I just hope Winston Wins and has a deal with Labour to stop National. At least Winson is not wanting to sell his soul to Washington or Beijing.

    • Careful how dissenting you are “Save NZ”.

      Hitler had Auschwitz for ‘jews, gypsies, homosexuals and political dissidents’. Stalin had a similar fate for political dissenters in the Gulag Archipelago. These days, poor old Putin’s dissenters get a cup of radioactive tea, or 7 shots in the middle of the back in Red Square.

      What will Kiwi dissenting political enemies against “Krusader Key” get you?

      Number 89 on the GCSB watchlist?
      Locked in a room with Krusader Key’s audiobook, read by John Key himself, murdering the Kiwi “langwidge” worse than Lyn of Tawa did, with highlights from his “unofushul biogruffe”?
      Watching endless re-runs of sycophantic MSM reporters feeding Key lines so he can tell ‘Nyu Zuldenrs’ about his chats with Tony a leader under pressure and Ritchie and Brendan in their respective changing rooms.

      How can we live in a benevolent dictatorship with such cruel punishments?

      • You have been brainwashed by the mainstream media. “Seven shots in the back”? Go to
        for a more nuanced approach to the murder of a Russian City councillor who opposed Putin. Not an opposition leader as the media would have us believe. That would be the same media that completely ignores the “suicide” of a Ukrainian opposition figure by jumping off a building.

    • I hope winston swallows his pride and works witrh the greens to force a change in labour.

      Because no change is going to happen in this country unless he forces that change.

  4. The Greens have had extraordinary influence without being at the Cabinet table (and the restrictions that would bring) – IMO they just stick to their knitting, keep hitting the issues that matter, don’t buy into “the beltway” (hate that term but it’s convenient shorthand), keep exposing the system for the crock it is rather than join it.

  5. “The moment the allegations against Mike Sabin comes out, the backlash from a conservative electorate like Northland will be immense and the fury from the rest of the country will follow close behind.”

    And to add to Martyn’s comment, it won’t only be the allegations should they see the light of day, which will be a blow to the Natsies.

    There is also the issue of how Key handled this, prior to the election, followed by promoting Sabin to the role of Chairman of the Select Law and Order Committee and then brushing everything off as being inconsequential, when he lied about the time frame as to when he became aware of the alleged offences against Sabin!

    Key’s behaviour throughout here, has been less than acceptable and not becoming as expected of the office of PM.

    Key’s cover ups over this case won’t go down well with the electorate.

  6. Labour can’t win and I think they have more or less said that from the outset. It’s a waste of money but they should be caning National on any other issue during it.

    But Winston just might and Christ all mighty that would throw the cat amongst the pigeons for the born to rule wankers that think they own Northland.

    And of course watch for giant sized diversions from National as this builds up.

  7. One interesting scenario not acknowledged is the vote split scenario by Winston. Incumbants majority was approx. 9k votes with a total around 17 k. Prime got 8k…now lets say peters gets 8k..(his party vote was 4k) the new nat gets vote halved after nats hear how theyve been stiffed, (unlikely)that leaves all of candidates on about a level playing field of 8k each. It not likely,but IF it becomes public regarding the “recent events” one could understand nat voters not actually being too keen to pop down to the booths again,and theres a lot of nats who are decent people and might just not be inclined to swing to labour for sure,but I know many who would swing to nz1st . Just saying…theres a small chance this could be interesting. Especially given the Crosby textor tools and vote altering poll tricks are pretty nullified by the short campaign,and that the new nat guy,is a complete unknown.

    • Thats a scenario that could happen in Northland if Prime’s vote holds. Look at how Labour’s Nash got his seat–the tory vote was split by the “hang ’em high” brigade of McVicar. Plus in Northland 2014 there were over 3000 odd Green electorate and party votes respectively that will need somewhere to go if those people turn out for the by election.

      • The Green vote is unlikely to go to Peters because he supports the National/Labour monetarist consensus on off shore oil exploration in Northland.
        This policy is extremely unpopular.
        He will get nowhere.
        Off shore oil provides no jobs for Northland, and all the royalties go to Wellington, while Northland wears all the risks.

        So what could happen to the Green Vote?

        My guess is that most won’t bother.

        • The Green Party have decided to abstain from this election, but the Green Vote needn’t be wasted, it could go to the Mana candidate, that is if the Green leadership endorsed him because of his leading oppositional stand against statoil.

          From the Northen Advocate:

          Mr Porter is well known in the Far North as a vocal advocate for Maori rights and the environment. He has been one of the main players in the protests against Norwegian firm Statoil’s plans to explore for oil off the west coast. He also develops affordable housing on Maori land.


  8. I tend to think the nats will win the seat but I support Winstons effort and intent.

    As a side note I heard a rumor about John Keys Law and Justice man Sabin ………………

    Given the success of his ‘Conning’ business model Sabin is ready to get back into business and he’s launching some new franchise lines ……

    First off the block is Thc-Con …………. His mates in the police force and the judges who cannabis criminals appear in front of will supply these ‘customers’ with court ordered Thc-Con rehabilitation becoming part of the punishment.

    At the higher end of the market is Coke-Con for advertising executives, merchant bankers and other upmarket cocaine users …….

    But the lower end of the market is not left out and Sabin has it covered with Glue-Con or perhaps Huffer-Con to include all the paint & solvent sniffers. …… Given that this market has lots of young users Mike is particularly keen to get involved in this particular Con.

    After serving the community with his Con’s Sabin plans on returning to parliament when the political environment is more suited to a man like him.

    Perhaps when Judith Collins is Prime minister …………..

  9. “Perhaps when Judith Collins is Prime minister “…

    Perhaps if the other maenads in National’s top rank let her through. At a price, of course.

  10. “And old McDonald had a farm”…

    Yes, the north is “provinve” for sure, but I feel they still deserve a bit more respect than the post above gives them.

    They are not all hillbillies, going to church on Sunday and “burning books”.

    Sadly most rural New Zealand is rather “conservative” and not that “connected” and “enlightened”, but will they see the light if we label them as hopeless cases?

    Perhaps give them a chance, and let them have their voice, this will at least be very entertaining, to see Winnie and his supporters tour the vast electorate, and fill the halls, while Key, Joyce and English will shake in fear, that their candidate will have something useful to say.

    Whether Winston wins or the Nat man, to be honest, neither will be able to deliver all that much more for the north, same as all the ones before did not achieve all that much.

    At least there may be a “feelgood factor”, when the old fox in the House whips up emotions, and gives his crowds cause to cheer and shout “go, go, go Winston!”

    All I hope is that National gets hit with a loss, so that the cards get mixed anew, and that Key will look more humble, and is stopped from bleating on as he usually does, about how “great” his government is, and how “successful” National are.

    I want to see a very humble, a humiliated Johnny Do No Good Key!

  11. I want to see the attack dogs demolish NatZ bullshit that they have bought a recovery of the economy and put us right.


    Please opposition tell NZ how NatZ are borrowing from overseas to prop up this failing economy.


    With a Crown debt now reaching over $90 billion and rising weekly now from $8 billion when they took over late 2008.

    Australia’s crown debt is about $160 billion, (a lot less by comparison) for an economy six times larger than ours so we are in the poo.

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