Yo Labour – I’mma let you finish … but Winston Peters gonna run the best by-election campaign of all time

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Right, well it’s taken something like half a decade … but we’ve finally reached a situation wherein pretty much everyone left-of-center who isn’t a die-hard Labourite (but then, I repeat myself) is lining up behind Winston Peters as the logical and natural champion of the common man against National.

I shall attempt to restrain my jubilation at reading ecstatically supportive pieces from so many people (including some pundits who not two elections ago saw fit to gleefully write us off) – and instead say merely this:

Welcome to #TeamWinston 😀 Hope you’ll stick around after the 28th to help us finish the job.

But it isn’t just the mercurial temperaments of the Parliamentary Press Gallery that have swung massively in Winston’s favour. While we here in New Zealand First customarily don’t place too much credence in the predictive power of polling (and why would we – polls have a nasty habit of woefully UNDERESTIMATING our support) … it’s difficult not to feel your spirits buoyed when a Reid Research poll comes out placing Winston at the head of the race on 35%.

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Up until Wednesday, this was a safe National seat. With the sole exception of Social Credit taking out its predecessor of Hobson in 1963, National has maintained an unbroken monopoly on Northland and its antecedents since 1943. When Key declared earlier this year that Mike Sabin’s 2014 majority was “over 9,000“, the application of the Dragon Ball Z reference to convey how imposing and formidable National’s hold on the seat then seemed was bang on the money. (Although for what it’s worth, if we’re playing DBZMMP, Winston makes for a *far* more convincing Vegeta. Dragon Ball Key, by contrast, would be uttering “This isn’t even my final form!”)

But with National’s Mark Osbourne languishing behind Winston in the polls, it seems certain that National can no longer take the support of Northlanders for granted. We look forward to Key being made to eat his words about there being “zero chance” of the seat changing hands.

More interestingly, however, it’s not just National that Winston’s been showing up. The same “game-changer” Reid Research poll which had Winston on 35% also showed him damn near *doubling* the support of Labour candidate Willow-Jean Prime, who’s well back on 19%.

Some might say there’s nothing too surprising about one of the most inveterate and skillful campaigners in the country absolutely curb-stomping a local body politician whose sole experience in the big-leagues appears to be a single run as an electorate candidate less than six months ago. But considering the same candidate running for the same seat at the last General Election managed to capture nearly 26% of the vote when up against a sitting National MP vastly more well-known than Osbourne, the fact that Labour’s vote is in retreat despite an enormously tarnished local National brand suggests there’s something bigger going on.

I might be a little premature in saying this, but when Winston beats Labour up in Northland, it may very well signal the irreversible tipping point in Labour’s ever-accelerating transition from “Big Two” status to being a minor party. And, at the same time, a cementing of NZF’s return to eminence as the leading third party.

No wonder so many in Labour spent most of last week running scared all over social media trying to pour cold water on our imminent success. Word to the wise, guys – you can’t really call somebody FROM the electorate in question and who regularly spends as much time as possible in the area a “carpetbagger”. If you’re finding “Messiah” too much of a mouthful, perhaps “Mana Whenua” might be a more appropriate way of expressing his relationship to Northland. Also, as applies Andrew Little calling into question how long Winston would be around as the local MP … given the average length of tenure enjoyed by the last few Labour leaders, I’m not *quite* sure Little’s in the appropriate position to be calling into question the durability of anyone else in a political position.

Fortunately – and much to the annoyance, I’m sure, of Labour’s perforate-one’s-septum-to-spite-one’s-face brigade – on Sunday morning Little came to his senses and offered a tacit endorsement of Winston’s candidacy in Northland. I guess when it comes to politics a lot really CAN change in 3 days.

By urging voters to be “intelligent” and “realistic” in their choice – then consciously echoing Winston’s campaign call to “send a message to the government” – Little has finally conceded that a victory against National up in Northland is far and away more important than any petty pride Labour might have been able to salvage by putting in an also-ran showing in this by-election. It also allows them to recast a poor result for their candidate as the inevitable consequence of “taking one for the team” by backing Winston, rather than further evidence of their ongoing slide to third party status.

Now while National’s spin-doctors will no doubt try to use this to shepherd Northland voters away from Winston by claiming that this means a vote for Winston is therefore suddenly a vote for Labour … it isn’t.

A vote for Winston is a vote for New Zealand First. It’s a vote to put the people ahead of politicians who take them for granted. And it’s a vote to send a message to the Government that it’s time they stopped arrogantly assuming that Labour’s dysfunction means National has an automatic “right to rule”.

Regardless of whom you normally support, or where you situate yourself on the political spectrum, there are solid reasons to back Winston up in Northland.

If you’re an opponent of the present government, then the justification for supporting Winston is clear. He’s done more in the last six days than Labour has in the previous six years to abjectly terrify National and remind them we live in a democracy where power actually can change hands.

If you’re a Green, then the scare-factor National is dangling in front of the electorate of a Winston victory delivering a stronger RMA ought to present a prima facie reason to beat the rush for #BlackGreen2017 and support New Zealand First right here, right now.

And if you’re a Nat (in which case, colour me genuinely surprised and appreciative of your patronage of this blog) … think of it this way. National takes Northland for granted because they know that no matter how little they do for you, there’s never previously been an alternative that you’d consider voting for. This means they’ve let your region languish and lead to them being so incredibly arrogant that they stood a man they KNEW before the Election to be facing serious criminal charges, and still expected you to vote for him. They then had the nerve to assume that you’d just do as they told you and vote in one of his associates as a replacement.

But no longer. When Winston entered the race last week, they started to get nervous. When 3News reported Winston ahead of their candidate on Thursday, they went into full-on panic mode. The most obvious sign of this has been their decision to deploy their greatest weapon – John Key – far more frequently into the electorate than they would have otherwise. So right off the bat, there’s conclusive proof that the threat of you voting for Winston gets your region more attention from the government and Prime Minister.

More amusingly, NZ First Deputy Leader Tracey Martin responded to National’s campaign tactic of announcing infrastructure improvements in seats they’re desperate to win … by pointing out that if it took only one week of Winston to scare the Nats into proffering ten new bridges for the region, then the efforts they’d have to put in to winning the seat back off him in 2017 would be seriously positive for Northland.

In other words, no matter what your political persuasion – or, for that matter, your prior opinion of Winston – if you’re not a blinkered backer of the current government … you’ve got something to cheer about when Winston liberates Northland later this month.

On March 28th … Winston Is Coming.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Just be careful NZ First does not do a ‘Labour’ and spend too much time gloating and cutting off options to do any future deals.

    Arrogance is what has got the Nats in Northland into so much trouble.

    Narcissism is what got Labour in trouble in the election.

    Anyway too soon to gloat for NZ First and might just start eroding those ‘Labour’ votes.

    NZ First should not be making put downs even subtly to Labour cos they are relying also on those votes too.

    • ‘NZ First should not be making put downs even subtly to Labour cos they are relying also on those votes too.’ But as Chris Trotter sometimes says when encouraging Labour to put the boot into NZ First/Greens “Where else can they go?” What goes around comes around.

  2. Just heard there’s an unpleasant thick slippery substance threatening the Northland environment!

    That’s right the sleazy Natsies have invaded the region, with the oily Key making fork tongued cheque book promises, which Northlanders know won’t be kept!

    After years of neglect, the Northland folk are too intelligent to be sucked in by this murk and will vote accordingly!

    • Ooooh but the Bridges. . . THE BRIDGES!!!. . .

      NATIONAL GONNA BUILD US BRIDGES!!!

      (p.s. . .great comment = lol)

      • In the unlikely event National wins, a month later John Key will say Bridges? What Bridges? I don’t remember saying that.

  3. Don’t you think the BEST result for NZ would be if Labour’s vote holds up while Winston wins by getting the votes of unhappy Nats?

    • @ Tony . The best result for New Zealand would be if an alien space craft vaporised parliament buildings during a full house sitting . The smell of fat and money burning would be unbearable .

      Put Labour , National , NZ First ( Little bit of sick ) ACT , United Future ( More sick ) into a cooking pot , add heat then stir . A new soup . Neoliberal soup . No vegetables , no meat . Just fat .

      • Then what do we do with the fat?…run our cars of it?

        Hmmmm…that wouldn’t work either…too much carbon emissions….

        Maybe we could rebuild (and own ) our railway system again and use it for a rust retardant on the tracks?…I dunno- must be some use…

        Geez…neo liberal politicians don’t seem to have any uses either which way , do they….

  4. John Carter was the reason Northland was National for so long,Mike Sabin was the follow on ,but didn’t last.
    The new candidate Osbourne states he pushed for new bridges, maybe John Key told him to claim that, but the only reason Key made “promises “was that he is running scared, don’t expect to get any new bridges.
    If Winston wins Key will likely forget the promise, there will be nothing in it for him .If in the unlikely event that Osbourne wins we still wont get the bridges, because Key wont need to worry about the National seat for a while.
    Cynical I know but Keys lies and his ignoring the public (TPP) to please Obama has finally made Northland and the rest of the country sit up and take notice,and Sabins drama didn’t help. Vote Winston Peters.

    • Beware of NatZ pulling yet another election fraud here as possibly did last election since there were anomalies in the pre election predictions and election results which suggests vote rigging has occurred.

      Watch this video of evidence given by a US federal incitement of a Election ex NASA programmer hired by a Chinese Lobbyist during a US election using rigged “Source codes” developed by Programmer Clint Curtis.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4aKOhbbK9E

      http://godfatherpolitics.com/8149/were-election-computers-programmed-in-ohio-to-give-obama-the-victory/

      Also this is confirmed by a retired NSA analyst also in this link.
      .
      http://www.ukprogressive.co.uk/breaking-retired-nsa-analyst-proves-gop-is-stealing-elections/article20598.html
      So according to NASA programmer if the pre election and the final election results are significantly different then according to his testimony there is evidence of voter fraud and therefore to prove voter fraud it requires only an manual independent vote recount to prove rigged voting fraud as the programmer had built the software program to not be traced or even finally discovered as his program finally eats itself afterwards.

      To help protect the integrity of this vital election we must have opposition use this resource of independent oversight of these elections from now on.

      Election Defense Alliance has tools to protect election fraud we observe.

      http://electiondefensealliance.org/?q=resource_list

      Here are some other pieces of evidence for our election strategists to be aware of.

      Note we shall require a significant winning margin (more than 10%) because the vote rigging program will shave off 10% of the NZ First vote the evidence information tells us.

      harpers.org/…chive/2012/11/how-to-rig-an-election/6

      bronxtparty.tripod.com/…ction-rigging-danger-2.html

      http://www.wesavedemocracy.org/does_your_vote_count.html

      • Many are convinced there was voter fraud at last election and we need to be very vigilant this time, National has a lot to lose and will go to great measures to ensure a win.
        The vote count needs to be done by honest impartial people.
        Could someone tell the public how the votes are counted now and where,it should not be by government, maybe all votes should be in locked boxes and special vehicles to deliver to where the count happens, no government agency or personnel should be involved,no one who could be influenced by government.lots of overseers no stone unturned to ensure fair vote.such is the lack of trust this government edgendered.

    • @ ELLE –

      You aren’t cynical. You are dead right!

      In the unlikely event of the Natsy patsy Osborne winning the seat, Key will put the cheque book away and it will be play the filthy game as usual! Northland will be put on the back burner once more. English will announce there isn’t enough money to improve Northland’s infrastructure! And Key won’t remember anything at all about it! Neither will he care, while the seat remains Natsy.

      I’m sure Northland folk can see through the sleazy, BS lies of the currency trader tactics here!

    • I agree, john carter was a good mp. I have never, and will never vote national, but didnt matter who you were, or who you voted for, john carter was the man to go to it you had a problem. As for the 10 bridges, what a bloody joke. We need full time employment not their updated version of it. Go winston.

  5. That famous old saying:

    “A one lane bridge is a great bridge if it carries someone over the water to not vote for John Key’s man.”

  6. If Northland wants bridges, having someone in Parliament reminding FJK that he promised them, would be way more pressure, than a very low in the ranks backbencher.
    Logic says if you want FJK to keep a promise, then having a rabid dog at his throat will be the only way it will happen.

    • You’ve got to admit though, that given the likelihood he’ll get there, Mark Osbourne, will look the part when he gets his well-suited insignificant place in the backbenches.

      He will have cobbers up the back and together they’ll actually look like some sort of clones from a weird cult. He comes across to me as a real plonker.

  7. Stick in there Northland: you can get a new hospital, an opera house, a hadron super-collider, high-speed rail, a new port facility, a slightly used casino and convention centre, and Joyce’s head on a stick – and still have Winston for MP if you want him.

  8. I’ve read comment that makes more sense than a lot of this article makes… The people in Northland had come to the realisation that they were being ignored, and used as voting fodder by the nats…. They are ready for a change, as long as that change wasn’t “red”.. which screams that a large part of the groundswell of support for Winston is based on him not being in the labour party…. Most are well aware of Winston’s connection to northland, and I suspect that Winston would rather have stood there initially for national instead of Hunua, where, without the underhanded, and specious court case invalidating every vote that had a tick beside malcolm douglas’ name, he would have been trashed… so this is a homecoming of sorts….

    I can only hope that his supporters within NZF can learn to follow his example, and desist from wallowing in “gotcha” politics, as this writer has done, to my disgust….. The rationale for labour followers to vote strategically is logical, and sensible, and the comments by Andrew little are those of a man who is realistic, and has no Canute like desire to see his party humiliated by refusing to recognise the reality of Northland politics…… That marks him as an intelligent, and sensible man who can make the hard choices when it’s necessary….

    The real test, this time, for peters, and NZF has yet to come.. If Peters wins, then how is NZF going to use that leverage? Will they turn their back on those that sent them a strong message that a change from National party politics is desired, or will he do a 1996 again, and cuddle up to the rotten to the core government currently stripping away our futures in front of our eyes? That is what a lot of labour, and disaffected people will be worrying about…. Watching NZF underlings indulging in petty point scoring even before the votes have been cast won’t give any reassurance at all…. My advice to them would be to stop doing a mini Numnums (key) and quit the blowing out of the rectum….

    • Agree a lot of the parties need to grow up and stop stupid name calling and one upmanship and work together to rid us of National.

      It is also up to Labour to take the initiative too, and need to have productive talks in private with both NZ First and Greens. With all parties being realistic and looking at what they have in common.

      For example NZ First are keen on social agenda, pensions, schooling, health and also have similar foreign policy to the Greens in terms of anti TPPA and asset sales and keeping RMA from being decimated. Labour keen on social agenda, schooling, health, but can they moderate their foreign policy? The good thing, is that they do have separate voters too, so if they play their cards right they will not cannibalise each other.

      NZ First, older more conservative patriot voters, Labour middle NZ, Greens more environmentally conscious and socially left.

      I hope Winston goes with Labour – National is so right wing now and into selling off our country and doing foreign deals like TPPA and mass surveillance which is opposite to NZ First polices.

  9. Reason the cheer for Curwen, yes, fair enough, I also rather have Winston take Northland than that Natman, what’s his name, Osbourne.

    But this is a by-election, and voters often use by-elections to vent frustrations and anger, and this time around, it is the Nats’ turn.

    I say indeed, beware the cheque-book that will be flashed around like no time before now, Bill English will have set aside a neat figure already, and Key will himself ensure he will do his tour around the electorate in the last days of the campaign, Mr Smile and Wave, and more bridges and what else is needed will be announced, day by day.

    Andrew Little has made a pragmatic decision, and it shows in his words, carefully chosen now, and Labour’s candidate is good at it too, I heard.

    The Nats thought they could play it safe, the ones who knew what happened with Sabin, they were over optimistic, thought it would all pass, and the majority seat would be kept, but then too much came out, and Sabin had to resign, as the questions did not stop.

    They did not provide for this, they lacked a suitable candidate, in such a short time, so all they had then was Mr Osbourne, a man better seen running a small town rugby club or standing behind a bar pouring beer, or turning some chops on a barbeque, than being responsible for a whole, neglected electorate, and representing voters and the government in Parliament.

    He is not MP material, I’d say, look at him, even walking around in a suit does make him look out of place, he looks better in shorts, gum boots and sitting on a quad bike, than on a chair in the House.

    Give the man a break, pull him out, Nats, he will lose embarrassingly, he may feel so depressed, he may do something to himself. Have you no respect for suffering of human beings, that others expect too much of? Pull Osbourne out, and let Winnie run his show, and give it to him, you are wasting your time, John, Bill, Paula and the rest of those, who have lost touch with the provinces.

    This is the beginning of the end of too many years darkness, lies and deceit, the beginning of the end of John Key’s dream run, as Prime Minister, and the beginning of the end of a Nat led government.

    Good riddance, I can’t wait for election day and the result!

  10. Winston Peters + Simunovich Fisheries
    Winston Peters + Donation Scandals
    Winston Peters + When No Means Yes
    Winston Peters + Asian Racism

    You are judged by the company you keep, Curwen.

    Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.

  11. In-fact Curwen, why don’t we play a fun little game.

    You list all the lies, hypocrisy, racism, links to big business and appeal to ignorant populist sentiment from John Key, and then I’ll do the same for Winston. This is a field that Winston won’t just win, he will obliterate. John Key may be close to the top of the food chain when it comes to the former qualities, but Winston is an apex predator.

    The ironic thing about this all is if Key hadn’t rejected Winston, Winston would have jumped into government with him in a heart beat and the saddest thing about it all is for all your blustering on here, you would jumped in with him.

  12. Hosea,

    Winston isn’t that stupid you jerk, he has principals not for sale that your ilk has no idea how to get some of it so no Winston wont sell out as you say.

    Dream on and join your Natz nasty nest.

    • I hope the above is sarcasm.

      Either that or you have forgotten that in a previous election Winston spent the build up criticizing National and leading voters to believe that he would ally with Labour….only to then after the election jump into bed with National securing them the government after they brought him off with the baubles of office.

      Voting for him is no different from voting for the BNP or the National Front party.

      • You’re quite correct on that, Hosea. I remember the day the coalition announcement was made with great clarity.

        I just hope he’s learnt from the debacle that followed…

  13. It is not surprising that Winston is making a good showing. In 2014 Sabin managed to get only slightly more than 50% of the vote, and that was with NZ First not fielding a candidate (The NZ First party vote was over 4000). This time round the Greens, the Conservatives, and Future NZ have declined to compete, which means there are close to 7000 votes going begging, if the 2014 result is anything to go by, not to mention the votes of those candidates who might have voted for a NZ First candidate had there been one. There is probably a fair chance of Winston’s picking up many of those votes.

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