A recent poll has added to Auckland mayor, Len Brown’s problems. Horizon Research recently revealed that the incumbent, Len Brown, has a serious challenger in the form of current Labour MP, Phil Goff;
Former Labour leader and cabinet minister Phil Goff is a clear front runner in results of a poll on who would receive most current and potential support if they were to run for the Auckland Mayoralty in 2016.
A Horizon Research poll of Auckland Council area residents conducted between 19 and 26 March 2015 finds Mr Goff, the MP for Mt Roskill, has 20% support of all respondents if he were to become a Mayoral candidate.
Former Mayor John Banks has 8% support.
Current Mayor Len Brown has 5%.
Runners-up in the poll were CEO for Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, at 5%; National MP for Pakuranga, Maurice Williamson at 6%; current right-wing councillor Cameron Brewer at 5%; and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, at 4%.
The poll follows an unscientific NZ Herald on-line survey reported on 18 March, where 5,000 respondents cast their preferences. Again, Phil Goff was the preferred candidate;
Phil Goff – 26%
John Banks – 22%
Michael Barnett – 15%
Maurice Williamson – 14%
Penny Hulse – 13%
Len Brown – 5%
John Palino – 5%
One year ago, on 20 March 2014, the Herald published a more scientific survey which also gave bad news for any future Len Brown mayoral-candidacy.
The results were again less than encouraging for Brown;
Only 22.7 per cent of the people questioned in this month’s poll said they would vote for Mr Brown in the 2016 elections; 57.7 per cent said they would not. The other 20 per cent said they did not know or did not vote in local body elections.
Interestingly, the beneficiary of any anti-Brown voter-sentiment would appear to be another “left-leaning” candidate (Goff), and not his previous electoral rival, John Banks.
Despite his initial conviction, for filing a false electoral return for his failed 2010 mayoral campaign, being quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2014, public perception of Banks’ lack of judgement may weigh against him for any political come-back. The ex-National MP; ex-ACT MP; and ex-Mayor is seen as too “accident”-prone to be considered a viable alternative to Len Brown.
Banks’ re-trial – set for 6 July this year – is by no means a guarantee that he will be found Not Guilty this time around.
Other right contenders are Maurice Williamson and John Palino – the latter implicated in dirty dealings with a well-known right-wing blogger who ‘outed’ Brown’s affair with Auckland woman, Bevan Chuang;
Luige Wewege was closely connected with Palino’s mayoral campaign team. He was, in turn, ‘outed’ by Kiwiblogger, David Farrar, as a liar when Wewege denied in public that he himself had had a close relationship with Ms Chuang.
Wewege and Palino have burnt their political bridges in this country.
Auckland city councillor, Cameron Brewer, has also expressed a willingness to stand on a right-wing ticket. But aside from looking like a minor character who inhabits the comic-book store in the US sitcom, ‘Big Bang Theory‘, it is hard to see what he has going for him. As with Banks, Brown, and Williamson, contenders for a mayoralty require a strong, out-going personality. ‘Nuff said.
Which leaves Maurice Williamson as the most likely right-wing adversary for a Goff tilt at the Auckland mayoralty.
Despite receiving only 14% support in the unscientific 18 March poll, support for Williamson cannot be under-estimated. His famous “Big Gay Rainbow” speech in Parliament on 17 April 2013 alone must have cemented Williamson as an inspirational beacon of hope for the LGBT community in Auckland.
With a decent campaign team and predictably plentiful donations of cash from the business sector, Williamson could yet prove a strong adversary for Phil Goff.
One thing is for certain, as the Horizon Poll pointed out, Len Brown’s political career appears to be over;
“Indications are that 65% of ratepayers would not consider voting for Mr Brown if he were to be a candidate.”
It would be interesting to know who commissioned the poll-questioning regarding Auckland’s mayoralty.
The real question for the Left is, would a Phil Goff mayoralty be any better?
If Goff issued any statement on the dispute, I have yet to find it.
It is that silence which I find troubling. And it is not often that I am troubled by a politician’s silence.
Horizon Poll: Brown down, Goff front runner in Mayoralty poll
NZ Herald: Thumbs down for Len Brown – poll
Fairfax media: John Banks retrial set for July 6
Fairfax media: The mayor, the love rat and nudity
Kiwiblog: Not in a relationship!
TV3 News: Wewege denies relationship with Chuang
Fairfax media: Phil Goff – rebel with applause
NZ Herald: Port admits leaking worker’s details – union
Other related blogposts
Kiwiblog: Mayor Goff?
The Daily Blog: 5 reasons why Goff will run for Auckland Mayor
The Standard: Len Brown’s future
The Standard: Len Brown is toast
Your NZ: Brown eased out, Goff lining up
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