In 2017 I helped then Chief of Staff Matt McCarten put together the Labour election strategy.
It was simple, use MMP to cut National’s support Parties so NZ First would choose Labour.
We did that by standing a strong public service candidate like Greg O’Connor in Ohariu against Peter Dunne to knock him out of the race and by bringing Willie Jackson and urban Māori away from the Māori Party.
That cut National’s support Parties and made it impossible for National to gain a majority.
With the 2023 election now being so close, Labour must again look to using MMP dynamics strategically and tactically to ensure they can win.
To that end, Jacinda should consider using the same tactic that National and ACT do in Epsom and have electorate coffee dates to let Labour voters know who to electorate vote to maximise the MMP dynamics for a win in 2023.
Central Auckland – Jacinda should have a coffee with Chloe to ensure she retains Auckland Central, the Greens are wobbly in the Polls and always over poll while their voters stay home and rarely turn out. I also think the international vote that always heavily favours Green/Labour won’t save them next year with so many expats furious they were locked out over Covid.
Waiariki – If the Māori Party gain more electorate seats than party vote, they generate an MMP overhang that makes it far more difficult for the Right to win a Parliamentary majority. Retaining Waiariki and picking up two more electorate seats would be essential for this.
Tāmaki Makaurau – Peeni Henry has already intimated he would prefer to be on the list than run in this electorate, John Tamihere would clean up if Jacinda had a coffee with him.
Te Tai Hauāuru – It is tradition for the Speaker to step down from an electorate and be on the list only, Adrian Rurawhe has yet to make that decision, but if he did, a coffee between Jacinda and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer would win it for her, which if taken alongside Wairiki and Tāmaki Makaurau would give the Māori Party 3 electorate seats and they are likely to win sub 3% Party vote thus creating an overhang.
Ilam – This is where it gets interesting. Gerry has stepped down from the electorate (he is fancying his chances as Speaker in the next Parliament) so if Jacinda had a coffee with Raf Manji from TOP and directed Labour voters to electorate vote him and he wins, he would also bring in MPs using the coat tail dynamic meaning TOP wouldn’t have to get over the 5% threshold.
At this stage a Labour/Green/Māori Party/TOP Government is the only chance for the political progress on the big economic issues we need.
A National/ACT Government would be the most right wing since Roger Douglas while NZ First’s inclusion would just be another 3 years of hand breaks for Labour.
It’s time to use MMP strategically using the very tactics National and ACT have used for decades in Epsom.
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