Five thoughts on the Mana outcome
I know I promised “last word” on Mana last time, but I guess I was meaning prior to the election. Also, a couple of people have commented and emailed to the effect that I should post something on the topic in the wash-up. So here are five quick takeaways.
- The result was an okay one for Labour considering the political environment and the relative strength of the National Party candidate and amount of political capital invested by Key.
- Despite their astute expectations-setting (thanks largely to David Farrar), the Nats surely gave themselves a chance in Mana, and for good reason. The 6,000 vote majority talk was always bullshit and, given the likely and eventual turnout, so was 2,500. 1080 or so is below par for Labour, but not by much. Not a game-changer either way.
- Matt McCarten ended up doing about as badly as I thought he would. This is not an electorate that was ever likely to warm to his political ideology or style. The McCartenistas who mocked my earlier posts on this subject should feel welcome to say ‘hi’ at any time.
- Faafoi bled votes to the Greens, Parata and elsewhere because of his strange and misguided approach to dealing with carpet-bagging allegations. If he had fronted his outsider status and dealt with it honestly and with humour, it needn’t have hurt him.
- The results points to a highly Balkanised electorate — and long-term demographic trends are not favourable to Labour. Since he is probably looking for houses in the electorate, can I suggest Faafoi takes a good look at Aotea, Papakowhai, Whitby, Paremata, Camborne or Plimmerton? Just quietly.