Labour more to lose in Mt Roskill by-election, also slipping in polls

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Saturday’s by-election in Mount Roskill could give the government one last chance to strike a blow at Labour in this calendar year even though Prime Minister John Key is saying the party is the underdog.

Government parties do not usually do well in mid-term by-elections but there is a feeling that Labour has more to lose in this one than National.

A bad year for Labour continued this week with a Colmar Brunton poll showing that the government was supported by 50 percent of voters, up 2 percent, while Labour had slipped two to 28 percent.

As preferred Prime Minister, Labour leader Andrew Little was down two points to 8 while Key, although also slipping two points, was well ahead of him on 36.

The failure to make inroads into the government’s lead less than a year from the next election will be disappointing for Labour as will the fact that it stays below the 30 percent mark which is considered the minimum it should attain.

On the face of it the party should hold Mt Roskill but there are some unknown variables.

One is how much of the personal popularity of Phil Goff, who held the seat since 1993, will transfer to the Labour candidate Michael Wood. National actually won the list vote at the last election.

Also, the face of Mt Roskill, previously a working class Labour stronghold, has steadily changed over the years. Areas like Hillsborough, Lynfield, Three Kings and Sandringham have become increasingly popular and more expensive with the average house price now nudging $1 million. Rentals in the area have been increasing, forcing people who might be more inclined to be Labour voters to look elsewhere.

National’s candidate Parmjeet Parmar, a list MP, and Wood are not high profile candidates. In fact the whole campaign has been overshadowed by recent disasters like the Kaikoura earthquake and the weekend boating tragedy on the Kaipara Harbour.

That does not mean it is any less important to the two main parties but it is reasonable to assume that Little will be watching the results more nervously than Key.

Saturday’s by-election in Mount Roskill could give the government one last chance to strike a blow at Labour in this calendar year even though Prime Minister John Key is saying the party is the underdog.

Government parties do not usually do well in mid-term by-elections but there is a feeling that Labour has more to lose in this one than National.

A bad year for Labour continued this week with a Colmar Brunton poll showing that the government was supported by 50 percent of voters, up 2 percent, while Labour had slipped two to 28 percent.

As preferred Prime Minister, Labour leader Andrew Little was down two points to 8 while Key, although also slipping two points, was well ahead of him on 36.

The failure to make inroads into the government’s lead less than a year from the next election will be disappointing for Labour as will the fact that it stays below the 30 percent mark which is considered the minimum it should attain.

On the face of it the party should hold Mt Roskill but there are some unknown variables.

One is how much of the personal popularity of Phil Goff, who held the seat since 1993, will transfer to the Labour candidate Michael Wood. National actually won the list vote at the last election.

Also, the face of Mt Roskill, previously a working class Labour stronghold, has steadily changed over the years. Areas like Hillsborough, Lynfield, Three Kings and Sandringham have become increasingly popular and more expensive with the average house price now nudging $1 million. Rentals in the area have been increasing, forcing people who might be more inclined to be Labour voters to look elsewhere.

National’s candidate Parmjeet Parmar, a list MP, and Wood are not high profile candidates. In fact the whole campaign has been overshadowed by recent disasters like the Kaikoura earthquake and the weekend boating tragedy on the Kaipara Harbour.

That does not mean it is any less important to the two main parties but it is reasonable to assume that Little will be watching the results more nervously than Key.

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Paul - 2 years ago
How does that humble pie taste? They won by a landslide.
One of the reasons Labour "struggles to make inroads" is because they're derided by the media, while journalists fail to challenge John Key and his setting of the narrative.
Perhaps get out and speak to people on the ground, in Mt Roskill - instead of speculating from afar.

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