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Mike's Minute: Hamilton West's result is likely the election result

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 9 Dec 2022, 9:39am

Mike's Minute: Hamilton West's result is likely the election result

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 9 Dec 2022, 9:39am

Prediction time for tomorrow in Hamilton-West.

The biggest loser will be Gaurav Sharma who will barely register, thus telling him a couple of things.

The first is that the noise he made about Labour amounts and counts for nothing.

He was a nobody, he is a nobody, he will go back to being a nobody and a Government that wins with the numbers Labour did in 2020 brings in a lot of nobodies, who essentially hang out for three years making no impression whatsoever and basically wait for the tide to sweep them back out three years later.

The idea that people would latch onto his narrative and make him some sort of hero was always delusional, although I am sure at least part of what he said was true. But essentially no one cares, it was classic belt way.

The same way Sam Uffindell was belt way. It's a few days’ worth of headlines for the Wellington wonks but beyond that it barely registered.

The second biggest loser will be Labour, given they hold the seat. It is true to say by elections don’t favour the incumbent. A Labour loss though is a double blow, given it’s the last decisive democratic act before Christmas, which is before election year.

Secondly, it comes on top of all the other problems this Government has. It’s a sort of a nail in an annus horribilis coffin.

The opposite applies of course, should Labour win.

Should Labour win, it would be an astonishing gift heading into next year.

It would be all the oxygen and hope you would ever have needed to go to Christmas, stop, breathe, reset and start afresh in January.

If that unfolds all predictions for next year are off.

As for National, they are sort of stuck. They have to win and they should win.

They should win because they deserve to win. They have formed themselves into a proper opposition, the bitching is gone, the leaking is gone, they are winning in the house, they have their act together and they look credible.

Put them up against a haphazard Government and you have no excuse not to win.

Which is why they have to win. If you can't beat this lot in a bell weather seat - well, that is a nightmare they don’t want to even begin to comprehend.

What about ACT? ACT need to turn out a vote that broadly represents their national number, somewhere between 10-12 percent.

They need to carry on looking credible.

Although the poll we saw was only 400 people, and other small polls in things like mayoral races have proven ropey, the numbers we saw this week feel about right - National winning by a comfortable margin.

Add their vote and ACT's vote and look how close to 50 percent you get.

And that is why they call Hamilton West bellwether. Where it goes, the country goes.

Saturday's result is most likely next year's result.

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