Mike's Minute: It was a truly historic election night

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 19 Oct 2020, 10:26AM

Mike's Minute: It was a truly historic election night

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 19 Oct 2020, 10:26AM

The thing about a landslide is there is more than one story.

Obviously, a majority under MMP is history. And whether it's all because of the pandemic, which it is, doesn't really matter, the cards are the cards.

So, the headline goes to the size of the victory, but to ignore the other equally remarkable bits would be to do a number of people a massive disservice.

Chloe Swarbrick's win is astonishing. It's a reminder that in a seat where a popular incumbent leaves and the contest can be genuinely open, what Swarbrick did was good old-fashioned boots on the ground stuff. Hard work was rewarded. The only downside was she didn’t get to be the Greens saviour, that would have been the cream on an otherwise spectacular cake.

On a night when Labour rampaged through the countryside. It didn’t rampage through Auckland Central and the Labour candidate has got to wonder what the hell went wrong.

Similar story I suspect in Waiariki. There was no need for the Maori Party to win any seats. The Maori Party was born of anger and fury over the foreshore and seabed. There isn't a lot of anger and fury left now, hence last election they got wiped out. So why did they win? Helen White and Tamati Coffey might like to ask themselves a few hard questions.

ACT cannot be ignored.  One percent to eight percent, and one MP to 10 MPS. In terms of statistical improvement, they won the night, and in some respects, along with the greens saved MMP. It's a very First Past the Post Parliament, but if MMP is to survive it's got to have well established and well supported minor parties that don’t ebb and flow with the wind.

On the downside a landslide means carnage somewhere, and New Zealand First is finished. And whether you ever flirted with them or not, the cult of personality was never better expressed than by Winston Peters. His story isn't over yet, and sadly it's for all the wrong reasons.

The SFO case will play out, but the party itself is finished. The reality is it never had a succession plan. The last government and the PGF was supposed to sort of be it, but in reality, it was Peter's fiefdom and when he goes, so too go the fortunes of the party. That is the end of an interesting era.

I would like to think we might learn our lesson once and for all on the polls, but we won't. The polls couldn't have got the centre left-centre right gap more wrong.

But ultimately it was Labour's night and it's Labour's next three years, and whether the Greens are there or not doesn't matter.

This is a First Past the Post government. What shape they go to 2023 is entirely on them. 

The great ones walk towards that sort of pressure.    

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