Mar 3, 2008

What The Poll Results Mean For Electorate Seats

David Farrar has today posted an analysis which identifies that an anti-Labour swing could make quite a few seats vulnerable to challenge aside from the three Maori electorates Farrar suggests that the following are the most vulnerable on the basis of the last Colmar Brunton poll (National 48% Labour 36%) :

Auckland Central (Tizard) by 160 votes
Hamilton West (Gallagher) by 3,501 votes
New Plymouth (Duynhoven) by 1 (yes 1) vote
Otaki (Hughes) by 5,155 votes
Palmerston North by 506 votes
Rotorua (Chadwick) by 4,558 votes
Taupo (Burton) by 5,700 votes
West Coast-Tasman (O’Connor) by 3,274 votes

Using the previous Colmar Brunton Poll (National 55% Labour 32%) he adds more seats to the list:

Hutt South (Mallard)
Mana (Laban)
Port Hills (Dyson)
Waimakariri (Cosgrove)

This is all very interesting, but as Farrar notes, it is most unlikely that a uniform swing of this nature will take place. Moreover, the analysis also doesn't pay enough regard to the personalities involved. Consgrove and Laban are seen as doing a good job by many in their electorates. This will help. Mallard, O'Conner, Burton and Tizard have less positive ratings from the average constituents.

Those seats with out incumbent MPs will be very interesting to watch. Not on Farrar's list is Wellington Central. National did not have a strong candidate last time around, so Labour did better than it should have. This time around we have an impressive Labour candidate in Grant Robertson. We still don't know the National candidate - Stephen Franks or Paul Quinn seem the most likely names. Both are likely to impact more positively than Blumsky.

How Annette King is tainted by the growing Hawkes Bay DHB scandal is also going to be interesting to watch. Likewise, with both The Hive and Sunday Star Times speculating that King is seat warming for Andrew Little, how will this impact on the electorate vote? National is putting up Chris Finlayson - the strongest National Party candidate in this seat for many years.