The new faces in Parliament if Labour keeps their polling up video

Willie Jackson's list placing of 21 felt low not too long ago. Now it's basically a sure bet.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Willie Jackson's list placing of 21 felt low not too long ago. Now it's basically a sure bet.

ANALYSIS: Jacinda Ardern's Labour has popped up to 36 per cent in a leaked UMR poll - enough to net them 45 MPs, far more than their current 31.

If this kind of polling holds out to election day, several of Labour's high-profile new selections will be guaranteed a spot in Parliament, along with a whole host of people you've probably never heard of.

Broadcasters Willie Jackson (21 on the list) and Tamati Coffey (34) would both have guaranteed places, as would lawyers Kiri Allan (20) and Duncan Webb (42).

Jacinda Ardern (left) and Hutt South candidate Ginny Andersen, centre.
ELEANOR WENMAN/FAIRFAX NZ

Jacinda Ardern (left) and Hutt South candidate Ginny Andersen, centre.

Several of them - Ohariu candidate Greg O'Connor (40) and Hutt South candidate Ginny Andersen (27) - were probably expecting hard-fought electorate campaigns. Now they won't be able to say "vote for me or I won't be in Parliament," which could actually end up hurting them.

READ MORE:
NZ Election: Just how good is this poll for Labour?
Labour's roll runs into National's rock
After 33 years, one of Labour's most recognisable faces bows out 

After all, as Hone Harawira has been saying in Kelvin Davis' seat: why vote for the local MP who will make it in anyway when you can get two for the same price?

Greg O'Connor could lose Ohariu and easily make it in on the list.
KEVIN STENT

Greg O'Connor could lose Ohariu and easily make it in on the list.

Andersen tells me she has already considered her list placing a "bonus".

"It's a full on scrap to win this seat. I'm fighting hardout every day to win."

Labour's Trevor Mallard (32 - again on the list) is now guaranteed a place after purposefully taking a list ranking low enough that he would only come in if Labour had a chance of governing. He says Andersen's guaranteed place won't really change the dynamics of her close-fought race against National's Chris Bishop in his old electorate.

Not the newest of faces, but Trevor Mallard is now a much surer bet for Parliament.
Kavinda Herath

Not the newest of faces, but Trevor Mallard is now a much surer bet for Parliament.

"If we were in the mid-twenties it would be really hard for her to win the seat. Something with a three before it makes things a lot easier," Mallard said.

Ad Feedback

"The vast majorities of people don't mix up their electorate and party vote - they vote the same way for both."

Bishop, who came in on the list in 2014 after losing by just 709 votes, doesn't think it will change the dynamic much.

Win or lose his seat, Tamati Coffey is likely to make it to Parliament.
BENN BATHGATE/FAIRFAX NZ

Win or lose his seat, Tamati Coffey is likely to make it to Parliament.

"I had no expectation in 2014 of making it. My focus has always been on just going as hard as I can for three years."

Mallard, who first entered Parliament in 1984, says this election will see a generational change much like the one that brought him to power - and brought down the average age of Cabinet by 20 years.

"The change from English to Ardern as Prime Minister will be the symbol of that, but sitting behind her will be a lot of younger people. Relatively younger that is! I get told off for calling people who are 30 young," Mallard said.

He said a majority of the new candidates would be relatively young women who would make Parliament "a very different place".

"There's a group of people there who are going to make a tremendous difference to the Parliament - they are just about all what I would say are younger women, younger women than me, they are exciting, dynamic - and are going to make Parliament a very different place."

One of the women Mallard mentions is lawyer and Whanganui candidate Steph Lewis, who is 28 years old, and 41 on the list.

She told me that she hadn't even realised that the polling meant she was likely to get a seat in Parliament even if she lost her local race until someone reminded her on Thursday night.

"I hadn't thought about it all - my focus is just on winning this seat," Lewis said.

Whanganui, which has been held by National's most left-leaning MP Chester Burrows since 2005, is very winnable in her eyes.

Burrows is retiring, so the race is between two newcomers.

People had asked Lewis about Ardern, but on the doorstep they wanted to talk about local issues.

"We've got a campaign team that is working really really hard on winning this seat. That's our focus. There hasn't been any talk about the list," Lewis said.

Another candidate fighting a hard race is Tamati Coffey, the former TVNZ broadcaster and Labour candidate for Waiariki, which Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has held since 2005.

Waiariki is currently the only seat held by the Maori Party, and thus the only reason they are in Parliament. Fellow co-leader Marama Fox has a chance in her electorate - but if she doesn't win Flavell is fighting for the very existence of his party in Parliament here.

Meanwhile, Coffey is 34 on the list - so win or lose he'll be probably moving to Wellington in October.

"I would probably caution that for a lot of our voters here, they don't understand a lot about the list. They still live very much in a first-past-the-post system, and you need to come to the table with a voted mandate from the people," Coffey told me.

He said he could feel the uptick in support for Labour on doorstops.

"There are a lot of people who previously though they weren't going to vote for Labour," Coffey said. "It's all very foreign to me but I love it."

This is all, of course, dependent on the polls not moving around.

And if the last few weeks have taught us anything, it's that nothing is certain in New Zealand politics.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback