- Many National electorate majorities expected to grow
- Cabinet places firm up as political parties talk turkey
- This is not the official election results site. If you want to see the official results go to www.electionresults.org.nz
- Labour leadership: Shearer surges after Parker withdraws
Written August 4
Wellington – National’s probability of holding New Plymouth – one of the most marginal seats in the country – has been increasing steadily recently on the iPredict market.
National's Jonathan Young took the New Plymouth seat off Labour MP Harry Duynhoven with a majority of 105 votes in 2008.
The then ACT candidate, Chris Albers, secured 455 votes in the election.
Former Labour Party President and EPMU boss Andrew Little is contesting the seat for Labour and a victory would do no harm to the political prospects of a man many consider to be a future leader of the party.
Little faces an uphill task though. He only recently began campaigning full time in the seat and it seems he has to convince a large number of National voters to give him their electorate vote.
This is because while the electorate race in New Plymouth was close last time, the party vote count was not.
National picked up 17,512 party votes in New Plymouth compared to Labour’s 10,901.
This would indicate a large number of those who gave their party vote to National also gave their electorate vote to Duynhoven.
To win Little has to convince a similar number to repeat their behaviour.
There are two Labour related stock on the seat.
Andrew Little to win New Plymouth slowly declined between July 25 and August 3 from 32 percent to 24 percent but today climbed back up closer to the 30 percent mark.
This is out of kilter with the Labour to win stock, which has fallen from 34 percent probability recently to around 22 percent.
National to win has recently moved from around a 60 percent probability to 72 percent.
ACT has already confirmed</a> it will not be standing a candidate in the seat
At the time The Taranaki Daily News reported that Little was crying foul over the "stitch-up" between National and ACT.
The iPredict market was earlier in the year picking a closely run race between Young and Little until rumours emerged last month of polls in the seat putting Young well ahead of Little.
Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett’s west Auckland seat of Waitakere is one of National’s most marginal seats.
In 2008, Bennett took the seat over Labour’s Lynne Pillay with a majority of 632. However the Green candidate took 1676 votes, New Zealand First 597 and ACT 482.
The party vote was divided in similar proportions with National on 12,952, Labour 12,498, Greens 2032, NZ First 1117 and ACT 1067.
This time Bennett is taking on Carmel Sepuloni who is considered by many in Labour to be a far more fearsome campaigner than Pillay, though Bennett is not your average politician either and knows how to play her ``Westie’’ image to the local voters.
With the political polls indicating a swing to National in the November election it would be conventional wisdom to assume this would translate into an increased majority for Bennett.
However as John Pagani noted on electionresults.co.nz in a blog the iPredict market is picking it will be close run thing.
The outcome could be decided by those who cast their electorate votes for minor parties in 2008 deciding whether they stick to their vote or cast it tactically to gain an outcome a bit closer to their political beliefs.
At the time of writing National was picked as just a 55 percent probability to win the seat.
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