Just bullet points from me:
- Len Brown by 60,000 votes over John Banks for Supercity Mayor. How about all those people who said his so-called outburst would be the death of him? Len Brown knows who his people are; he knows how to speak to them, and now he speaks for them. I can’t take any credit for the prediction, but this looks to me like the tale of differing personal narratives.
- But the biggest surprise isn’t Brown’s win: it’s Annette Main narrowly beating Michael Laws’ sock-puppet and long-term deputy Dot McKinnon for the Whanganui mayoralty. McKinnon apparently didn’t stand for council, so she’s gone. Main is an utterly different politician from Laws and his lot; this represents a genuine change of direction. Laws will remain as a councillor, and his being forced to submit to the leadership of a woman he can’t control will be worth the price of admission on its own.
- It pays to vote. Some results tweeted by Philip Lyth make this clear: election contests decided by 23, five and just three votes in Upper Hutt and Carterton. More crucially, for the Wellington mayoralty, Celia Wade-Brown is just 40 votes behind incumbent Kerry Prendergast, with about 900 specials still to count. Damn, that’s a lot of policy difference resting on very little. Stephen Judd tweets the following: “I’m totally serious: if Celia WB needs to lawyer up for a recount etc, I’ll donate.” I’ll bet he’s not alone, and if it’s this close after the specials are counted it’ll be a worthy cause.
- On the other hand, Eric Crampton makes a reasonable case about why he doesn’t vote. It’s as good an argument as I’ve seen, but I still don’t really buy it.
- Jim Anderton: I’ve got a lot of time for you, but honestly, you were well beaten by Bob Parker and there’s no use complaining about the earthquake and your inability to campaign. It’s churlish. Shut up, step down gracefully, and be remembered for your many good deeds rather than for being an inveterate whinger. Even Banksie is putting you to shame.
- People, hope springing eternal, will be keen to call this a ‘swing to the left’ and similar; especially given wins by Brown and people like Main and Duynhoven, and Celia Wade-Brown’s strong performance. I don’t think there’s sufficient evidence to support such an argument at present; at the very least, translating local body election results into central political partisan loyalty is something of a fool’s errand.
- Christine Prentice got predictably thrashed by Tim Shadbolt in Invercargill. But rumours I’ve heard from down that way suggest the point wasn’t ever to win, but that the candidacy was a profile-raising exercise to enable Prentice to mount a credible campaign to replace sitting National MP for Invercargill Eric Roy when he retires. I’m not sure how much credence to give these rumours; given Roy’s 7,000-ish margin and the milk boom Southland is currently enjoying they could probably stand a dairy cow with a blue rosette and win.
- Andrew Williams failed to even win a ward seat in the North Shore, which is a testament to his powers of self-delusion in standing for the Supercity Mayor. More frightening, though, is the fact that Cameron Slater, who entered the race late as a joke (probably conceived during a boozy lunch with DPF and Cactus Kate) got more than a thousand votes.Yikes. Watch out for him in 2013.
- Phil Quin remarked that local body politics is a de-facto retirement scheme for former (Labour) MPs: Harry Duynhoven has won in New Plymouth; Martin Gallagher in Hamilton; Paul Swain in Upper Hutt, and George Hawkins in South Auckland are among those he mentions. Duynhoven’s beaten rival for the mayoralty, Pauline Lockett, complained on Radio New Zealand that he had ‘name recognition’ on his side. I expect that has an awful lot to do with it.
- Daljit Singh didn’t get elected to the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board. Thank goodness for that.
That’s all I’ve got. All in all, a pretty big day capping a pretty fierce election.
(probably conceived during a boozy lunch with DPF and Cactus Kate)
Sadly neither David or myself can take credit for Cameron’s decision to stand. It was all himself.
Noted Mayor Williams performed so poorly in the campaign once Cameron entered the race, and was unelected to any position that Cameron’s campaign of “anyone but Wiliams” was a complete success.
I hold my hand up Lew. I thought Brown had no chance, especially after that outburst and said so here.
Just proves how out of touch I am with Auckland politics. It would seem Banksie made more enemies than friends from talkback.
It occurs to me that I would rather not have Len Brown as mayor than not have Andrew williams as a councillor so whaleoils effective campaigning could actually have been better directed.
Oh it’s a swing to the Left alright Lew, as confirmed by the Media’s deafening determination today to call it anything but. Key knows it – he’s already swimming with the Lendslide.
More importantly, with the rapid trashing of Garrett, Lhaws, Rankin, Slater, Henry et al it’s the death of the subterranean bigot-meme that resurrected NACT in 2004 and has floated it since. Note the repositioning in coming weeks of the Woodams, Tamiheres, Shadbolts, Scotts and other former Helenhate bandwagon-riders.
Even more importantly, it’s now 3-zip in Left v Press: the final hurdle of Progression. Mining, Mt Albert, Supercity: Labour needs to pore over every tiny detail of how these results were achieved, and learn. And repeat: starting right now.
I see Lhaws is as gracious as ever in the aftermath.
New Zealand’s most childish politician?
Lo Gov Minister â€˜Hideneyâ€™ was rather tardy, taking some hours to phone Len Brown apparently, whereas Banksie was on the horn in minutes. The corporatisation of Auckland notwithstanding Mark â€˜Fixitâ€™ Ford, will now likely proceed at a much slower pace with more due public scrutiny.