Sunday, June 14, 2009

Byelection thoughts

So, Labour's David Shearer has won the Mt Albert byelection. No real surprises there. What is surprising is the extent of his victory - a majority almost as large as his predecessor's, on just two-thirds of the turnout (which is, contra Tumeke, pretty good for a by-election). Also surprising is how badly National got beaten. For a party which so played up its chances of victory early in the campaign, being beaten down to just 17% of the vote (only 5% more than the Greens) is pretty humiliating. But this is what happens when your candidate is a walking disaster and the government to which she belongs pulls out all the stops to annoy the electorate by threatening to bulldoze it to make way for a motorway (and bulldoze its democracy to make way for a Banks-run "supercity").

It will be interesting to see what labour does with Shearer. Given his CV, some sort of foreign affairs role is obvious, though he'll need to work his way up to it. As for Melissa Lee, I see a list position downgrade in her future...