Sunday, September 04, 2005

Banks Peninsula Candidates

The Candidates for the Banks Pennisula electorate are:
Carter, David (National)
Clearwater, Phil (Jim Anderton's Progressive)
Donald, Rod (Green)
Dyson, Ruth (Labour)
Loomes, Robin (United Future)
McKenzie, Andrew (Alliance)
Mann, Alex (ACT)
Ruth Dyson won this seat in 2002 with a majority of 4,057 votes. On the basis of calculations back in June (which assumed a 12% swing towards National while Labour's share of the vote remained static), I predicted that Ruth would lose this seat to David Carter. Since most polls in the campaign have National and Labour polling in the 40-45% region, the prediction is still valid and continues to remain so barring a drastic collapse in National's support.

David Carter, the National Candidate, won Banks Peninsula in 1996. However due to the incorporation of the Labour stronghold of Lyttelton into the electorate, he lost it in 1999 and 2002 to Ruth Dyson. Despite these consecutive losses, David has remained in Parliament as a list MP. As I've mentioned above, I expect David to win the seat in the coming election.

Phil Clearwater, the Progressive candidate, is a local government figure of some importance. He is the head of the Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board having won 8,728 votes last year, which is an improvement of 3,014 votes over his 2001 total. However the community boards were enlarged in 2004 so that Phil was actually picking up votes from outside his old ward and hence the apparent improvement is misleading. In 2002, Phil stood as candidate for Banks Peninsula but only gained 646 electorate votes while his party received 952 party votes. Given the terminal condition of the Progressive Party and Phil's local prominence, I expect Phil to receive more candidate votes than his party receives in Party votes.

Rod Donald, the Green Candidate, is co-leader of the Green Party. In actual fact, he's number two but the Greens don't like the idea of a sole leader and so Jeanette deigns to be seen to be equal with Rod. He is popular in the electorate having gained more electorate votes than the Greens received in party votes during the last two elections. His share of the vote is likely to be static in this election as the Greens are roughly at the same place as they were in the 2002 election. He has been a sitting MP by virtue of party lists ever since 1996. There is a real chance that he may not be returned as an MP in the coming election (due to the Greens failing to win a seat and faoling to win more than 5% of the vote) but the odds are that he will.

Ruth Dyson is a minister of some importance. Due to her performance as Labour Party President, Robert Muldoon respectfully described her as someone to be feared. As Minister, she has only earned two blemishes on her record. The first was a drink-driving conviction that saw her lose her ministerial portfolios for six months. The second is when she called Katherine Rich an "irresponsible tart" during a select committee hearing. Even though I predict her to lose her seat, she is highly placed on the party list to be returned as a List MP.

Robin Loomes is standing for United Future. His resume is fairly respectable but he omits to mention that he's a mason. United Future gained 2,717 party votes in 2002 while its candidate gained less than half that. I expect the 2005 share of the vote to be well down.

Andrew McKenzie is the Alliance candidate. He has some importance within the party as their spokesman on Justice and the Public Sector as well as their general secretary. There's little else that I can find about him as his name is sufficiently common to drown out google searches. In 2002, the Alliance gained less than 500 part votes and its candidate gained just over half that. I expect their share of the vote to be static at best.

Alex Mann is standing for ACT. I can't find anything to add to his profile. In 2002, ACT gained 2,744 party votes while its candidate only received 834 votes. Since most of ACT's party votes were from National voters splitting their vote and that they are unlikely to do so this time around, I expect ACT's share of the vote to decrease radically.