Friday, September 02, 2005

Waimak candidates

The candidates for the Waimakariri electorate are:
Britnell, Michael Allan (Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis)
Cosgrove, Clayton (Labour)
Holdaway, Rebekah (ACT)
Liefting, Alan (Green)
Mark, Ron (New Zealand First)
Orme, Jason (Direct Democracy)
Pickering, John (United Future)
Wilkinson, Kate (National)
Wright, John Alexander (Jim Anderton's Progressive)
The seat was held in 2002 by Clayton Cosgrove with a majority of 10,536 votes. Clayton remains the favourite to win the seat in the coming election.

Michael Allan Britnell runs once again for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis party, although he's shifted from the Christchurch East electorate. Although he's mentioned a few times on the web, I can't turn up anything significant about him, not even a photo.

Clayton Cosgrove, the sitting Labour MP, has held this seat since 1999 when he succeeded Mike Moore. Although capable as an organizer and having some business experience, he is on the fringes of the Labour Caucus. The reason for this is that when Mike Moore was deposed as leader of the Labour Party in 1993, Clayton used his organizational talents to run an attack campaign against Helen Clark and her supporters. The memories of this has stymied his parliament career to the extent that he is one of the few second term Labour MPs who doesn't have a executive portfolio of some sort. He also blotted his copy book by trying to dump his secretary after she started going out with Craig McNair, a NZ First MP - the row made the papers and peace was made by promoting the secretary to a minister's office. Despite such errors of judgement and personality defects, Clayton remains popular in Waimakariri - he won 3000 more electorate votes than party votes in 2002.

Rebekah Holdaway is standing for ACT. ACT won 1,771 party votes in 2002 while its candidate won 475 electorate votes. I don't expect ACT to do so well this time.

Alan Liefting stands for the Greens. I know him primarily through his postings on nz.politics and nz.general and he comes across as milder than some of the other people of similar orientation that post there. His most recent act was to protest at a meeting of the Destiny Church in the Christchurch Town Hall under the impression that it was a public meeting. Bishop Tamaki's bouncers solidly disabused him of that error by physically evicting him. The Greens gained 1,628 party votes in 2002 while their candidate gained 952 votes. Alan should recieve similar votes this time around.

Ron Mark is standing for NZ First, having been a list MP since 1996. He is the only NZ First MP that I think is any good. For a long time, he was Mike Moore's annoited successor to his seat but Ron quit the Labour party for NZ First after Helen desposed Mike. When Mike was seething in the wilderness after his deposition, Ron was trying his hardest to entice Mike into jumping ship for NZ First. Ron's popularity in the electorate can be seen in the fact that he gained 5,615 electorate votes while NZ First only received 3,834 party votes in 2002. As he is number 4 on the party list, Ron is most likely to be returned to parliament on the strength of the NZ First vote. However due to Winston's poor performance, there is a good chance that NZ First may not be returned to Parliament.

Jason Orme is standing for Direct Democracy. The only thing I could find googling was that there was a local drummer of the same name but the drummer doesn't look like the candidate in the only picture that I could find. From the looks of the candidate, my guess is that he's an associate of Kyle Chapman's.

John Pickering stands for United Future. He works at ie limited being some sort of development agency for internation students. He even has a blog limited but he's suspended that in favour of a politcal blog for the campaign. United Future gained 2,379 party votes in 2002 while its candidate won 802 electorate votes. I expect the votes to be much lower in 2005 due to United Future's poor polling.

Kate Wilkinson is standing for the National Party. National won 7,593 party votes in 2002 while its candidate won only 7,035. This lop-sided result runs counter to the trend that National voters split their vote and is probably due party votes being cast by Ron Mark or Clayton Cosgrove. I expect National to improve its performance but not to the extent of unseating Clayton Cosgrove. Kate is no. 38 on the party list and thus likely to be selected as a list MP.

John Wright is standing for Jim's Progressives. He was originally in the Social Credit/Democratic party and was instrumental in persuading it to join forces with New Labour, the Greens, the Liberals and Mana Motuhake to form the Alliance. Under the Alliance banner, John became an MP from 1996 to 2002. When Jim Anderton split the Alliance, John Wright having abandoned Social Credit could only follow Jim. Jim's Party received 721 party votes in 2002 and John Wright received only 583. John's share of the vote is likely to be even lower in this election.