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The RDU Election Broadcast: An Introduction

Written by on 10 August 2017

The weird orange gimp man is back, which means there must be an election coming up. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting the election contests in and around Christchurch that will be decided on September the 23rd.

We’re going to look at the main Christchurch metro electorates – Christchurch Central, Christchurch East, Port Hills, Wigram, and Ilam – as well as three others – Selwyn, Waimakariri and Te Tai Tonga. We will also look at the Party Vote, which is much more important than any individual electorate contest.

This is the third general election since the quakes. The previous two have seen National take a firm grip on the party vote in the city, as well as 4 of the 8 electorates. While Labour have done well to retain 3 general electorate seats, despite significant boundary changes as a result population movement post-quake, they have done less well (read: dismally) with the party vote. At the 2014 election, Labour recorded their worst result virtually since they were founded. Remarkably, Labour did worse in the party vote in Christchurch than they did across the whole country: if a theoretically left-wing party can’t win urban centres, then they have no chance of winning an election. For the left to be in a position to call the shots with Winston the day after polling, then they need to do much better in places like Christchurch.

Though the narrative is much better if there is a battle, there is only really one electorate in play: Christchurch Central. That said, we will continue to profile each of the electorates, the main candidates, any particular local issues. If a week is a long time in politics, then a whole lot could change in the six weeks between now and September 23rd.

A few notes about the author:

James Dann is the host of Up Again, RDU’s breakfast show, which runs from 7:30am – 9:30am each weekday. In a previous life (ok, less than 3 years ago) he was the Labour Party candidate for Ilam, in which he both did kind of well, and lost to Gerry Brownlee by more than 10,000 votes. He’s still a member of the Labour Party, although if you follow his twitter (@edmuzik) you’d know that he doesn’t always follow the party line. The opinions expressed in these articles are his, not RDU’s.

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