Due to the strict electoral rules, I am unable to cover more of the upcoming OUSA by-election. This allows me to turn my beady eyes to the (perhaps more important) dynamics of the ‘micro-party factor’ in the Mt.Albert by-election. Although I already sorta covered it in a previous issue, I can now, with the benefit of additional information do a better analysis of micro parties in Mt. Albert. Specifically, how two seemingly disparate and unlikely parties may end up costing the National Party the Mt. Albert by-election.
So far, only two micro-parties have thrown their hat in the ring. The Kiwi Party has nominated Simonne Dyer with Larry Baldock calling her an ‘exceptional woman with a lifetime of service to many.. a former CEO of a large Hospital ship.’ Simonne appears to have displaced former Mt.Albert candidate Christian Dawson, the fact that the Kiwi Party felt the need to do this indicates that they will be taking this by-election very seriously. Their press release gives a hint of their campaigning strategy and intentions with Baldock saying that “No other candidate in this by-election will be speaking about importance of returning this nation to its foundational values.” Hmm, might the Kiwi Party be fishing for the NZFirst reactionary vote? They go further, accusing National, Act, Labour and the Greens of working to ‘undermine timeless values.’ Wanting to return to the good old days? Check. Accusing other parties of a grand conspiracy? Check. Attempting to stir up a mood of moral panic and outrage for electoral gain? Check. If NZ First and United Future do not stand any candidates, Dyer may very well pick up the NZ First vote in the last election (932) and the United Futurist vote (232), combine it with the Kiwi Party total (157) and reach the 1000 vote threshold. If she campaigns well enough, she may pick up upset Musukuites, who are annoyed with Head Office shoeing in Melissa Lee. (Ravi Musuku was the National Party candidate in the previous elections and intimately linked to the National Party’s Christian Wing) The best case scenario for the Kiwi Party is to rack up around 2000-3000 votes, coming fourth in a tight race, this will fuel intense mainstream media speculation that they cost National the by-election. Intense media speculation will lead to a higher profile to the Kiwi Party.
The other declared candidate for a micro party is Dakta Green from the Aotearoa Legalize Cannabis Party. Green’s last name may confuse voters who intend to vote for the Green Party. Green also shares one plank in common with the Green Party platform which is the de-criminalization of cannabis. Any vote that Green steals from the Greens will be a loss to National because in a FPP election, a vote for the Green Party is effectively a vote for the National
Overall, the two micro-parties that have declared candidates can end up losing 1000-3500 for the National Party. A not so insignificant number in what will undoubtedly be a close election.