The only poll likely for the Tauranga by-election is fascinating and in this race there are a whole bunch of different possible wins worth looking at as we attempt to dissect the result for the wider electorate in the 2023 election.
Tauranga has had an explosion of growth as Aucklanders with mullets were finally forced out of the city limits to restart their lives in Tauranga.
It likes to see itself as optimistic, dynamic and future focused, crime and the heaviness of the gang violence weighs heavily here. Aspiration in Tauranga matters and heavy gang shit really clashes against that optimism.
National – This electorate shouldn’t even be in play, the fact that Simon Bridges had a run for his money in the 2020 election and had his huge majority slashed so aggressively showed how much Jacinda had won over hearts and minds. This nothing nobody that the National Party has farted out as a candidate is a nothing nobody, the same sort of sausage factory of political foreskins that made Matt King a candidate in Northland. To date all he’s burped up is some bullshit idea to stop gang members driving in packs, which will never work and won’t ever become law.
Labour – They won’t be unhappy with Jan’s 21.9% here. This is Blue, blue, blue country. We call provincial electorates like this Smurf Town because National could run a dead sheep as their candidate and locals will still elect it. If labour walk out of this by-election with that result they will be skipping! It shows the 45+ women vote that poured into Labour is still holding solid and if Labour receive an MMP vote in these blue electorates anywhere close to 20% then they will be looking at low 40s on election night.
ACT – There is a real opportunity here for ACT to shine and David Seymour is touring the electorate dragging anyone he can into campaign videos. Seymour is probably the most recognisable political figure in Tauranga and he’s in it to win it. If ACT can get a double figure result then that’s a win.
Apathy – 31% don’t know who to vote for. That’s an enormous percentage of the electorate who have yet to make up their minds
NZ First – By not running, Winston has flinched and shown NZFirst don’t have the money to launch a campaign and that he’s preserving all his energy for his last gasp in next years election.
Māori Party – By refusing to stand because ‘everyone is racist’, is a political cowardice that would have shamed the Māori Battalion. Imagine going to war to ensure Māori rights and stand up for democracy only to have your decedents too frightened to participate.
Dumb Lives Matter – The political head injury that is Sue Grey has 3.4% which is all the Dumb Lives Matter anti-vaxx vote which is surprisingly solid when you consider how batshit lunatic fringe many are.
Parochial Lives Matter – Andrew Hollis having an equally strong 3.9% is a reminder of how parochial Tauranga is.
National should win this by-election with their eyes closed, and ultimately that’s all that matters, but apathy from the electorate could make that win a bruised eye if they don’t win convincingly. The high level of don’t knows plus the feral Dumb Lives Matter electorate plus Labour’s enduring support from 45+ women they won over in 2020 plus ACT’s rise amongst males all combine to make this a by-election with far more riding on it than there should be.
If there is some terrible crime event in the next 2 weeks in Tauranga, expect the candidate who can promise public flogging too get a surge on Election Day.
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