Labour got a morale boost at the least over the weekend when Michael Wood beat Parmjeet Parmar in the Mt Roskill by-election with a majority of 6,518. Phil Goff beat Parmar by 8,091 votes in the 2014 General Election, although candidates from the Green, New Zealand First, Conservative and Mana parties stood candidates that got a combined 3,793 votes.
There had been speculation Parmar would do better this time because National won the Party vote by 42.08% to 35.63% in the 2014 election and Wood lacked Goff's profile, but Labour's internal polls had shown a big lead for Wood. John Key had also downplayed the prospect of a victory, pointing out no Government had won a by-election back off an Opposition MP. However, some commentators had suggested an upset and speculated it would bring down Andrew Little.
The actual result was not even close and Little said the result was satisfying and an indication of what Labour can achieve when it sticks to campaigning on two or three issues.
"I’ve said all along in my leadership, ‘we’re not going to go into 2017 campaigning on 140 policies, we’re going to stick to a core chunk of policy areas that we know are issues of today and are relevant'," Little told Q+A.
Key downplayed the win, pointing to a low turnout, which is usual in a by-election, and the history of no Government winning a seat in a by-election off an Opposition.
Number of the day:
25,000 - The number of doors in the Mt Roskill electorate that Michael Wood said Labour's campaigners knocked on over the last six months.
Tweets of the day:
National has Michael Woodhouse. Labour has Michael Wood in the House.
Pourmecoffee after Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Taiwan's President had called him. Trump's discussion was the first by any US President or President elect with a Taiwanese head of state since 1979, when the USA recognised China.
@realDonaldTrump Perhaps you should have some kind of system where maybe you put them on hold and while someone looks them up in Wikipedia.
Kim Jong Un, right now, in Pyongyang: "Guys, hear me out. We'll just say 'President Kim from Korea' is calling ... It will totally work."
Have a great week. My weekend column below is on which Treasury forecasts are a 'load of nonsense' and which are not.