The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Monday, May 30, 2005

lessons from waitakere

Aaron Bhatnagar has posted about Act and Epsom, in particular about how he doesn't expect Act to moderate its policies to win the seat.

As a veteran of the Alliance campaign to put Laila Harre in the Waitakere seat in 2002, let me tell you this - when that seat is your life line, your campaign manager will get tunnel vision and EVERYTHING will be about woeing the voters of Epsom. The national campaign will revolve around it - other policies will be diluted, or if not actually changed they will oddly be out of the limelight when many party members would expect otherwise.

Trust me. I've seen it. It changes people, that desperation.

If a Hide win in Epsom looks like the only chance for Act I guarantee that his participation in TV debates will see him name-dropping Epsom suburbs every chance he gets.


Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Julie, I have re-read my blog posting several times, and I fail to find the part that says or suggests anything about ACT and moderation of policy (or otherwise). I don't make much reference to policy in that post at all - let alone moderation of policy. In fact, I say that it won't make much difference at all.

What I was mainly referring to was the fact that Rodney will need to make a strategic play for the seat rather than campaigning on ACT Party policy. It is an appeal on the mathematics of MMP to voters rather than anything else.

Graham Watson said...

The best chance for ACT to get back is winning Epsom, that should be obvious by now from the polls.

But, as Aaron has observed on his blog, despite the glaringly obvious there has been little activity to this end.

Conor said...

On another note, congrats on your list spot.

span said...

AB - I was reading between the lines with your comment:
"I don't believe that party policy will make any difference in changing people's constituency votes. "

I may have projected too much of my personal experience on to it!

span said...

and for the record, the strategic appeal didn't work in Waitakere, despite our best efforts.

span said...

thanks conor, I was rather shocked, but there it is!

Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Julie, I don't know how well Laila had done in previous elections, but the one thing that Rodney does have in Epsom is profile and a history of being a relevant challenger in the seat. Whether of course this is still true is a moot point, as I personally have not seen much campaign activity from any party in Epsom.

span said...

Laila did have a strong profile in West Auckland, although probably not as good in Waitakere specifically as Rodney has had in Epsom.

However the strategy of getting two (or more) MPs for Epsom by voting for Hide will not work alone - it didn't work in Waitakere, people didn't get it.

I suspect the destiny of Hide in Epsom will come down a great deal to decisions made in National - not necessarily giving the seat up overtly, but whether or not to pour the troops and resources in a la Labour in Waitakere in 2002.