Maori seats set to fall

In a a new poll today, the Maori Party could win all seven Maori seats. The Maori Party MPs all have big leads in the seats they hold, and in Ikaroa-Rawhiti 54% of voters prefer the (yet to be decided) Maori Party candidate over Parekura Horomia (who has only 31% support), with the (yet to be decided) Maori Party candidate beating Mahara Okeroa by 50% to 33% in Te Tai Tonga. Only in Tainui (now Hauraki-Waikato) is the result close, with Angeline Greensill (Maori Party) leading Nania Mahuta by 45% to 37%. Although the margin of error is high, there is a 95% probability that the Maori Party is leading in 6 of the 7 Maori seats, and 80% chance it is ahead in Hauraki-Waikato as well.

I am suspicious that the poll overrates the Maori Party’s support, with it (according to Farrar) showing the weighted party vote for all Maori being 33% for the Maori Party. Given that Maori make up close to 15% of the population, that is 5% of the party vote, but in the Maori Party is polling well below that in most polls.

The same poll in April 2005 predicted the Maori Party to get 4% of the party vote (it got 2.12%), and predicting the Maori Party to win 5 Maori seats (all the ones they did plus Te Tai Tonga). In the event the results in four of the six seats were outside the 95% confidence range (in every case the Labour candidate doing better than in the poll) but in the three seats where the results were within that range (Tainui, Waiariki and Ikaroa-Rawhiti) the poll was reasonably accurate, giving it a mixed record. Thus there can be no guarantee that the Maori Party will win six or seven seats, but Horomia and Okeroa should be worried.

The prospect of the Maori Party wining six or seven Maori seats raises the disturbing possibility of a significant overhang in the next Parliament, meaning National may need as many as 64 seats to govern (if the election result is the average of the polls here, and the Maori seats go the way of the Digipoll. This will make it more difficult for National to be able to govern alone, or form a coalition without the Maori Party. New Zealand can consider itself fortunate that there is not an eighth Maori seat, but in future elections there will be, and could be as many as ten by 2020. My worry is that if the maori seats are not abolished and many Maori continue to split their vote between Labour (party vote) and Maori Party (electorate vote), it could be impossible for National to govern without the Maori Party, allowing it to effectively veto any moves away from racial separatism.

Explore posts in the same categories: Maori, Maori Party, Maori seats

One Comment on “Maori seats set to fall”

  1. […] As I’ve said in a few posts before the Maori Party could have a big overhang at the next Parliament, and this could be crucial […]

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