Monday 22 December 2014

Scoring my political predictions

Earlier in the year I made a couple of political predictions just to give it a go, and now that we're at the tail end of the year it's time to do some scoring to see whether I should invest more in iPredict or just give up as a political pundit.

- National will win a third term, but barely (with the support of at least two minor parties).
True - National almost won by themselves, but they ended up taking Maori, ACT, and United Future along with them just to be safe.

- Labour will score less than 30%, with the Greens gaining ground and going past 15%.
Half-True - Labour scored 25.13% in the final count, but the Greens only scored 10.7%. I was really hopeful that the Green vote would grow, but it wasn't to be.

- ACT won't be back in Parliament in 2015. Peter Dunne will barely win his Ohariu seat again.
Half-True - Both of them got back in, and I guess I shouldn't doubt the insanity of Epsom. Peter Dunne won his seat by 710 votes.

- Colin Craig won't win his electorate seat, and the Conservatives won't get enough votes to get into Parliament.
True - If I may say so, thankfully. After analysing some of their policies, such as their tax reforms, I would be quite worried if they had any say in determining where our country goes.

- Another new minor party will capture the interest of the nation in 2014, not including Kim Doctom's party or The Civilian Party. There will be ridiculously huge support for Kim Dotcom's party, particularly among young people, even though Kim Doctom won't be standing himself (he'll just bankroll everything).
Partly True - can I call the New Zealand Independent Coalition a new minor party (that didn't really capture the interest of the nation but oh well)? Internet MANA collected 1.42% of the vote, which I wouldn't call ridiculously huge support, although 34,000 votes is still quite a lot.

- Winston Peters will continue to be alive and kicking... and New Zealand First will continue to be a thorn in the side of the government, whoever it happens to be.
True - After being earmarked by all news agencies as being a potential kingmaker, National ended up doing much better than most people expected, and Winston is doomed to harass the Speaker and be outraged at the government for another three years.

- Voter turnout will be above 75% again on the back of increased youth participation.
True - well, the voter turnout was reported at 77%, which is still kind of disappointing really. I was hoping it would be more than 80%.

- The media will keep stoking the fires of discussion about the National Party leader succession, but John Key will happily stay on for another three years.
True - the media discussed it for a little bit, throwing names around the mix but JK has said that he'd be happy to even stay on for a fourth term if the country wants him to.

- At least two more MPs will be out of Parliament before the general election.
True - I'll call Shane Jones and John Banks as the two MPs who quit.

- A rising star in the National Party will get relegated into obscurity for doing/saying something stupid while campaigning.
True - Judith Collins was a rising star right? She was being tipped for the National Party leadership and while most of the things she did were before the campaigning started, she was probably one of the people who suffered the most from the backlash of Dirty Politics.

- More cracks will appear in the Labour caucus as they are led by a guy that most of them don't support.
True - While to the public the caucus were all fully behind David Cunliffe, the election result and the subsequent leadership contest showed that even though Cunliffe may have had support from the unions and membership, at the end of the day he has to lead a team of MPs and candidates to effect action and change.

- A Green Party list reshuffle will lead to some discontent, and cause at least one current MP to be outside the top 15 (and therefore unlikely to return in 2015).
True - A reshuffle in May saw both good and bad, but unfortunately for Steffan Browning he moved from 10 to 16 and was left out of Parliament after the election.
[Edit: turns out I got this wrong because I used a list from just after the election - Steffen Browning did get in after specials were counted.]

- David Parker will not be the next Finance Minister. He's a nice guy, but no.
True - Nope. Sorry David (Parker).

- Genesis Energy will be floated and it'll be the last of the asset sales as National prays for the issue to go away before the election.
True - It was floated reasonably quietly and then no one talked about asset sales at the election.

- Paula Bennett and/or the Ministry of Social Development will be part of another major scandal in 2014.
Partly True - while it wasn't necessarily a scandal that attracted the attention of the national media like privacy infringements of the past, Bennett certainly made some aggressive and unhelpful calls this year, from saying that throwing money at those on welfare doesn't alleviate poverty to saying that we don't need to investigate historical sexual abuse to attacking beneficiaries such as Sarah Wilson for speaking out about the failures of our social welfare system. *sigh*

- Another major TPP leak will bring the issue to the forefront of the public's attention.
True - Wikileaks has continued to leak chapters of the TPP, and the sage just never seems to end. More protests occurred this year throughout the country but it never really became a heavy election topic, probably something to do with the timing of it all.

- Kim Dotcom will not be extradited to the US (in 2014).
True - While general sentiment was pro-Dotcom a few years ago, he's burnt a lot of bridges this year. Public sentiment shouldn't affect court cases, but I'd guess that a few more people would be happier to see him extradited now than at the beginning of the year.

- New Zealand will win a Security Council seat (yay!).
True - yay! Now we wait to see what impact we can have on the Security Council, as it continues to grapple with worsening crises around the world.

So overall I think I did pretty well, even if some of the predictions were, to be frank, a bit of a cop out given that they were kinda obvious to any political observer. 2014 has been a bit of a tumultuous year in politics, and personally I wish a lot of it hadn't happened. We could have had a nice interesting (for me) election based on policy and how the parties wanted to improve the country, but instead we got stuck in a vicious cycle of dirty politics and political scandal. The optimist hopes that it will be better in the future; the realist knows that it'll probably be more of the same.


  1. Impressive human, you - but Steffan Browning did get in, after specials. #homeopathy

    1. Whoops - serves me right for using a Kiwiblog list because it was the first search result. I've added an edit above =)