Labour win stage one in Mt Albert!

Labour may have to give way to another party in Mt Albert

Labour may have to give way to another party in Mt Albert

Labour is the first political party to erect billboards in Mt Albert for the forthcoming by-election which is still nearly two months away - I noticed they appeared this afternoon but if you believe the commentators there’s quite a battle ahead for the traditionally Labour held seat. In fact if you believe a sample of train passengers, Labour is in trouble.

Bored with an agonisingly long wait between trains at the Kingsland station the other day, I amused or annoyed the restless peakhour passenger group by asking them what they thought would happen.
Well it’s about as scientific as some of the online polls.
The passengers said:
* They are still reasonably happy with National - especially Key, Collins and that Westie chick (sorry forgotten her name!)
* They’re unimpressed with whoever it is that has taken over Labour
* Labour (“like Veitch” said one) has yet to realise they did wrong and detail it
* They’re not impressed with Labour “swapping UN Helen for some UN guy” (said one) - someone who by his own admission doesn’t know the local issues
* A popular notion was the by-election won’t change the government so it could be fun to vote for someone else (Greens a very popular idea)
* No-one seemed to know who Russel Norman was but when pointed out recognised him as someone to do with the Greens
* The Waterview tunnel isn’t that big a deal - everyone said they just want it finished. A few who were familiar with the details said Britomart’s rail entrance suffered from only one track in and one out and the tunnel with its couple of lanes each way was also typically Auckland’s short sighted planning. A road would at least give room for growth.
* Some people doubted they would bother voting as it was too soon after the general election but may do so if they thought at least the media would take notice of the campaign and result
* Clark had a strong personal following (some indicated it was cool to have a Prime Minister as your local MP or they admired her) but some of those people admitted giving National the party vote
* No-one knew the mechanics of a by-election (everyone thought they got a party vote- they don’t, right?)
* Several people hoped they could vote online as an experiment
* The Judith Tizard factor was well-known and resented. Some 20-30 year old tech-savvy males especially mentioned her and the copyright bill and said they wished “she was standing” so they could give her heaps.
* There have been no protest marches in the area over the Hide SuperCouncil plan. No-one seemed overly worried about the plan as they were used to Banks as their Auckland City Mayor whether they liked him or had reservations. All just wanted Auckland to get its act together (these are people suffering Auckland’s dysfunctions every day by trying to catch a train!)

But I’m just a Trainspotter who talks to people on the platform - so will have to leave it to the political bloggers and experts who can interpret such things.
But as a train guy, and hopefully with the Waterview tunnel issue, public transport will get a look in. I remember the impact of the late Rod Donald riding the trains before the last election he fought and even Jeanette F, Keith Locke and other Greenies did the same before the last election. Makes for an interesting train ride to be able to talk politics with the decision makers.




  1. Ted says:

    Ah yes, but remember that you are a humble Aucklander, a humble train passenger, waiting on some drafty platform, waiting for that inevitably late train.

    As such, your questions to other prospective passengers wont hold any weight with the powers to be. There reliable sources are the polls, pollsters and the like that they pay thousands of dollars to in order to get the same result.

    Good luck Mt Albert.

  2. [...] to Auckland Trains for the photo of Labour’s campaign [...]


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