Len Brown's chances of beating John Banks for the Auckland mayoralty have taken a hit in latest polling.
But, more importantly, I believe the left will still win a majority on the new Auckland council.
With only six days before nominations close for all 170 positions in the new Auckland City, it's becoming clearer how the balance of political forces are stacking up for the October 9 election.
Until now I assumed Banks and the right-wing Citizens and Ratepayers ticket would dominate the local body elections.
My pessimism was due to alienation and apathy of ordinary citizens who I suspected would not bother to participate in the elections. Low turnout traditionally favours conservative candidates as their supporters always vote.
Matt then goes on to suggest that the turnout will be bigger than expected, and that a bigger turnout will benefit the left. Perhaps he knows something that we don't; perhaps Unite and SFWU members are going to be compelled to help out - distributing the KFC maybe!
But then we get to the REALLY interesting bit, to which we've added some emphasis:
When the Supercity idea was first launched we were promised a vibrant new cosmopolitan Mecca of the Pacific led by a visionary super mayor. Instead our two frontrunners either deliberately or inadvertently present themselves as men of pastel grey. We seem to know more about their credit card spending than any plans they may have for us.
I have been dismissive of also-ran mayoral candidates but I want to commend them for fronting up and having a go. I suspect the "not Banks or Brown vote" will be a large vote to fight over, even if the NZ Herald poll this week has the other contenders a mile behind. Coming third will give one of them bragging rights.
Now we can understand McCarten dissing John Banks. But Len Brown? What has HE done to upset Matt the Oracle? Is it losing a 10 point lead in the polls? Is it his continued refusal to be transparent over who he dines with on ratepayers' coin? Or does Len Brown simply come from a different genre of "The Left" from McCarten?
It seems to us that the Left in Auckland is no different from the Labour Party nationwide; a tribal beast, with diverse factions quite willing to destroy one another for what they perceive as the "common good".
That's why we find Matt McCarten's predictions of a leftie landslide hard to swallow. McCarten claims that the left is unified; we're not so sure. We reckon it's more like unity, Chris Carter style!
Still, an interesting few weeks awaits, and at least McCarten gives a view into the Left's mentality:
Imagine what it would mean for John Key and the Government if Brown and the left got control of Auckland. The political game changes overnight. It breathes life into Phil Goff and certainly makes Key vulnerable for the first time.
That's what it's all about folks; it's not what's good for Auckland; it's all a game, and the goal is control. Some things never change.