Hooton this week. I reckon the reason a by-election is thought to be less likely in Botany is because the informed money has the resignation being delayed until February to enable an August general election. I also think there is money to be made selling Key and buying Goff.
This week’s snapshot of New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict Ltd, indicates that by-elections are likely in Manurewa and Botany next year, before a cliff-hanger General Election in Q4 2011 which will see the Maori Party hold the balance of power and choose to give John Key a second term as prime minister. Except under one scenario, detailed below, the post-election balance in Parliament does not change under different assumptions about the results of electorate races in Epsom, Ohariu and Ikaroa-Rawhiti.
The market continues to forecast that the General Election will be held in Q4 2011 (78% probability, up from 77% last week), with a 21% probability of an early election in Q3 2011 (up from 19% last week).
Forecast party vote shares are: National 45.0% (up from 43.8% last week), Labour 36.6% (up from 35.4% last week), Greens 8.3% (steady), New Zealand First 4.5% (up from 4.1% last week), Maori Party 3.1% (steady), Act 2.4% (up from 2.3% last week) and United Future 0.3% (down from 0.4% last week).
Act Leader Rodney Hide has a 55% probability of retaining Epsom for his party, up from 52% last week.
For the first time, the market is indicating that Labour will retain Ikaroa-Rawhiti so that the Maori Party will not increase its representation in Parliament from its current five MPs.
United Future Leader Peter Dunne is not forecast to be re-elected in Ohariu. National is favoured with 37% probability, steady compared with last week.
Winston Peters is not forecast to win a seat in Parliament.
Based on this data, the market is forecasting the following Parliament: National 57 MPs, Labour 46 MPs, Greens 10 MPs, Maori Party 5 MPs and Act 3 MPs. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply.
National and Act would have a combined 60 MPs and Labour and the Greens a combined 56 MPs. The Maori Party would therefore be able to choose whether to support a National-led or Labour-led government, with a decision to abstain on confidence and supply being a tacit decision to allow National and Act to govern.
The market is forecasting a 79% probability that there will be a National prime minister after the next election (up from 78% last week), indicating the market believes the Maori Party would decide to support a National-led government.
Because of the importance and closeness of the electorate races in Epsom, Ohariu and Ikaroa-Rawhiti, iPredict has again analysed what parliamentary balance would exist based on all possible combinations of outcomes in these electorates.
Stocks launched yesterday about the likelihood of by-elections before the General Election in Manurewa and Botany indicate both are expected, with a 72% probability of the former and a 60% probability of the latter. However, the market does not expect Botany MP Pansy Wong to resign from Parliament until next year, with a 64% probability she will still be the MP on 31 December 2010.
The market does not believe there will be a by-election in Te Atatu, indicating it believes Independent MP Chris Carter will not resign from Parliament before the General Election.
The market indicates an 81% probability voters will elect to retain the MMP voting system in the referendum to be held on election day.