The Civilian’s 2017 Election Tracker


Bill English nearly had a bad day today, after he failed to deny sending 450 text messages to Todd Barclay staffer Glenys Dickson, even acknowledging that Winston Peters may have a copy of them.

Indeed, this might’ve been today’s big political story, and looked like it would be, until the Green Party decided to throw itself in front of a train.

Metiria Turei continues to hold on as co-leader, but this has cost the Greens two of its up-and-coming young stars, Kennedy Graham and Dave Clendon, who resigned out of protest at the lack of resignations.

This is nothing short of a total clusterfuck, to use the correct political science terminology, and makes Turei’s position seem utterly untenable, given the grim reaper of New Zealand politics, Patrick Gower, has now come for her.

This is what we call the Patrick Gower Event Horizon – when Patrick Gower suggests your resignation, you are on an inevitable path towards it. There is simply no escape.

This, incidentally, doesn’t bode well for our election tracker, either, which may soon have two ex party leaders on it, and still no money left to replace them.

After the Greens’ implosion tonight, we’re going to change their election performance from one star to three raging fires.

We’re also going to give the dictaphone to Winston Peters, given that he seems to be so in-the-know about the Todd Barclay scandal, and the Guatemalan worry doll to Bill English, to help calm him down about the prospect his texts might come out.

National’s campaign performance will lose half a star, and New Zealand First’s will gain half a star.

Today’s winner of the day is Kevin Hague, whose decision to leave the Green Party last year now seems like a great one, and today’s loser is, once again, James Shaw, for having to put out a raging inferno with nothing but a cloth and a child’s water gun.

We’ll have full coverage of today’s events and more tomorrow morning.


After a remarkable whole 48 hours of Labour doing nothing to damage the left’s chances of finally winning an election, the Greens decided they’d pick up the slack.

Metiria Turei’s benefit scandal spiralled beyond her control today, with revelations she was not only living with her parents while claiming a benefit she wasn’t entitled to, but she was doing something truly unconscionable: changing her electorate so she could vote for a joke party. That’s right: a joke party. If there’s one thing we can’t condone, it’s taxpayer funds going towards a joke party.

As a result, we are forced to downgrade the Greens’ campaign performance from a decent 3 stars to an abysmal 1 stars.

But it’s not all bad news for Turei. We are going to give her a rotten feijoa, which is what she should’ve been eating instead of claiming all that money.

We’re also going to give her a Kiwiburger to help feed her kid.

Despite all this, we are asking Metiria Turei to please NOT resign from the co-leadership, as we’ve already had one leadership change after making this graphic and we really don’t need another.

The only other change in campaign performance today is to lift David Seymour from half a star to one and a half stars. He still isn’t doing anything to advance his party’s cause, but he managed to get some valuable airtime on The Project NZ pretending he never did anything illegal in his 20s.

Good for you, David.

With all the drama on the left, still very few people paying any attention to Gareth Morgan, as his attention meter slips even further this evening.

Today’s winner of the day is Kelvin Davis, who, despite looking like he’s constantly on the verge of saying or doing something very inappropriate, has so far managed to restrain himself

Today’s loser, of course, James Shaw, who now is saddled doing all the bloody work.


Winston Peters brand was perhaps irreparably damaged today when – upon inspection of Jacinda Ardern’s liquor cabinet – said he’d prefer the Glenfiddich single malt over the Laphroaig, because it was apparently “too peaty” for his taste.

This doesn’t make any sense, and a Winston Peters averse to peaty liquor is a truly unexpected development indeed. He’s been running a pretty strong campaign up until now, but as a result of this misstep, we’re going to have downgrade his campaign performance by two whole stars, to three.

We will, however, give him the bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, as it may suit his relatively cheap taste in whisky.

A little wind out of the Greens’ sails as well as Jacinda Ardern appears to be capturing glowing headlines for her effort to rebuild what’s left of the Labour Party. We’re upgrading our Andrew Little head – which we still can’t afford to replace – to 3 stars, and bringing the Greens down just half a star for their trouble.

Everyone else holding steady. No progress yet in Te Ururoa Flavell and Peter Dunne’s battle for the sixth box, but they do appear to have acquired a small shopping trolley to go with their snail.

Attention for Gareth Morgan has already slipped to potentially concerning levels. He’s definitely feeling crowded out by Labour’s rebranding, which might explain his offer to “help” Jacinda Ardern with her policy.

In terms of today’s winner and loser, we’re going to give the loser of the day to Mark Richardson, who, having travelled back in time from the future, failed to make sure his mother, Jacinda Ardern, is still having him.

We’ll keep you updated on whether he pops out of existence shortly.

Today’s winner? Well, it’s gotta be you, the voter, for having such a great series of options this election and being such an astute decision maker. You really are the best.



As you’ll see down each side of the tracker is a box for each Parliamentary party and their leader. There are only six boxes, but seven parties in Parliament, so Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell are presently engaged in a brutal battle over the last box. We’ll keep you updated on who’s winning.

In fairness, David Seymour probably shouldn’t have his own box but we were unable to remove him after he aggressively asserted his property rights.

Underneath each party leader is a campaign performance star rating that reflects the current state of each party’s campaign.

In the middle of the graphic is an assortment of items that each of our party leaders will be attempting to collect the closer we get to election day. We’ll be allocating these each time we update the tracker, and if a leader acquires an item, it will be moved into their box. The Civilian is predicting that the party leader who acquires the most items will become Prime Minister.

These items include: the one ring of power, the west coast of Australia, a dictaphone, a Nissan Cube, the Whitcoulls Santa, a Cigna Funeral Plan, Don Brash’s glasses, Brian from Te Kuiti, a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, Riche McCaw’s thighs, Stewart Island, Uncle Ben’s Special Fried Rice, a Guatemalan worry doll, the charred corpse of a sparrow, a rotten feijoa, Bob Parker’s parka, a bowtie, a box set of Coronation Street DVDs, a Kiwiburger, and Thingee’s missing eyeball.

Different party leaders will likely be seeking to acquire different items. For example: Winston Peters will be going after that Cigna Funeral Plan, while Andrew Little will definitely want a bottle of Johnnie Walker at this point.

Also at the bottom of our graphic we’ll be declaring the winner of the day, and the loser of the day.

Finally, there’s the Gareth Morgan Attention Meter, which reflects the amount of press coverage he’s receiving relative to his need to feel relevant. If that gets too low, things could really get out of control, so keep an eye on it.

The Civilian’s election tracker is updated at least five times a week, on varying days, depending on overall levels of political activity.