The Greens draft list for the election unveiled yesterday is yet another example of how the party is almost desperately trying to win more votes this year.

It has unashamedly ranked its list so that it much more resembles the young urban electorate who vote for it.

In the process, some older MPs have seen their positions on the list drop.

Kennedy Graham has dropped four places to 11, and David Clendon has gone down five places to a possibly unwinnable position 16 on the list.

“I really like it,” co-leader, James Shaw told POLITIK.

“It’s got a strong skew to young people which has been missing in recent years.

“It’s got a lot more Aucklanders because a third of the population live there and it’s been a bit under represented.

“It’s got a good range of professions.”

Shaw singled out the placing of Wairarapa farmer, John  Hart at 12 as an example of the occupational diversity and he also said that the presence of two Pasifika candidates in the top 20 sjhowed that it had ethnic diversity.

In that sense, two Maori candidates —- Marama Davidson and Jack McDonald have been placed in winnable positions.


Both have jumped 11 positions are now in winnable positons at four and nine.

Shaw says that Davidson’s promotion was due to her communications skills which saw her with a huge social media  following – twice as many as any other Green MP.

Davidson also fits the youthful activist profile the party is projecting.

She was recently one of 13 women activists who were arrested and held by Israeli authorities after trying to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza on a protest ship.

Another clear pitch for the youthful Auckland vote is the presence of the former Auckland Mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick is on 13, ahead of an MP, Denise Roche.

Ironically Roche beat Swarbrick for the party’s Auckland Central nomination but because the Greens don’t win electorate seats, it’s the list position that counts.

The Other big winner in the list is Julie Anne Genter who is now ranked at three.

Shaw says the party wanted a list that looked like the people who vote Green.

“We have made a huge effort on that and the party so far seems to be consistent with that view.”

The list published yesterday is not the final list – it will have to be gender balanced; there are too many women in the top six position.

The National Party pollster, David Farrar blogged last night that on current polling the Greens would get 14 MPs.

But he said they normally do worse than they poll though so Hart, Swarbrick and Roche are on the cusp.

The list will look very different to Labour’s list which though it has some young names on it, is heavy with experience and therefore its candidates tend to be older.

Within Labour, there is still some suspicion of just how radical the Greens are.

There is no enthusiasm within Labour for the Greens to become a liability now that the parties have signed their Rules of Fiscal Responsibility memo.

What has been clear in the Greens since their leadership election in 2015 is that there is a real hunger among the rank and file to both increase the share of the vote and to get into Government.

This list is clearly designed to do both.