Following up on my 6 months out from the election analysis, here’s the run down 5 months out.
Political Party Challenges:
NATIONAL – current poll of polling 43%
National are in trouble. While there are no immediate economic troubles facing NZ, the decades of underfunding and using immigration and student work visas to prop up the over speculated property market are catching up and the blame goes directly on National.
The infrastructure simply can’t handle the students, the work visas, the new migrants and the millions of tourists. House prices will be stable but the infrastructure underinvestment is obvious, and that will turn the middle classes towards Labour as the infrastructure party. National’s announcement last week of $11billion infrastructure budget turned out to be a mix of previous announcements and a new motorway.
Hardly visionary but enough to keep rump National voters happy.
National face a threat in the provinces from NZ First’s looming weaponisation of the immigration debate and they face a challenge from Labour who are winning over female voters who supported John Key but are now interested in Jacinda Ardern.
Over the last few elections National have been known to over-poll by 6 points this close to the election, for them to be at 43% now is a worry for them.
There’s also looming danger for Bill English and the allegations of war crimes in the Hit and Run book. The video tape that Bill English claims he saw does not paint our soldiers or the US Apache Attack Helicopters in a positive light at all and there are now versions of that tape floating around. It is only a matter of time before Bill English will be forced to explain the chasm of discrepancy between what he claims he saw and what everyone else will see.
LABOUR – current poll of polling 29.5%
The current media beat up about the list process is a reminder that Corporate media are here to always paint the Opposition in disarray but it’s also a wake up call to the Labour Leadership that the whip better get in control of the behind the scenes situation because internal leaks like this are designed to keep control of the losing side rather than lose control of the winning side. If Andrew doesn’t win in 2017, it’s over for him so he has everything to play for.
Andrew Little has got to control his Caucus far better than he currently is if he’s going to be able to manage the challenges of a Labour-NZ First minority Government.
This bullshit aside, the gridlock, the housing crisis and the lack of a clear direction as to where NZ is actually going are all for Labour to capitalise on. I’ve seen some of the plans to turn out the vote in Auckland and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. If it succeeds Auckland will swing hard in favour for Labour.
If you win Auckland, you win NZ.
GREENS – current poll of polling 13%
Here’s what I posted earlier this week on the Greens...
The Greens have few options between now and the election.
There is a sense they may have stalled already.
The Greens had their greatest leap in the polls between 2008 and 2011 when they went from 6.7% to 11.1%. It was the golden age of Russel Norman, but the 2014 election saw them go backwards despite a small lift in total voter numbers to 10.7%.
There is a chance the Greens could stall further and go backwards again this election to 10%.
The Gaia with a vajazzle glamour shoot will turn off older Green supporters who might go back to Labour because the Greens have de-radaclaised almost every policy at a time when the environment desperately requires radical action.
The Greens will also need a tactic to counter the online activist fallout from their inability to criticise Winston too harshly once he goes nuclear on immigration.
But, with the propulsion of younger and fresher faces into the top of the party list, the Greens do have a chance to pull in voters from the demographic who vote least, Millennials & Gen Xers and their muscling in on the Maori vote, while detrimental to Labour at a time when Labour will be hard pushed by the Maori Party/MANA Alliance, is possibly the smartest play the Greens have come up with for some time.
I vote Green, not because I think they are very good at politics, but because they hold policy closest to where I see the country needs to be, but the grim reality this election is that Labour + Greens won’t = 51%, whereas Labour + NZ First + supply and confidence from the Greens will = 51%.
But there is another equation. It sees Labour at 33%, Greens at 12% and a resurgent Maori and MANA Party coming in with 6 MPs between them.
That would give you 51% and you would then have a Labour, Green, Maori Party + MANA Party Government.
By splitting the Maori vote again and taking party vote support, the Greens just made it easier for the Maori/MANA alliance to beat Labour and in doing so provide an alternative path way to Parliament where the Greens have actual political power and not what Winston will allow them to have.
…if NZ First leapfrogs the Greens, they will have little option but to accept a Labour/NZ First minority Government arrangement.
NZ FIRST – current poll of polling 10.5%
The political landscape has never been better for Winston to exploit. Immigration frustrations, fear of Maori and the RMA, a sense that the provinces who create the wealth are not seeing the infrastructure, all will combine in a supernova of a flashpoint, and that flashpoint will be Winston Peters.
Here is the one word NZ First will use to turn the entire immigration issue on its head – colonisation. Winston and NZ First will stop talking about immigration as immigration, they will start referring to it as colonisation, and once they cross that rubicon, all bets are off. It will resonate and ring with an angry reactive white vote whom National have to date marginalised rather than listened to, Don Brash’s Pakeha Pied Piper of Hatesville tour of the provinces has Don urging those hundreds turning up to vote Winston.
Roy Morgan made the point this week that NZ First under poll by 4 to 5 points each election. At 10.5% they have every possibility of leap frogging the Greens, but their late surge won’t come at the expense of Labour this election, it will come at the cost of National.
MAORI PARTY – current poll of polling 1%
There was hype last month that there was a surge in the Maori Party party vote, if that holds they have a good chance of bringing in extra numbers off the list, but the likeliest outcome is they will re-enter Parliament with 3 to 5 MPs in a combo of party list and newly won electorates. They won’t be welcome in a National-NZ First Gov, they won’t be welcome in a Labour-NZ First Gov and National won’t ever go into a coalition where they needed their vote (especially after the damage Winston is about to cause that relationship) so the Maori Party’s only chance is a Labour + Green + MP + MANA = 51% strategy.
UNITED FUTURE – current polling 0%
Greg O’Connor’s low party hits ranking has given him every incentive to beat Peter Dunne. Twitter liberals vow they will vote Dunne over a civil rights eating monster like O’Connor, but these are the same twitter elite who championed red peak.
Dunne has to go if there is to be a change of Government.
ACT – current polling 1.5%
ACT are perfectly placed to be the counter point to NZ First’s immigration as colonisation narrative and take some type of moral high ground. Migrants will find a champion in ACT. Expect Seymour to bring in 2 MPS off the list with him.
TOP – current polling .4%
They are not getting the traction they need, their best advocate is Gareth, but he’s unable to find a platform to gain attention on, twitter is too liberal and he ends up chasing Trolls all day, he needs a livestream video show to gain the media attention he won’t get as a Leader of a Political Party outside Parliament.
MANA – current polling .2%
With Labour moving all their Maori MPs off the list they have really inoculated themselves to the claim that their Maori Electorate will MPs will just get in off the list.
While the combined numbers of Maori Party and MANA voters swamp Labour, Kelvin Davis is popular up north and this new move by Labour means they will have to back him, it really will be 50-50 odds that Hone gets back in.
The biggest indicator for a genuine desire for change came 6 weeks ago from two Horizon Polls.
The first is how there is a change of sentiment amongst the 2014 and 2017 electorate…
…in the 2014 election, 56% wanted a National led Government, this time 54% want a Labour led Government. That’s a clear signal for change. The second interesting thing is that 77% of NZ First voters want a Labour led Government…
…if NZ First does hold the balance of power, their own members overwhelmingly want Labour to lead the Government. The caveat to that is NZ First are about to drag in a large number of National voters this time around.
My conclusion 5 months out is the same I had last month, I think the 2017 election will be close and won on the margins, but if there is a change of Government, the most likely outcome will be a Labour-NZ First minority Government with the Greens in supply and confidence for a couple of Ministry positions.
Second likeliest outcome is National with NZ First coalition Government
Outside chance Labour+Green+Maori Party + MANA = 51%