Could The Opportunities Party hit 5%?

By   /   May 20, 2017  /   24 Comments

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Conventional political wisdom will tell you that there is no way TOP can get to 5% with 4 months out till the election, especially when they are barely registering as 1% in the mainstream media polls, but conventional political wisdom doesn’t mean much since Trump, Brexit and Len Pen doubling the Right’s vote in France. Those who are losing from neoliberal free market globalisation are over throwing political hegemonies left, right and centre.


Getting to 5% is bloody difficult. Most who try fail and the last Party to get anywhere near that was the Conservative Party who lost it when Rachel MacGregor quit as Colin Craig’s Press Secretary and they were plunged into meltdown.

All is unfair in misplaced love and politics.

Conventional political wisdom will tell you that there is no way TOP can get to 5% with 4 months out till the election, especially when they are barely registering as 1% in the mainstream media polls, but conventional political wisdom doesn’t mean much since Trump, Brexit and Len Pen doubling the Right’s vote in France. Those who are losing from neoliberal free market globalisation are over throwing political hegemonies left, right and centre.

The only question about NZ is that are those who are losing most from neoliberal free market globalisation awake enough to realise what the words ‘neoliberal’, ‘free market’ or ‘globalisation’ mean.

Put aside the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind’s remarkable ability to remain blind, there is a deep anger that has built up in the Provinces which could undo the National Party.

It’s not just the Pakeha Pied Piper of hate, Don Brash who is pulling the provinces in to packed town halls, it’s also TOP. Beneath the radar The Opportunities Party has been doing remarkably well in its meetings out in the Provinces, so much so that other Political candidates of other Parties have noticed how well they are doing.

The deep cynicism that many in the Provinces feel at the lack of investment into the infrastructure of their regions which are producing the exports that are keeping the country economically afloat is attracted to TOP and NZ First.

This is going to hurt National’s vote, not Labour’s.

But could TOP harvest that resentment in the Provinces into 5%?

I don’t think so. I think they could gain 3% max from that resentment with their non-ideological solutions based policy platform based mostly on the fact that they have bugger all time between now and the election to maximise this discontent.

But what about their cannabis policy? On that front, TOP may have just triggered something very unique.

The Internet Party was intending to make cannabis reform a major part of their policy platform, but Hone was too conservative on the idea, and it made him look weak so shut it down. That was a tactical failure on his behalf, and that failure doesn’t look like it will repeated by TOP.

The Greens and Labour are wishy washy in the extreme on Cannabis reform so they have every right to be feel threatened and a little embarrassed that TOP have trumped them with their policy.

By going all in on a legislated cannabis market, TOP look bold and not as timid as the other parties but  to be a real threat to the balance of power, TOP would need to see a huge jump in the next poll. If TOP can’t generate the perception of momentum they won’t be able to turn this potential into anything meaningful come September.

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  1. Sam Sam says:

    All this is on the back of one survey. I agree TOP is supressed in the polls but they aren’t the type of party to get bodied like a act or conservitive dilemma.

    I honestly think Winston and see more will give TOP a rage boost in the polls. Rachel McGregor resigning is one example of how hard it is to keep every one in a trance all the way to the polls because they can be shocked out of it by scandle. I do not believe Gareth or Geoff can get bodied like that in the media they just dont have a constituent to stack the rage boost on top. But that is TOPs style.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      That review is spot on Martyn,

      The Provinces along the East coast, of NI such as the Export producing areas of Gisborne/HB have had a guts full of Nasty Nactional Party as they have repeatedly screwed those provinces with phoney business studies and reports year after year churned out by SS Joyce and his MBIE mega propaganda agency such as the 2014 Gisborne/HB rail viability study that they used to justify mothballing the rail service after they caused the washouts after the maintenance was reduced and track staff 16 reduced to four were left helpless after a heavy rain storm.

      Worse they had dropped the Insurance cover of that line and then say they had no money to fix the $4.3 million cost to repair it, as alongside a entirely different model in other regions & in stark contrast to the insurance cover that was kept to the Midland and kaikoura lines that paid a bulk of that repair under way now there.

      Wiston will gain popularity here as he is hot o this issue ad has visited here several times in years past and will do again.

      Just see the whole Rail Policy his Party has now, termed as “RONI” (Rails of National importance) it includes the Gisborne/Napier line for early repair when NZ First is returned to Government.

      TOP has none like this that I have seen.

      • Sam Sam says:

        Id like to ask the question with what will you power new rail? Our rivers are an embarrassment for the crown so getting permission for a new dam will difficult, coal is stuffed because Indian coal company buy there own coal like PHARMAC has the power to underbid so theyve boxed the international market in meaning the industry is in structual decline so coal is off the market. We could increase natural gas imports but we have to face up to,the very real possibility energy imports will rise 30% by the end of the year for many reasons but energy costs has been dragging down the industry for decades so its like do you want to pay more on upfront costs and flip for an electric conversion or way more over time trying to find oil when its running out.

        I still don’t think we can think of oil as a viable way of sustaining modern New Zealand. Huntly is about to get moth balled and there is no plan or concrete hasn’t been laid to pick up the drain on the power grid.

        I also think NZ1st rail policy is far to conservitive to cost 200 million. Sure we can get a good price on a loco but we are buying orghan loco’s and we need the manufacturers help with spares to maintain them and that costs mega bucks.

        I totally agree NZ could double its rail. I wish more thought would go into maintenance and domestic capacity to produce such systems. But serously. No one is going to complian much if winston can secure 200 million for northland rail and those bridges. But I will complian that the scope of such plan is far to shallow

        • Bruce says:

          With TOP policy we can develop hemp oil industry, sustainable power. Solutions are everywhere just have to change preconceptions.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        And Aucklanders are sick and tired of traffic and housing and related other issues, while their Council and Central Government cannot keep up with infrastructure and other projects.

        It would cost billions to fix Auckland’s woes, so add that to the regions, and we face tens of billions of necessary spending, which NO government will realistically be able to raise and offer in a short span of a three year government.

        We are left with a total mess in NZ Inc. now, it is to a high degree irreversible what damage has been done, and it will take two following generations to pay for it, that is the shocking truth.

        A change of government is overdue and needed, and may come this year, but do not live under the illusion that everything will be solved and that voters will be made happy any time soon, it is an impossible task to do what is needed.

        Meanwhile the flood of new and existing residents and citizens into the country continues, net gains over 70k per annum, compare that with the UK and other countries, it is unprecedented what goes on in New Zealand.

        And many new immigrants are not that committed to New Zealand, as past immigrants may have been, the modern world migrants are very mobile, and pick and choose where they go, and they are not happy to pay higher taxes and pay into long term retirement saving schemes, unless they get their share.

        NZ Immigration selects the ones that are individualists, or who have money and skills to invest, and who generally fit the neoliberal mindset, they then tend to vote Nats or ACT. They frown on higher taxes, social spending and welfare.

        • Sam Sam says:

          As we are dealing with Auction type markets where price is dictated by the laws of supply and demand, volume is essential to understanding what the participants are doing in the markets. Volume is not everything it certainly does offer strong clues as to future price movements. Problem is with almost all retail traders is that they do not have the models that the institutions use to determine what value is. Institutions will almost always only ever deal when there is a discount offered and will very rarely pay up. Retail traders using price lagging indicators dont know if what they are buying is cheap or expensive and therefore cannot know if they will be able to sell it at a future date for a profit.

          However retail traders can use volume for clues as to where value lies and where price will trade to next and this is why:

          Understanding who is active and in control of the in the market is the first step.
          If the market makers (called day time traders in market profile theory) are in control they will move the market to a high volume area because this is how they make their money through churn. They will get the most churn where there are areas of liquidity which are usually previous high vol areas as this is where traders are interested in doing business most frequently called Exchange traded funds, also Apple/Amazon/Facebook and others are passive management profiles. So they will go and test these areas to see if there is any more business available to them. If they move the market there and there is no volume they will move the market to the next area of liquidity. There is no one there to sell their business too. They will not hang around at that price.

          This is how any business works. Go to a market try sell stuff if no one is buying you are not going to hang around. You will go to the next market.

          Market makers like the market when it ranges as they then dont have to take directional risk and their books are balanced. They dont have to pack up their stuff and find a new market.

          When Other Time frame traders (lets call them institutions) become engaged in the market when it is trading at a discount to value. They will accumulate stock at a discounted price and then drive price into a breakout trend. This is how they make their money.

          The will buy on a down tick and they will sell on an uptick almost always. So once the have finished accumulating and price breaks out and starts tending they will sell into that uptrend and get rid of their stock. Market makers (who always take the other side of the trade) will pull their liquidity from the market as they will not want to buy into that uptrend thereby accelerating the move up. Sellers who are having their stops triggered have to close their positions and therefore become buyers also add fuel to the move.

          Where does price go to? It will either go to the next value area (high volume area) where market makers will become engaged again and form a new balance area or if volume exhausts price will trade back down to the previous value area where the market makers will become engaged again.
          The market will do this over and over again. Trade from one value area to the next where it will either accept or reject that price. If it accepts it will form a new balance area and will stay there until the volume dries up. If it rejects it will either trade to the next volume area lower or the volume area higher. Which one will it go to is where the skill comes in and looking at trends, pin bars (rejections) and market profile helps.

          So understanding who is in control of the market , if volume is increasing or decreasing and also vitally important when they are dealing (ie volume cycles) is essential to understanding any auction type market.

          Whilest volume is not 100% accurate in spot FX it is accurate enough to perform analysis on volume trends.

          In addition its also difficult to read volume without having level II data to see inside the bars and do an analysis of Cumulative Delta.
          Volume Analysis only shows you what the active buyers and sellers at the Bid and Ask price are doing. It will not show you what the buyers and sellers who have LIMIT orders in the market are doing. Understanding cumulative delta shows you if price is being absorbed at the limit or not or if there has been a withdrawal of liquidity by the market makers.

          Here is an on volume analysis:

          Price has been in a strong uptrend and rejects with a pin bar. However in that rejection there is neither a high volume node showing stopping volume nor is there exhaustion of price (see inside the blue box) . Price will go back down to test the previous high volume node (purple box) however on the way down you can see that volume is dropping off. When they get their and they find that there is no more business there they will go back up to test the higher area. You know they will go back up as price has already rejected the area below (remember you are in an uptrend).

          Now as price goes back up volume drops off once more. No more business up there so price trades back into value (this is the POC point of control) and happens to be a nice round number where the market markers will find liquidity. However once again vol absolutely dies.

          They have already tested the area above them and found no business so now they will take the market back down again till they find it.

          Now look at this example:

          Price is in an uptrend and you get a spike in volume with a high volume node after which volume exhausts. See the inside the blue box and compare that to the pin bar above volume just disappears and rejects that area. When price trades back down to that high volume node it is NOT going to go back up and test. The market markers know there is no business there. Why would they go back? Volume increases as price trades back down so it will continue in that direction.

          I havent gone into cumulative delta but that will offer clues too.

          So it is about supply and demand, who is in control, where value is and what time of the day it is. Q

  2. luke says:

    Not a shitshow of making 5%. Also, I hope peter is dunne for in ohariu, good riddance to that waste of space.

  3. Michal says:

    I think they might hit 5%. There are so many people out there who think well give it a try the rest of the parties have failed them repeatedly. Frankly I am a Green party member of 16 years who is becoming increasingly disillusioned with them and may throw my party vote to ToP. Just to encourage them. I will vote Labour (wow haven’t voted them since they sold out in the eighties) in order to try and get rid of the Nats holding the chch central seat. I don’t like all the policies of ToP, but the Greens have got desparate to be in government at any cost and I loathe that.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    Gareth Morgan has offered some alternative solutions over the years, and he tries to package this now into some policy for his baby TOP. I was a bit interested at first, but some comments by Gareth and his team have raised my eyebrows, such as selling TVNZ.

    While he convinced a fair few with his ideas and suggestions in The Big Kahuna, same as in a few other books, he has been presented to the public as a bit of an outspoken oddball, e.g. with his proposals to rid New Zealand of cats.

    Many ordinary folk are a bit too small or even petty minded, and many love their pets, whether dogs or cats. So any opinionated man or woman coming with such ideas that Gareth brought forward, will get a short and swift shift, as the MSM has little time for “disturbing” the peace within a dull and narrow minded society living mostly in suburbia of larger centres, or small rural towns.

    Also will Gareth and his party get few votes in the regions, as his radical taxation, welfare and environmental policy approaches would not appeal to the more conservative members of those communities.

    So he has already been written off anyway by most on the MSM, as he is given little time on air or in print.

    Any new contender on the political scene has a dim chance of being accepted and making headway, unless they come with one major topic and issue that really gets people engaged, be this by angering or exciting them. Otherwise they may make it with some well known lines that fall within the scope of what is deemed socially and economically acceptable.

    All else is likely to be a fizzer, and when the media is not won over, forget it, even in these days, where social media has a high relevance and influence. Most social media does simply feed on what happens in the MSM, and then pick topics and issues that are discussed more widely. Too little is revealed and discussed on blogs, it seems, the bulk of the populace does not read blogs.

    As for cannabis decriminalisation or legalisation, I can only see the wider population accept this for only medical cannabis use, not recreational. Most consider ‘drugs’ as something negative, given the negative news across the board, where drugs are generalised, but where P use is now rampant, with disastrous consequences. This follows the synthetic cannabis debacle over recent years, it is not an issue that most want dealt with as Gareth may suggest.

    • phillip ure says:

      a poll on the a.m. show on friday had a poll where 83% of those who voted did so for full legalisation..

      legalise/regulate/tax is what most want..

      where morgan blows it on the logic-front is his insistance that the retail price should remain at the current (very high) level – claiming this move will drive the gangs out of business..

      i call bullshit! on that – all the gangs have to do is sell at a lower price than the the blackmarket will continue..

      uruguay is the only country to come up with a solution to that..

      they have govt-licenced growers/retailers..(which in itself is a great boost to enployment….)..

      and they mandate the weed be sold at $30 an ounce..

      ‘cos that is the only guaranteed way to achieve that goal..

      make it not worth the time/effort for the blackmarket..

      and doncha love the bullshit coming from prohibitionists that they ‘are only thinking about the children’..?

      don’t they know that any 14-15 yr old if they want to can find where to score weed as easy as..

      and there they are also offered free tasters of meth/speed..

      (so let’s just continue doing that..?..and throwing people into jail for pot…eh..?..)

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        “full legalisation” of medical cannabis use, nothing else, I bet. The “am show” are not going to even consider a poll on recreational use, I would think. I did not see it, but doubt they were polling on legalising recreational cannabis use. Surely over eighty percent do not believe in making it legal to get stoned on weed. The narrow minded silent majority I see around me every day would NEVER allow that.

        • Strypey says:

          “Surely over eighty percent do not believe in making it legal to get stoned on weed.”

          Why not? They believe it keeping it legal to get pissed on booze. The few loud noises who are still flogging the dead horse of prohibition include our favourite grouchy uncle Bob McCroskie of Family Fist. His press release misleadingly cited a US study which he claimed:

          “found that the average ‘patient’ was a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of life threatening illness.”

          If you read the actual conclusion of the study, it says:

          “Analysis of the demographic and social characteristics of a large sample of applicants seeking approval to use marijuana medically in California supports an interpretation of long term non problematic use by many who had first tried it as adolescents, and then either continued to use it or later resumed its use as adults. In general, they have used it at modest levels and in consistent patterns which- anecdotally- often assisted their educational achievement, employment performance, and establishment of a more stable life-style. These data suggest that rather than acting as a gateway to other drugs, (which many had also tried), cannabis has been exerting a beneficial influence on most.”

          If this is the likely outcome, is creating a legal supply (whether just for medical use or recreational use too) really such a bad idea?

          The prohibitionists either just haven’t done the reading, or as in the case of Family Fist, they are knowingly and cynically cherry picking or misrepresenting research to fit their prejudices. Many of the same generation did the same thing with the legalization of homosexuality in the 1980s, Peters voted against the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in 1986 for uniformed, knee-jerk reasons he now finds hard to justify:

        • phillip ure says:

          @ mike in ak..

          no..the poll was on full legalisation – not just for med-pot..

          unlike you i saw it…

          and re yr ‘narrow-minded silent majority’..?

          you clearly need to get out and about a bit

          and just stop hanging with that reactionary

  5. Bruce says:

    I’ve voted Green since they were Values, I would like to see a change in the government but now Greens are committing to continue with failed economic policy there doesn’t seem much point. TOP pot policy offers a chance to change the status quo hemp industry will offer opportunities to a new breed of entrepreneur and looking overseas where these profits are already being generated they are doing good.

  6. Castro says:

    1. Probably not

    2. If they do, they will help gift the Transnational Capital Party a fourth term

    3. Given the above, why is anyone in the “left-wing” media giving TOP oxygen?

    4. Housing, immigration, housing, immigration: these are what will decide the election outcome

  7. John says:

    I can’t vote for Peters who’s politics lie to the right of Ghegis Khan’s
    I can’t vote for the Greens who have sold out to Neoliberal dishonesty
    I can’t vote for Labour because of Little who makes me cringe
    I can’t vote for National because of their nasty attitude towards the poor

    so who’s left? TOP

    TOP promotes social conscience
    TOP have a solid Green platform
    TOP has a strong group of leaders in their ranks
    TOP cares about community

    • Jezz Gareth, you are so busy these days.

    • Stuart Munro says:

      Genghis was pretty democratic on the whole – he merely executed bad rulers.

      “If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”

      Punishment of those proportions would go some way to addressing the crimes of worthless neoliberals. The Beehive would make a splendid venue for a pyramid of skulls (though strictly speaking that’s Tamerlane).

  8. Strypey says:

    The obsession with emerging parties and the 5% threshold has become as pathologically distracting as the never-ending, virtual realty drama of the Kardashians. What’s important about TOP, and is the thing worth discussing if they are brought up, is simple; their policy. By releasing detailed policy prescriptions, backed up by arguments and references, they offer an opportunity to move NZ politics out of the virtual reality of the expensive suit and the smooth soundbite, and back toward a politics of people participation in collective decision-making; ie democracy!

    How are TOP policies similar to or different from Labour, or the Greens, or NZ First, or ACT for that matter? Which policy do we like better on each issue, and why? Can we improve on what all the parties of currently offering with clever recombination of a bit of Party A policy and a chunk of Party B policy? Policy, policy, policy! This is how National will be defeated, because they don’t have policy, they have PR.

  9. saveNZ says:

    Could The Opportunities Party hit 5%? – Nope.

    So voting for them is effectively supporting the government to stay in power as it’s a waste of a vote that could have gone to an opposition party to stop the Natz.

    • e-clectic says:

      Yep – the wasted vote threat – it’s past time to drop MMP. Yes, it got us proportional representation but beyond that it’s fundamental flaws can never be addressed – time to go STV.
      One of the rationales for change from FPP was to ensure we didn’t get minority governments – how’s that working out? Nat/Act/Maori/UF got 49.27% total of party vote in the last election and MMP magicked that into 52.9% in the House – well past its use by date.

  10. Kevin says:

    I have been predominantly a Labour voter,but no longer as I see Labour as a milder form of National. I want a fairer New Zealand and to me Top policies suit my belief that such policies can engender a better New Zealand. We need a significant shift in ideology to have a real and meaningfully change from the manner in which New Zealand has been mananged for quite some time.I hope Gareth does make the 5% .