6 months out from the 2017 election and how are each of the Political Party’s fairing?
Political Party Challenges:
NATIONAL – current polling 46%
National are fading. Looking at the past 3 elections, National 6 months out from an election generally over poll by anywhere as much as 5-7 points so they are looking at 40% this election. Bill English hasn’t been a retail politician for a long time, and isn’t the natural at glad-handing the Mall voters with the skill Key was able to and while Paula Bennett is loved by the Nets, she is a hate figure to most of the country. So Dull and Loathed isn’t much of a leadership team.
National stand to be hit from three sides this time. One of National’s successes was with women voters. They seemed to love John Key and while his policies would have been most damaging to them, they just kept voting for him. Bill English and Paula Bennett don’t have the same appeal to these female voters, but they do find themselves liking Jacinda Ardern, which is why National went on the attack against her recently. Jacinda is taking female voters away from National and that will hurt them.
Th other front National are about to be hit from is NZ First. The provinces are going into revolt and the suburbs are grid locked, Winston is going to launch a nuclear attack on immigration and Maori ‘Privilege’ that are music to the ears of rump National Party voters. Bill English is a wide eyed free market acolyte but he’s not a bigot and he’s not going to be able to counter Winston’s nuclear attack.
Internally Judith Collins is preparing for a National Party loss and will be waging an immediate guerrilla campaign for the leadership if National lose. Expect her to try and make a pitch to Winston Peters if Bill English refuses a deal.
LABOUR – current polling 30.2%
Labour are stalling in the polls and that’s a dangerous thing to allow happen. Labour haven’t been able to press forward any narrative because Andrew is in bloody Court fighting a defamation case. That’s left Labour flat footed.
There is policy being cooked up in the back rooms that should be able to excite voters, but the political managers of Labour are pushing to water it all down so as to not spook the markets. There is a complacency creeping into Labour and they haven’t even won the bloody election yet. The strategy is to wait until the election is closer to start rolling policy out, I think that’s unwise. Winston is going to dominate the electoral coverage and news oxygen once he starts his nuclear war, Labour need to be talking to the Country about new policy ideas now to build up enough of a buffer to withstand Winston’s whirlwind.
The Leadership team of Andrew and Jacinda however is so popular with the voters Labour need to win over to have a chance of forming the next Government that they represent Labour’s best chance of winning in 3 elections. They should be using that popularity now rather than trying to speak in the din of war.
GREENS – current polling 11.7%
Who thought this was a good idea?
Poor old Rod Donald must be rolling in his grave. It looks like a Young Nats ball photo.
It’s Gaia with a vajazzle.
The Greens face their biggest threat this election and still don’t seem to see it coming. NZ First has a real chance of over taking the Greens as the third largest political party and if that happens all they will get are crumbs from the table.
The membership have wisely decided to get new young blood into the Party but these candidates still need to be given high placement if the Greens are to activate the only electorate they can make real gains from, the youth vote. Under 30s have the lowest voter turn out and the Greens could make real gains here if that electorate saw candidates they related to. It’s not good enough for the Greens to put these candidates on the fringes of list entry, they need to champion them if they are to look authentic to that electorate.
The real challenge for the Greens this election will be on how they handle the tactics Winston is going to employ. His looming attacks on Maori and immigration are going to be too much for Green activists who will be demanding denouncements of the highest magnitude from their Green MPs. There has been some incredibly poor strategy and media management from the Greens since Andrew Campbell left, it is an open question if they have the skills to navigate the pressure cooker of this election.
NZ FIRST – current polling 7.8%
The old silver fox of NZ politics must be licking his lips in anticipation because the current political landscape has never been better for his nationalist rhetoric. This election Winston will out Trump Trump. NZ First have the ability to benefit in the past from Labour vote collapse, but this time around I think he will benefit from a National Party vote collapse.
Don Brash and his racist provincial bandwagon touring the countryside trying to scare the bejesus out of National Party voting white farmer types with stories of Maori privilege are far larger attended than is being acknowledged. Don’s taken to advising the participants that they should vote for Winston this election because National are too dependent on the Maori Party to stop this supposed ‘privilege’.
Add to this the building fury at the stresses of National’s mass immigration policy and Winston is perfectly placed to reap this anger with a nuclear styled attack on Immigration and Maori ‘privilege’. He’ll make ruling out the Maori Party from Government one of his bottom lines which would draw in the angry white provincial vote and the rhetoric he will choose to attack immigration will ensure wall to wall media coverage and lots of ‘someone had to say it’ type justifications.
NZ First has every chance of over taking the Greens this election. The only threat to a NZ First explosion in the Polls would be Winston suddenly being struck down by God.
MAORI PARTY – current polling 2.4%
Once Winston releases his bottom line that no Government he serves in will have the Maori Party, they will struggle to find relevance and a justification for people to vote for them. While they stand a good chance of winning Maori electorates because of the treaty with MANA, their Party vote will take a hit. It should get Marama Fox in but they face total alienation from the political process once Winston enforces his bottom line.
UNITED FUTURE – current polling .2%
If there is a God, Greg O’Connor will beat Dunne and this will shut down one possible National Party ally. O’Connor is getting good response at local meetings and is handling the role extremely well. Dunne should be concerned.
ACT – current polling .4%
Seymour will win his seat, and might be able to appeal to the migrant community as a champion for them while Winston is going on the rampage by making a principled stand against the xenophobia about to be unleashed. ACT could get a second MP if Seymour navigates it well.
TOP – current polling .4%
The problem for TOP has been a lack of media oxygen and platform for Gareth Morgan. He is easily their greatest asset and can argue the issues well, but he has no platform other than Twitter to do that, and with Twitter being ultra liberal, he just ends up getting in fights with snarks. TOP must do more direct live streaming media to give Morgan the platform he needs to be able to showcase his intellect, that way he is at least challenging the political narrative and creating his own oxygen. While 5% at this stage is highly unlikely, TOP could still impact the debate if they sort out their online media campaign.
MANA – current polling .2%
Hone is unhappy with the Maori Party Land Bill, if things can be sorted over that, he stands a solid chance of retaking Te Tai Tokerau.
The biggest indicator for a genuine desire for change came last week 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.
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.
Brothers and Sisters, Matthew Hooton agreeing with me is officially the breaking of the 7th seal of the Apocalypse.