So we are now 101 days until the 2020 NZ Election due on September 19th.
The Labour led Government of Jacinda Ardern have made tiny baby steps towards being transformative but beyond tinkering have not been able to pursue a more progressive policy platform, however in crisis, Jacinda Ardern has shone and stepped up with a level of leadership that now sees her Party enjoying an outright majority.
What happens next?
LABOUR – outright majority
I don’t wish to be mean.
I think many NZers who scream that Jacinda is turning NZ into a socialist state, don’t understand socialism.
I mean I WISH she was, but trust me, she’s not.
The most likely outcome will be a Labour majority government, the danger for Labour is that to date they have managed to shrug off doing anything genuinely meaningful for housing, poverty, inequality, justice and the climate because they can point to bad Uncle Winston and say, ‘bad uncle Winston won’t let us’. With a majority Government however Jacinda and Grant can’t hide their own over caution and will need to actually spend their political capital rather than constantly save it.
NATIONAL – 2002 collapse and burn
The absurdity of replacing Simon Bridges as leader and replacing him with a middle manager with too much ego and not enough talent via a coup launched by backbench MPs who were spooked by polls suggesting they will become unemployed reeks of desperation and it is showing. Why on earth National pundits think entering a severe economic depression will suddenly make voters elect someone they don’t know is never fully explained. I think National supporters will look back on Simon’s 29% as halcyon days, Muller’s train wreck performances in every media interview he does won’t get better and come the debates, Jacinda will wipe the floor with him. At some stage National voters will just opt out of voting rather than support this muppet.
NZ FIRST – politically irrelevant
The second Muller opened the door to NZ First, Tracey Martin, Winston and Shane Jones have all been publicly flirting with National in a desperate attempt to become politically relevant again to National voters. NZF need this as they are sub 5% ever since Simon Bridges ruled them out. Bubbling along in the background is NZF’s funding scandals and I imagine that will be the main focus on Winston during the election. The naked truth for Winston however is that Jacinda has out shone him during the pandemic and is in a position to achieve a majority Government. If this happens, it doesn’t matter if NZ First gets back over 5% because Labour won’t need them. NZ First could become politically irrelevant. Isn’t that a great feeling?
GREENS – blissfully cruising to sub 5% oblivion
The Greens have gone backwards in the last 3 elections and they always over poll. Their current 4% will easily be lower than that on election day and with Jacinda so prominent internationally my guess is the international vote that has always supported the Greens will go to Labour. The Greens middle class woke identity politics virtue signalling is deeply alienating to the vast majority of voters and instead of attracting votes, they’ve simply managed to push anyone not in their twitter clique away. The tiny gains they’ve managed in power are a joke and their major legislative win, being carbon neutral in 30 years, is not a solution to the climate crisis. As someone who has voted Green my entire adult life, watching their decline is heart breaking. If the Greens do manage to limp over 5%, they will likely come in under their appalling 2017 result and if that happens the current leadership team must resign on election night to give a new leadership team a chance.
ACT – Right Wing Schism could triple Party vote
ACT have benefited from the free speech culture war that the Left should never have gifted Seymour and the sudden watering down of National’s harder edge has created a schism on the Right that ACT are benefiting from. Real chance they could triple their 2017 Party vote.
MĀORI PARTY – Election night surprise
The Māori Party have a real chance in Te Tai Hauāuru and Tamaki Makaurau and with a small nudge up in their Party vote could end up with 2 electorate MPs plus a list MP. With Labour so high in the Polls, the Māori Party could argue Māori electorate voters will already gain representation with a Labour MP, PLUS a Māori Party MP. The Māori Party could become an election night surprise.
TOP – running out of options
They can’t hope to get 5% now and could only win representation if National stood aside in an electorate, but such a clear tactical move would rob TOP of any soft liberal urban vote. Looks like a failed experiment in policy at the moment.
ADVANCE NZ – Misreading Botany?
Jami-Lee Ross’s interesting point of difference with his new political party is that he is attacking China. It could be a misread of the electorate with the largest asian population in NZ, or he and his rumoured strategist Simon Lusk have seen something in Botany’s asian diaspora that is anti-Chinese Government. National’s candidate and fundamentalist Christian, Christopher Luxon, should win this seat easily, but JLRs strategy suggests he is seeing something we are not and that could create a curveball on election night.
New Conservative NZ – Vision Aotearoa – ONE – God has forsaken us
Is there a more divine outcome? The entire religious right from the cross burning New Conservatives to the brimstone and fire Vision Aotearoa to the evangelical ONE are now all competing against each other for votes. They will all fail to get 1% each. Finally proof there is a God!
There are curveballs and dark horses, but right now the electorate are prepared to give Jacinda a majority Government and National are doomed to rip themselves to pieces in opposition for another 3 years. 101 days is a long time in politics, but 4 consecutive polls in a row give Labour 50%+ because the psychology of the electorate has been fundamentally changed by the lockdown.
People feel genuinely grateful to Jacinda and that gratitude will show up at the ballot box, the economic crisis will only exacerbate that sense of gratitude, not erode it, especially with $20b to spend between now and the election.
After terrorism, volcanism and a pandemic, the majority of voters not only feel Jacinda has earned their vote, they are prepared to entrust her with a majority Government to be transformative.
Is Labour up to that challenge?
Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.
If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.