As TDB has been pointing out for some time now, 2023 will be fought between who frightens the NZ electorate least, an ACT/National Government or a Labour/Green/Māori Party Government.
A Parliament that is hung, yawn and disordered.
National: 37% (down 2)
Labour: 33% (down 2)
ACT: 11% (up 4)
Green Party: 9% (down 1)
New Zealand First: 3% (up 2)
Te Pāti Māori: 2% (steady)
The Opportunities Party (TOP): 2% (steady)
Vision New Zealand: 1% (up 1)
New Conservative: 1% (steady)
Democrats for Social Credit: 1% (up 1)
Don’t know/refused: 11% (steady)
There are of course political winners and losers.
ACT – The dynamic that we have endlessly argued here on TDB is that the polarisation of politics in NZ driven by a surging ACT Party vote represents a unique moment in NZ political history. The ACT manifesto is far right romper stomper performance art for fascists and they will start cannibalising the National vote as economic pressures and rhetoric over co-governance reaches a shrill cross burning level that National can’t compete with. ACTs desire to amputate 5 Ministries plus the Human Rights Commission plus hacking off $7billion from welfare funding represents the greatest threat to the NZ State since World War 2. David Seymour is a far better politician than Luxon and he will hoover up all right wing vote in this country under 40 years of age.
Labour – Despite being in the darkest coldest part of Winter with a stretched Hospital System and stratospheric pessimism, Labour are still at 33% which is a staggering achievement. They look strong in the Roy Morgan Poll and the private UMR polling released to Caucus today shows a much more balanced picture. Sure, they have taken a battering from criticism, some very valid, others just bullshit, but Labour have weathered it. They need to start turning things around now though and the last chance for a transformative idea is the budget next year. Jacinda, while her numbers fall, is still their greatest asset, she was able to front a Q+A interview and claim having high aspirations while delivering sweet fuck all is a good thing and managed to get away with it! That’s spectacular will over reality level messaging there. She pulls that stunt in the elections and she will get smashed. Andrew Campbell needs a clip around the ear for allowing her to look that disconnected from reality.
National – They’ve hit their ceiling and this absurd bash the disabled young people on benefits shtick by privatising Welfare just won’t work for them because it’s a demographic issue now. 2023 will be the first election in NZ history where Gen X + Millennials are a larger numeric voting block than boomers, this bash the Bennies shit has an old person vibe to it and there is a far larger youth voting block who can be activated to vote against that bullshit. National have peaked and the slow grind between now and Election 2023 will be ACT cannibalising their vote. I think with their privatisation of welfare stuff, National will have spooked the centrist voters back to Labour. The 1800s are calling and Charles Dickens wants his child labour laws back, this is a strategic blunder for National. Luxon keeps getting the tone wrong the way Simon Bridges did, our young people need support, not the crack of the whip!
New Zealand Voters – Because the Political spectrum is so hung and the polarisation so extreme, nothing is being collectively done to solve the myriad of problems we are facing post-Covid from crime, to cost of living crisis, to climate change, to inequality and poverty. No big ideas and no real solutions to the challenges we are collectively facing as New Zealanders.
Beneficiaries – They are now the whipping boy for the Right, expect all manner of offensive shit to be claimed about their lives and their laziness.
The Environment – Meanwhile, the planet is burning!
Young people – National’s bewildering attack on young people is the worst kind of politics. All National are trying to sell is the stick. The Mana in Mahi programme that Labour are running was extended to over 5000 young people and 90% had not returned to a benefit, including three quarters of those who had been on a benefit for two years or more. Labour are getting results with programmes that work by supporting young people, not threatening them – so why when unemployment is so low are National trashing youth beneficiaries? Because it’s cheap and easy and lazy politics.
Renters – Our lives become more disposable by the day. Thank you Labour and National.
The Bank of England expects the UK economy to tank after inflation peaks at 13% in the fourth quarter this year and remain elevated throughout 2023 despite the economy already entering a recession in the fourth quarter this year as well.
This is before the impact of Russia cutting gas and the impacts that will cause Europe and Italian Banks spreads as inflation ruptures throughout the Eurozone.
Bank of America is predicting a deep American recession this year and the mega droughts caused by catastrophic climate change are impacting food growing nations.
China is facing economic carnage from their zero covid plan while a looming property market collapse could cause untold damage inside the Chinese economy.
That’s why I find the idea of punishing young people on welfare as a legitimate response to the challenges we face about as unconvincing as a Donald Trump dating app.
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