Four terms or Five?

David Farrar didn’t believe that National could entertain winning four terms, but the scale of the defeat of the left has forced him to re-evaluate this thinking.

I had even mentally drafted a blog post intended for the day after the election, in case of a National victory, in which somewhat somberly I would have stated that while it is great National got a third term, MPs should realise that this is probably their last term in Government. The post would have been about how they need to secure the policy gains of the last six years, so as many of them as possible can’t be reversed, and also how if they can go into opposition with a relatively solid vote, then maybe there will be just two terms in opposition.

The nature of the election result has changed that. A fourth, or even a fifth term, is now a very credible possibility. I’m not saying a probability, but definitely a credible possibility. Here’s why:

  1. National’s 48% is the sort of result you get in your first term, not your last term
  2. The left vote totalled just 36%, and they need to grow this by 12% if they want to be able to govern, without being dependent on what Winston may decide
  3. The Conservatives could well make 5% in 2017, giving National an extra buffer
  4. John Key is now very likely to contest the 2017 election. Previously I would have said it was 60/40 at best.
  5. Labour’s leadership battle is turning off the public, and may leave the party divided and wrecked

I thought like Farrar.

If National won it was likely to be a narrow victory, with few partners and  the left on the rise I though John Key would jack it in and go out as a winning PM rather than risk being turfed out. Now I am certain that the next election is a certain victory for National, perhaps with some support partners. John Key will now look to best Keith Holyoake’s record and win a fourth term and cement his place in history. Holyoake served just under 12 years as PM therefore the winning of a fourth term means that John Key would easily pass that record. Key is now fast approaching the records of Helen Clark (8 years, 350 days ),Edward Stafford (8 years, 326 days), Robert Muldoon (8 years, 227 days ), Sid Holland (7 years, 281 days), Joseph Ward (7 years, 38 days), and Jim Bolger (7 years, 36 days), which will all fall this term.  Read more »

Labour’s issues, comparing rebuilds, 2002 vs 2014

Liam Hehir writes at the Manawatu Standard about the pressing issues facing Labour as they seek to attempt to rebuild after Cunliffe’s disastrous campaign.

And, of course, there was National’s 2002 catastrophe. It is hard to believe that the party now straddling the political centre like the Colossus of Rhodes received just 20.93 per cent of the vote that year. How has it managed to claw back its status as the natural party of government?

First, National eliminated its competition on the Right. Under Don Brash, National gobbled up almost the whole conservative vote, reducing ACT and UnitedFuture to the lifeless husks they are today. NZ First also barely survived this process as about half of its traditionalist voters defected back to National.

While that restored National’s formidability, the 2005 election proved that it wasn’t quite enough to carve out a workable majority. It then fell to the pragmatic and non-ideological John Key to seize back the centre ground. His ability to do this – bringing both conservative and centrist voters with him – has proved essential to his success as a popular leader.

At the same time, National relentlessly modernised and adapted on an organisational level. Party headquarters provides constant information and co-ordination to candidates and exercises effective quality control over campaigns. No National candidate would have been permitted to neglect the party vote as Labour candidates have in the past two elections.

Read more »

Meme/Caption/Photoshop contest


You know what to do – just stick within the moderation and commenting standards please.  Make your own here and share the results in comments.

Read more »

We need a name for Labour’s leadership debacle

I was thinking that we need a name for Labour’s leadership debacle.

The media would come up with something really lame and probably stick a -gate on the end of it.

I think my readers are smarter than the media so it is over to you to come up with some descriptors.

I was initially thinking of c*ntastrophe  – A completely avoidable and utterly F*CKED situation caused by a certifiable Bitch or C*nt.

But that is perhaps a little harsh, even though it is highly accurate.

Are there any others you can think of?

Put your suggestions in the comments, please use * where necessary…there will be light moderation to save what remains of Pete’s hair and the other mods.

Here are a couple more:

Clusterliffe – term for an operation in which multiple things have gone wrong. Related to “SNAFU” (Situation Normal, All F*cked Up”) and “FUBAR” (F*cked Up Beyond All Repair).   Read more »


Herald editor wants New Zealand to be ready to go to war

If ground forces can rid Iraq of the murderers known as Isis, New Zealand should be there. This country ought to be counted among the nations that are willing to act when the cause is just and military force can be effective.

Few would argue that rescuing Iraqis from Isis is not a just cause, the debate will be about whether foreign intervention can do so. It is a debate New Zealand should resolve sooner rather than later.

All the signs suggest this country is about to be asked to contribute special forces to an international effort once the final election result allows the Government to be sworn in.

The Prime Minister sounds reluctant to commit soldiers, as he should be. He says he will not rule out sending them if asked “but it would be my least preferred option”. It is everyone’s least preferred option.

Not sure if the Herald editor is being intentionally dense, but Key is walking a fine line here.  He has two major problems.   Read more »


Labour face Clayton’s leadership choice

Claire Trevett is onto it.  The Labour leadership race is between two unpalatable candidates

Some MPs are casting about for an Option C in Labour’s leadership contest because of concerns about David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson – but there is little consensus on who that could be.

Mr Cunliffe formally resigned as leader yesterday, triggering a leadership contest which is expected to be held in November.

So far only Mr Cunliffe and Mr Robertson have put their hands up for the job – but a number of MPs have reservations about both and are talking about whether a third person should contest it.

Former leader David Shearer returned from New York yesterday and is expected to make a decision soon about whether he will seek the leadership.

But many in caucus are concerned about his ability to perform on camera.

Other names mentioned included Andrew Little and David Parker.

Labour should stop trying to run before it can walk.  It needs to elect a leader that can manage the party through the current crisis, and who will then willingly step down for a leader that is going to resonate with the voters.   Robertson and Cunliffe are neither crisis managers nor are they vote winners.   They need “Option C”   Read more »

It’s time for a new kind of Labour leader

Nice graph by Stuff today


Credit: Stuff. MMP line added by Whaleoil


With the leadership again up for grabs, the figures show that when Labour appoints a leader while in opposition it takes the party an average of 4.6 years to regain power. That would put its recovery beyond the 2017 election and closer to 2020.

That’s statistical analysis.  That doesn’t take into account that Labour are now 6 years on from a Clark defeat and are still feverishly holding on to politicians that started their careers in the 80s and 90s.

The Clark 3 term stretch was quite the anomaly, and although fresh in our minds, it was unusual for the country to allow such a shift to the left for such a long time.     Read more »

Green Party East Coast candidate goes super nasty in a Gisborne Herald article

The tears of impotent rage are still flowing from the Green Party after the voters gave them such a spanking Sue Bradford would also want to make it illegal.

When commenting in The Gisborne Herald about how the voters walked away from the left in droves on September 20, East Coast Green Party candidate Gavan McLean had this to say:

How do we explain the extraordinary lack of support for those who care? It’s not just the number of non-voters; not just the media, some almost falling over in their lean to the right; not just the demeaning circus of shouting matches called “debates”, or the subsequent navel-gazing “Who won?” editorials; not just National’s dishonesty and adoption of the rhetoric of altruism — of which more later; not just fear of disunity, within a party or a coalition of parties (a fear that is undemocratic in a mixed society).

On the face of it, the voters declared themselves callous and cowardly, which is how history will view this election. How can otherwise intelligent and caring people so thoroughly misrepresent themselves? Of course, many are complacent — life is good, she’ll be right — but the refusal to face the future or even fix immediate problems reflects not real contentment, but deep insecurity. This is a childish reaction, as in the childish song by Sia:

“I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist . . .

“But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes.”

Read more »

CORRECTION and APOLOGY to David Cunliffe

Earlier this morning I called David Cunliffe a liar for saying he didn’t know about his wife’s @TarnBabe67 Twitter account because he was the first to “Follow” it with his own Twitter account.

Turns out this was impossible.


Just a few points though.   Read more »

Media just making stuff up about SAS

Yesterday the Herald ran an article suggesting that NZSAS troops could be deployed to Iraq to battle ISIS.

The problem with that article was that John Key actually said it was his least preferred option for dealing with ISIS.

Today they follow it up with an outright denial, not once but twice from Jonathan Coleman, but not content with that they run off to a journalist and an academic for them to suggest, that just maybe, possibly, the NZSAS might already be overseas or getting ready to deploy overseas.

You can’t make this up…the Minister says no and they think maybe it might be something else.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has dismissed suggestions the elite SAS force is ready and waiting for the green light to go into combat against Isis (Islamic State) militants in Iraq.   Read more »