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,Â 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 canât be reversed, and also how if they can go into oppositionÂ with aÂ 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. Iâm not saying a probability, but definitely a credible possibility. Hereâs why:
- Nationalâs 48% is the sort of result you get in your first term, not your last term
- 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
- The Conservatives could well make 5% in 2017, giving National an extra buffer
- John Key is now very likely to contest the 2017 election. Previously I would have said it was 60/40 at best.
- Labourâs leadership battle is turning offÂ 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 Â 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. HolyoakeÂ 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 (8Â years, 350Â days ),Edward Stafford (8 years, 326 days), Robert Muldoon (8Â years, 227Â days ), Sid Holland (7Â years, 281Â days), Joseph Ward (7 years, 38 days), and Jim Bolger (7Â years, 36Â days), which will all fall this term.Â Read more »