Chris Trotter is a thinker, he is a great sounding board for what is happening on the left.
His post on The Daily Blog is a must read, but to save you the hassle of going to that site here are the best parts.
Labour will take comfort from the fact that its vote has remained steady at 34 percent. It shouldnâ€™t. Unless 100,000 Green voters have undergone a Road to Damascus conversion to John Keyâ€™s easy-going conservatism and are now declaring themselves National Party supporters, the poll result is simply reflecting the extreme volatility on the left of New Zealand politics.
The most likely sources of Nationalâ€™s 6 percentage point surge to 51 percent are Labour and (to a lesser extent) NZ First. Buoyed by optimistic economic forecasts and dismayed by the Oppositionâ€™s presentational gaffes, the voters who had drifted back to Labour over the past few months now appear to be rushing back to National.
Labour are putting about that the One News poll was a rogue because voters moved from Green to National. Only the most stupid of commentators would buy that spin and Trotter certainly doesn’t.
Most political analysts are attributing the sharp decline in Green Party support (from 13 percent to 8 percent) to Russel Normanâ€™s secret meetings with Kim Dotcom. Normanâ€™s purpose in approaching the German IT entrepreneur was to dissuade him from setting up a political party whose demographic appeal is certain to overlap that of the Greens. As if this wasnâ€™t bad enough, Norman then managed to convey the impression that theÂ quid pro quoÂ for Dotcomâ€™s standing-down the Internet Party would be a Green Party promise to prevent his extradition to the United States.
If the pundits are correct, then the Greensâ€™ relationship with Dotcom has undone years of careful branding on the part of the Green Party leadership.
A critical factor in the Greens appeal â€“ especially to left-of-centre voters â€“ is the impression, conveyed by successive Green leaders, that their party is â€śaboveâ€ť or â€śin frontâ€ť of politics-as-usual. The Greensâ€™ proud claim has always been that they want no part of the backstairs, you-scratch-my-back- and-Iâ€™ll-scratch-yours transactional politics so characteristic of the National and Labour parties. Â Read more »