Can the Conservative Party win 5% of the Vote?

It is hard to predict how a party that has almost no footprint yet will go. Current polls wont take into account the Conservative Party, and probably won’t until very late in the campaign when voters are engaged in politics instead of the World Cup.

The simple equation is that the Conservative Party needs to win about 120,000 votes. Or close to 2000 votes in every electorate in the country.

Winning 120,000 votes is not easy. To win this many you need money, good media coverage, good candidates and a good network of people across the country asking people to vote for you. The final factor is a good team of professionals running a competent campaign.

Each of these factors is important, with money being the most important. Without money campaigns are very difficult. They make it hard to bring good people into the party, and make it difficult to get free media coverage as the media don’t think a party has a chance so ignore it. Good candidates asking people to vote are crucial, because if there is not someone making a case to vote for a party on the doorsteps of the electorates then voters also think the party is not credible and won’t vote for them.

From the outside the Conservative Party has the money to fund a good campaign. If it links in with some of the supporters of Colin Craig’s other causes like referenda and smacking, and has the support of churches, it could have a very good network of candidates across the country and the potential to win votes in good numbers in a large number of electorates.

The christain lobby in New Zealand has been highly ineffective, mainly because it has had a bunch of total plonkers running for office. Lee, Tamaki, Capill – none of them inspire confidence, and none have done very well. That is why the best result for christians was in 1996, when the Christian Coalition won 89,716 votes or 4.33%, narrowly missing out on getting into parliament.

Competent campaign professionals are crucial to stop even experienced politicians doing stupid things on a campaign. Colin hasn’t said to who his campaign manager and campaign team are, leading to the suspicion that there are not experienced, effective campaign professionals driving the Conservative Party. We don’t expect the All Blacks to run on to the field without competent professional coaches so why should we expect political parties who want to be involved in running the country to be strictly amateur.

Mana has campaigner extraordinaire Matt McCarten, Len Brown had Conor Roberts, the Greens have paid staffers, National likewise, Labour of course is the only one in the field with a distinct amateur and it shows. ACT has a fundraiser trying to chair its campaign committee. Political parties need professionals to win consistently. To do otherwise is folly and ultimately a waste of donors money.

Colin is setting out to prove that a party without an MP can make it into parliament under MMP. This has never been done before, and is very tough to do. If anyone can it will be Colin, but I reserve my judgment on its chances until Colin’s campaign professionals are named.


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  • William

    The answer to your headlines is : No.

  • Anon

    The answer to your headline question is: No.

  • Morphus

    The Green’s assistant campaign manager is Kymberlie Dimozantos. She was the Green candidate in Bendigo in the Australian elections last year. Either she happened to move to NZ in April and was immediately hired for the campaign manager job. Or the NZ Greens have called in an Aussie to run their campaign for them. I would have thought the Greens would be opposed to that sort of foreign political influence in NZ.

    • gazzaw

      Why would that be Morphus? The co leader Wussel ‘Where’s my Flag’ Norman is an Aussie import. The NZ Greens are obviously trying to shake off the weird old images of being a bunch of tree hugging, Morris dancing, hemp suit wearing weirdos. They have succeeded in many ways aside from the ‘weirdo’ title. They are looking a lot more corporate and in synch with the Aussie Greens.

    • Adolf Fiinkensein

      You forget how many New Zealanders have graced the political scene in Australia.
      I can think of two state premiers, the current Labour idiot in South Australia and the late Jo Bejielke-Petersen of Queensland.

  • thor42

    Definitely “no” as the answer here. The Conservatives have as much chance of getting 5% as I do of marrying Mila Kunis.

  • tristanb

    The chris­tain lobby in New Zealand has been highly inef­fec­tive, mainly because it has had a bunch of total plonkers run­ning for office. Lee, Tamaki, Capill

    A weirdo, a con-artist and a paedophile – aren’t they just typical Christian leaders?

  • Richard McGrath

    There has already been a Conservative Party here in the 1990s, originally known as the Right of Centre Party, composed of disaffected National MPs, led by Ross Meurant, which had 2 MPs in parliament, including Trevor Rogers (who, according to Wikipedia, opposed the internet and tried to get internet pornography banned).

    Interesting that Ross Meurant, former drug squad detective, believes all drugs should be decriminalised, and suggested this while he was a National MP. Not sure if Colin Craig’s party would endorse such a policy.

  • David

    Craig should hire Simon Lusk. Only then would he have a decent chance of cracking the 5% mark. That would also send the shitters up both Act and National!

  • Anon

    I think that the party can get 5% if they are lucky. If they can channel the discontent around right wing parties

  • Apolonia

    There is currently a void in the NZ political scene for a socially conservative party.At the moment social conservatives,who probably make up 15-20% of the electorate spread their votes between National, NZ First,other minor parties e.g Kiwi party,Family party and the Pacific party,and a few still vote Labour( mainly in the Pacifika community).If it were possible to gain the support of 1/2 or even 1/3 of these voters then the 5% figure would be surpassed.These social conservatives and their views are not currently represented in parliament.

    • Andy

      Yup.  For the first election ever, I have no idea where to cast my conservative swing-vote.  It won’t be National, and definitely not ACT.  I was looking at the uncomfortable prospect of voting Labor (more conservative than National), or perhaps a protest vote (Aotearoa Smoke Dope party?  Dunno.)

      Until today I hadn’t heard of the Conservative Party of New Zealand — but I shall be checking them out, definitely.