National’s Strategic Stupidity, Ctd

Tracy Watkins outlines a scenario where the most popular Prime Minister in New Zealand history could end up losing.

But what the poll also reveals is that any slump in National’s support could see the situation rapidly change, because of the state of its likely allies.

The ACT party, on 1.2 per cent support, needs John Banks to win Epsom to have any hope of making it into Parliament ? and that is by no means assured, according to some polls.

The Maori Party, which has governed with National, is in disarray ? and facing a three-way challenge in the Maori seats that could see it return to Parliament with fewer MPs than its current four.

Labour, on the other hand, is shored up by support to its Left for the Greens, who remain the only minor party with a sizeable share of the vote.

At 9.7 per cent support their vote, combined with Labour’s, puts the Left on 41 per cent, still 11.6 points behind National and a long way from forcing an upset.

National will probably be able to govern after the election, but after 2014 and beyond it looks like its support parties may not be in parliament in any real strength. National has had its head so far in the sand it has not taken a position on the referendum on the electoral system. If MMP is retained National becomes the Natural Party of Opposition in the long run.

That will John Key’s legacy to the party, not two terms in government.