National’s Strategic Stupidity, Ctd

Poll after poll shows National is going to get over the magic 48% that will give it a majority in parliament, and the National support Parties ACT, United Future and the Maori Party are struggling for relevance.

Labour are getting a hiding this election, but will endure just as National did after their disastrous results in 1987 and 2002, and Labour came back strong in 1993 after getting hammered in 1990. The Greens have got rid of their old socialist wing and nut case wing, and are doing well with a moderate leadership so they are going to be around in the future.

Labour and the Greens will be a nice natural fit together, and the dominant governing coalition.

John Key has unprecedented popularity and if he tells New Zealand to vote for change and to back another electoral system they will. If he does this National is in with a chance in the future, as it wont need to get over 48% of the vote or have a minor parties survive, which looks highly unlikely.

National caucus members should be asking on the daily campaign calls when National will endorse a vote for change to ensure they don’t become the natural party of opposition.


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  • Jester

    So will JK have that cuppa with John Banks?

    At 1% aren’t they really too small to save? If they do not add a significant advantage this election, will they be any better next cycle?

  • Bodger

    Problem is that Act aren’t worth saving.  A new party with someone credible at the helm needs to emerge on the right so that “right wing” voters have somewhere to gravitate to.

    • Jester

      But in the absence of ACT, wouldn’t right wing voters gravitate to the most ring wing party available that being National?

      Ex ACT voters are hardly going to cross the political spectrum and vote Labour or the Greens.

  • bruno32

    Banks has to win epsom.Act supporters need to give their party vote to national.

    • Anonymous

      Act supporters need to give their party vote to Act – in fact anyone that wants some decent policy does.

  • thor42

    I’m thinking that the new Conservative Party may be a possible National ally in future.  First, of course, they’ll need to win a seat (since the 5% barrier seems a long way off for them at present).  They may be able to carve out a niche for themselves a bit to the right of the Nats, but not as far right as Act.  The fact that they don’t have the baggage of Act (and the divisive personalities, e.g. Rodney Hide) will help them anyway. 
      If I were in the Conservative advisory team, I’d be looking hard at standing a strong candidate in (say) Tauranga.
    That could be a very useful power base for any voters there who are sick of Winston and looking for an alternative. 
    Another option is Ohariu, against Peter Dunne.    

    • Ratchet

      In Tauranga they would have a very difficult time against Simon Bridges, who is still showing VERY strong support and high popularity in the area. Bob the builder managed to wrest the seat of Winnie, and Simon took it up a notch…

      • Pharmachick

        And don’t we all owe Bob The Builder a debt of gratitude, as well as the awesome people of the Tauranga electorate for saying: 
        “Just. no.”
        “No more will we here from you Mr Peters, your time is done!”  

  • JMac

    ACT were polling at something like 0.9 three weeks out from the last election and got 3.7% and 5MPs on polling day.

    The Conservatives are against Asset sales and as we’ve seen here, will not be winning Rodney.

  • Mully

    Yeah, I wondered if the Conservatives will be the next ACT (it seems that ACT will disintegrate shortly).

  • Pharmachick

    been reading you the last few years and obviously you support whichever parties you wish and whatsoever mechanism for  parliamentary elections you also want to promote. With an acknowledged right wing bias. And that’s a given. But even given that, your post above is odd: 

    Up to now, you’ve been strongly campaigning for the Nats to include ACT and support them more in Epsom (for expedient reasons re: coalition partners). 

    But it seems increasingly clear that Key & friends **will not** support ACT in Epsom and that the voters in Epsom just might elect the Nat Candidate on merit rather than a craven “please choose ye olde recycled Banskey so that the ACT/Nat coalition survives”. 

    Since you’ve been “warning” National about coalition partners over the last wee while, my question is: what if National romp home with a majority, jettision “yesterday’s men” (i.e ACT) and spend the next term promoting an alternative coalition partner for 2014 (that partner might be Maori, Conservatives or…. another?)

  • Gazzaw

    I like your logic Pharmachick. I just do not believe that JK & the Nats are that politically naive as to leave the gate wide open for a return by Labour in 2014.  The Nats will dump Act, they have always been a liability. JK will wait for the final results but even in the event of an outright win believe that he will look to strengthen the relationship with the MP & I would not discount a deal with the Greens thereby signing Labour’s death warrant.

    • Pharmachick

      Yep, Gazzaw; that’s a [slightly radical version] of what I was saying.

      My main point is/was: whilst I thoroughly respect Cam & his commentary, it has been a very one-note “must elect ACT to cover flank in 2014”. 

      My rebuttals to that are:
      1) John Banks. 
                 a) Just. No.
      2) Epsom voters are both well-off AND clever (duhhh the two usually [but not always] are 
                   found together), therefore B/S won’t float
      3) Epsom voters won’t vote for a politician that
                 a) used to be Auckland mayor but independently lost that due to miss-steps
                 b) is a blatant opportunist 
                 c) has no credible policies
      4) There is no apparent reason that other parties would not be a useful coalition partner in 2014, given a sufficiently cordial relationship 2011 – 2014 when National governs as a primary majority.


      • Gazzaw

        Agreed. The demographics of Epsom are still undergoing major changes. Yes, the ‘old money’ is still there but that influence is diminishing and just like NZ First supporters they are starting to fall off their perches. One of the major considerations in Epsom now is where the Asian residents place their votes.  They do tend to vote in communal blocs and there will be a lot of Mandarin conversations going on right now. It will be interesting to see what candidates have had the political smarts to campaign for their vote. 

  • Alex (not the Leftist twat)

    I still don’t get you WO.  Why is it National’s strategic stupidity?  I just don’t think there is any significant constituency of right wing voters.  The problem is with ACT — it has done nothing to increase support for more free market reform policies. If National doesn’t have a coalition partners, and loses power as a result, the blame lies fully with ACT and United Future not credibly seeking to increase their support base.  I suspect National will find support in the Maori party.  it wouldn;t surprise me if Maori voters, seeing Labour doesn’t have a chance, will hedge their bets by voting Maori party electorate MPs so as to ensure Maori are represented in any National government.

    • Boss Hogg

      I don’t understand why National don’t form what would effectively be a sub party to the right.  Select the “Right Minded” people to build a new party.  Let National fill more of the centre while they have the numbers and get more new blood in the main party,  Similar to what Jim Anderton did for Labour.  Why the hell not?

      Busineeses do this type of thing all the time to fill market space with new brands. You can try more radical ideas without risk to the core brand. I reckon there is some white space to the right.  Come on John – pick a new leader for a new party.  Put a candidate in Epsom and one in Tamaki – Bingo.  What could possibly go wrong ??

      • Alex (not the Leftist twat)

         Your analogy dies on the fact that you can’t show me any significant numbers of right voters who would vote for such a new right wing party.  Businesses create “new brands” to capture markets they aren’t currently able to access.   ACT has had a Parliamentary resources at its disposal yet still hasn’t increased it’s support, quite the opposite. 

        So what’s the likelihood some splinter of National could do it?  Probably no better.  For starters, the right wing vote is split between liberal free marketeers, nationalists and Christian conservatives.  I’m not sure they have much common ground.    Left wing parties would just say that the splinter is National masquerading with a hard right agenda. thereby scaring off the center voters from National.  Key knows that National’s popularity is because it is centrist and has avoided the hard right reforms Labour said National would implement.  NZ’ders are sick of dogmatists — whether of the Brash or Clark variety. 

        So what to do?  Well I think the right needs to get its act together and start convincing people that it offers solutions — and not solutions that are just about maximising monetary profit at the expense of social cohesion.  That is the Left’s traditional strength over the right — it can talk about values other than money, such as the environment and community.

        National needs to start creating a new Tory constituency by identifying policies that win the long term loyalty of particular groups.  Whether we like it or not, Clark did it very well with WfF and student loans.  But the right have done it too.  Muldoon with Super.  Thatcher in Britain boosted the Tory vote hugely by promoting an “ownership society” — in particular, she won over many working class and lower middle class voters by allowing them to buy their state houses.  Old Labour totally opposed this.   National and the right need to start thinking about using policies to win long term support, rather than playing silly number games every election.
        For me the biggest tragedy is NZFirst.  But for Peters idiocy, that party could well have allowed luke warm labour voters (who couldn’t bear to vote National) and luke warm National voters (who couldn’t bear to vote Labour) to unite and create a significant voting bloc that could hold the balance of power.  Alas Peter f***ked it up spectacularly.

  • kehua

    Yep its a gimme that Key will invite Maori party back into the fold pretty much like last time  and it will work well for now and into the next Election. Labour will long rue the day that they took Maori votes for granted.

    • thor42

      True, very true.  I’ve actually been very impressed by the Maori Party this term.  They’ve shown a lot of responsibility and I’m sure have gained a ton of respect out there.  I reckon Pita Sharples comes across really well, and so does Tariana Turia (but she’s retiring IIRC….). 
      I have no doubt at all that in the long term, they will be much better off partnering with the Nats (with their jobs focus) rather than with Labour (with their benefits focus). I’ll put it bluntly – Labour’s obsession with benefits is f**king EVIL.      

  • Geraint

    Why do you so vehemently advocate changing to an electoral system where a party doesn’t need a genuine majority to govern all on its own? Undemocratic.