Complacency not Key’s only Achilles heel

National Party members have been warned not to allow opinion polls to lull them into complacency over next year’s election.

Prime Minister John Key and party president Peter Goodfellow delivered the message at National’s annual conference in Christchurch.

“There’s no room for complacency, no room for arrogance and no room for mediocrity,” Mr Key said in his speech to delegates today.

He has previously warned that although the polls show National with a strong lead, opposition parties together are putting up “big numbers”.

“Labour, the Greens and NZ First could potentially tip over a National-led Government – and we know that with every election it gets harder to win.”

Mr Goodfellow told the conference yesterday National had an opportunity, unprecedented under MMP, to win a fourth term next year.

“However, our greatest risk is that we take for granted the enormous support New Zealanders have shown the National-led Government over the last eight years,” he said.

In the absence of an effective opposition, National will get a fourth term. This isn’t just because National have done a good enough job overall. It’s also because most people are scared to death of what a Labour/ Green/ ? coalition government may look like.

It may not have Kim Dotcom, but that’s still not enough of a reason for left-leaning swing voters to return to the left.

However.  INCITE Politics readers have noted a sharp drop in John Key’s favourables over the last eight weeks. He’s got the buffer to lose it mind you, but it is quite a departure from the previous status quo.

The problem is that Key has now mostly isolated himself from people who don’t see things his way.  Others have simply given up swimming upstream and no longer bother telling the Prime Minister stuff they know he doesn’t like to think about.

The same happened to Clark, and the same happens to most Prime Ministers. They get to a point where they, apparently, confidently and justifiably stop asking people for approbation or advice. Clearly, they have done so well that there’s the likelihood of a fourth term, and those irritating voices saying that mistakes are being made can safely be ignored.

Currently the numbers look OK for a National-led coalition government for 2017, albeit with a reduced majority and in a position of having to compromise. But, for those of us who don’t want to see an End to the Golden Weather, I’m sad to say that the polling we do has started to show the beginning of the end.

It can still be fixed, but the horrible thing is that, at this stage of the cycle, politicians invariably feel confident that they are just fine. Such is the inertia of disapproval. By the time it is undeniable, it is too late. It must be caught early on.


– Newshub

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