There’s hope

Quote of the day:

. . . Before the electricity market could be replaced with a state-controlled pricing regime, two things would need to happen. Labour and the Greens would need to win the next election, and if they did they would need to carry out this policy. Neither, I think, is likely.

John Key remains the most widely admired of any New Zealand Prime Minister I have seen. National continues to lead all polls by a margin that is remarkable five years into the life of a government.

Unless something disastrous happens, he looks certain to win again next year. . . 
John Roughan.

But winning the most votes of any party isn’t enough under MMP, parties have to get above 50%, by themselves or in coalition.

Should National go into the election with no partners in prospect, an absolute majority is conceivable. Conventional wisdom says it is practically impossible because it hasn’t happened since 1951. But before then, it was not unusual.

Labour won more than 50 per cent of the vote in 1938 and 1946, as did National in 1949 as well as 1951. Since then many have gone as close as 47 per cent, including National at the last election when it became only the third post-war government to be re-elected with an increased share of the vote.

There is nothing magical about an extra 3 per cent. Conventional wisdom is destined to be surprised sooner or later.

It becomes more possible the more often David Shearer stands too close to the larrikin.

Shearer is a sensible man. To enact Norman’s scheme or Labour’s version of it, he would need to ignore all the economic advice available to him. . .

It can be very easy to ignore the soundest of advice if it doesn’t fit your policy and you’re more interested in power – or the electoral rather than the electrical kind – than people.

Yesterday’s  Roy Morgan poll showed National up and LabourGreen down after the latter’s power plan was announced.

However, that poll is notoriously unreliable.

The next few polls will be more significant but even if they do give the thumbs down to the LabourGreen policy it’s more than a year until the election.

We have few one term governments which makes the odds on winning a second term better than reasonable.

Winning a third term is much harder.

Roughan’s comment shows there’s hope. Enough voters might understand the danger of powering back to seventies socialism to scorn LabourGreen.

But hope doesn’t win elections.

That takes good people, good policy, active party members, money and a lot of hard work.

There’s hope but no certainty.

2 Responses to There’s hope

  1. Alwyn says:

    You comment that we have “few one term governments” and then follow up with the opinion that “winning a third term is much harder”.
    In the recent past, which I am defining as since 1935, we have had 2 single term governments, in 1957-60 and 1972-75 but only a single two term government, between 1984-90. All the other governments were for 3 or 4 terms. There were 2 four termers in 1935-49 and 1960-72 and 4 three termers in 1949-57, 1975-84, 1990-99 and 1999-2008.
    It would appear to be easier to win a third term than it is to win a second.
    I started at 1935 as they are the years I can remember the results and I am to lazy to look the earlier ones up.


  2. homepaddock says:

    You’re right pre-MMP. But the 1990-99 government was different.

    The first two terms were under FPP – and the 1993 election went to Labour on the night. Special votes enabled Alec Neil to hold on to the seat of Waitaki and keep National in government.

    Jim Bolger then only just managed to cobble together a coalition after the first MMP election in 1996. Helen Clark managed three terms and it’s too soon to know if John Key will do that too – though I live in hope.


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