Not all over yet

Chris Trotter thinks the election is all over bar the counting:

UNLESS SOMETHING HUGELY DRAMATIC HAPPENS between now and polling day, 20 September, the General Election of 2014 is all but over. The National-led government of Prime Minister, John Key, looks set to be returned for a third term by a margin that may surprise many of those currently insisting that the result will be very close. What may also surprise is the sheer scale and comprehensiveness of the Left’s (especially Labour’s) electoral humiliation.

By which dark paths must one travel to reach these gloomy (for the Left!) conclusions? Simply stated, one has only to follow the basic precepts of psephology (the study of elections and electors).

No matter whether you approach the forthcoming election from the perspective of the socio-economic context of the contest; contrasting styles of political leadership; the policies of the major players; the parties’ organisational heft and their respective financial resources; or the many factors influencing turnout; the advantage lies decisively with the National Party. . .

The advantage does lie with National.

It can campaign on its achievements, Prime Minister John Key is the most popular leader in recent political history, National’s caucus is united, several retirements mean the new one will be refreshed, and it will be presenting some big new ideas with small price tags.

The unity isn’t only in caucus, the membership is also united and supportive of the parliamentary wing of the party.

Photo: Election date: September 20. Like and share if you back John Key and National for #3moreyears

Labour by contrast has achieved little in opposition, has a leader who is less popular than the unpopular one he replaced and who doesn’t have the confidence of his caucus which is divided. With only one retirement announced it looks old and stale, and policies presented so far have been botched in their presentation and come with big price tags.

If we were voting under First Past the Post, National could be looking forward to a landslide.

But under MMP, it’s not enough for the major party to do well, it will almost certainly need coalition partners and none of those who might fit in a National-led government are particularly strong.

It hasn’t happened yet in New Zealand, but the smaller of the big parties could cobble together enough votes to trump the bigger one and lead a government, albeit a potentially very unstable one.

The six months to the election isn’t long for a divided and dismal Labour to climb higher, but it’s plenty of time for even a very popular government to falter.

If a week is a long time in politics, six months is far longer.

National has the record, the talent and the policies to win a third term and Labour does not.

But there is no complacency about the election outcome.

Good things might come in threes, but there’s absolutely no guarantee enough voters will support  a third term.

The omens are good for another National-led government, but there’s no certainty.

23 Responses to Not all over yet

  1. Andrei says:

    We all live in our own bubbles which distorts our perspective, not realizing the bubbles others inhabit don’t match ours


    In my bubble nobody is going to bother voting and are turned off by the utter inanity displayed by our political elites who seem hell bent on destroying everything decent about New Zealand and are crass, classless oafs with zero taste


  2. robertguyton says:

    “No, I don’t agree that the flag debate is an irrelevant and unnecessary distraction. Have you seen our latest operating deficit figures? Why on earth would I want to talk about the economy?

    No, I’m not going to keep answering questions about this Oravida business. There’s simply no story here. One of my ministers visited a New Zealand company’s Chinese offices and had a cup of tea. That’s all. Nothing to see. Move on, people!

    No, she most certainly didn’t endorse their milk products, even if that’s what Oravida’s website seems to indicate. But have you considered that this might all be a ruse by that tricky David Cunliffe? I wouldn’t put it past tricky Cunliffe to set up a secret trust to solicit donations in order to create a fake Oravida website containing misleading and embarrassing photos and statements.”

    Read more of this good stuff at Imperator Fish


  3. Andrei says:

    Answer me this Robert Guyton, in what way would my life be enhanced if J. Collins had declined a glass of milk at Oravida?

    Does this stuff matter? If so why?


  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    The collateral damage caused by this Government is huge.

    -We have amongst the highest levels of underemployment in the OECD

    -Govt debt has grown substantially and is now well over $60 billion

    -Amended Treasury figures now has child poverty at almost 30% and poverty related illness is growing according to the children’s commissioner.

    -Our international ranking in education has plummeted to as low as 23rd when we were once in the top 4. The Prime Minister’s office assessed the Education Ministry as the worst performing, yet has maintained funding cuts ($25 million) and Novopay is still taking up hours of time in schools.

    -Our environmental status is being questioned around the world as our clean green image is being questioned, our withdrawal from Kyoto to join the worlds largest polluters (US, China, Japan) caused concern and our carbon emissions are growing faster than many. Very few of our lowland rivers are safe to swim in now and our estuaries are eutrophying.

    -Every year the promise of balanced books seems further away with an extra $2,2 billion shortfall, bringing a cash deficit for the year to $13.3 billion. Interestingly the $1.1 billion shortfall in tax is almost equal to the annual loss of income caused by the tax cuts.

    Our economic recovery that is being celebrated by the government is largely due to the dairy boom, exporting logs, the Christchurch rebuild and the property market bubble. We are not adding value to raw commodities or investing in R&D (half the spending of the OECD average). This isn’t sustainable.

    In summary we have a demoralized, struggling education system, we are losing our reputation for being clean and green that 75% of our exporters rely on, huge issues around child poverty and a very fragile economy that could easily crash when the property bubble bursts or something else emerges about our dairy industry.

    Something drastic could happen…


  5. robertguyton says:

    If people are willing to swallow the deceit that swirls around this and other ‘incidents’, Andrei, for the sake of winning, we should worry. Well, I do. Others can do as they wish.


  6. Paranormal says:

    And yet the left were baying for Key and his leadership team to ‘Do Somthing’ ™ at the time of the Fonterra Botulism scare. Now when a senior caucus member is seen to publicly drink a glass of New Zealand milk to prove it’s safe, they’re baying for blood again. Go figure.

    The reality is that if this is the best the opposition has it’s no wonder that psephologists like me are correct in predicting a very low turnout at the election. The great unwashed just don’t care about this. They’ve got more important things that worry them.


  7. robertguyton says:

    I/S has it clear:
    “Last week I argued strongly that we needed full transparency over Cabinet Office advice on ministers’ conflicts of interest, because we couldn’t trust the Prime Minister to represent that advice accurately, and we couldn’t trust secret advice to be accurate. And John Key has just proven my point for me:
    Prime Minister John Key has admitted he misled reporters over Cabinet Office advice about a controversial visit by Justice Minister Judith Collins to a Chinese company associated with her husband while on an official trip to China.

    On Monday Key told media the Cabinet Office had cleared Collins of a conflict of interest after translating comments on Oravida’s website which stated that she had praised its products.

    But today Key’s office confirmed that the Cabinet office had only read the English language version on the website, which did not contain those references.

    So, Key’s a liar, and the cabinet office are muppets, all enabled by secrecy. And with secrecy, the incentives align for a continuation of this behaviour: the Minister has no reason not to lie, and the Cabinet Office (which has no incentive to rock the boat with its Minister) has no reason to improve the quality of its advice.

    Transparency fixes this problem. It allows us to ensure that the Prime Minister is straight with us, and it allows us to check the quality of Cabinet Office’s advice (something which has been hugely beneficial for every other public service department). As for the argument that this might cause Ministers to avoid seeking advice on their conflicts, I have a simple solution: sack the fuckers. Full disclosure and clean hands should not be too much to expect from those holding public office – and if they’re not willing to accept that, there are plenty more ambitious junior MPs who will take their job.”


  8. Paranormal says:

    And again I/S lives up to his name. Calling John Key a liar is a huge leap from what has been provided. Surely even those as myopic as you RG can see that?


  9. Andrei says:

    We know what you are trying to do Robert Guyton and that is trying to distract people from how the utterly abysmal quality of your Green MPs.

    In fact it is criminal that hard working people have money extracted from their income to pay those worthless individuals salaries,


  10. jabba says:

    I’m sure that when the election is closer, Russellllllll Norman will visit Kim Dotcrim for help so who knows what mayhem a Green/Dotcrim combo could cause


  11. robertguyton says:

    “Promoting is not endorsing”.


    Swallow (bird theme) deep and enjoy.


  12. TraceyS says:

    I’ve been away for a while but come back to observe the “profound demoralisation” Trotter wrote of.

    Robert, you are clearly suffering.


  13. robertguyton says:

    I’m not a Labour man, Tracey and being Green, am buoyant.
    That Judith “You’re wrong, Patrick!” Collins, eh!
    And that John “You’re wrong non-Planet-Key dwellers” thing is getting kinda noticed, isn’t it.


  14. TraceyS says:

    Robert @ 3:38pm:

    “Month after month of favourable polls; a leader careful to build his footpaths where people walk; policies which voters either hardly notice or readily endorse; and a war-chest more than equal to the challenge of exploiting all these substantial advantages will not only have National’s supporters in a triumphant temper, but they will also have induced a profound demoralisation among their opponents.”

    You ARE an opponent though.


  15. jabba says:

    ““We are six months out from an election and from what we have heard thus far our position has not changed from 2005 on the Greens,” he said.

    “However, they’ve got six months in which they might make changes, so you can’t rule that out.”
    so says Winston Peters .. so what will the Gweens have to drop I wonder?


  16. robertguyton says:

    Demoralized? Ha! I laugh at your adopted friend Trotter and I laugh at your gullibility!
    Your reliance on Trotter’s opinion is curious, but of no substance so far as I’m concerned.
    Not ‘demoralized’, RAMPANT!!


  17. robertguyton says:

    Here it is, Key-fans. Trotter’s “Unless something hugely dramatic happens”


  18. robertguyton says:

    Well? Any of you have the integrity to watch and consider what was said without your blinkers on?


  19. TraceyS says:



    Not mutually exclusive, ie. “rampant demoralisation”.


  20. robertguyton says:

    Hey, Tracey! What did you think of the clip?
    That Judith Collins, eh!
    Not very up-front, was she.


  21. TraceyS says:

    Hey Robert @ 8:03pm, more from so-called “adopted friend”:


  22. robertguyton says:

    Tracey. The Judith Collins story has you all speechless.

    Not all over yet?

    It is for Judith.


  23. Paranormal says:

    ‘Sideshow bob’ starts to have a natural ring to it….


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