National in drag difficult sell

Two polls this week show the National Party still ahead of Labour with about 45% support.

That is encouraging for National and worrying for Labour.

But the latter has two support parties, although New Zealand First is registering below the 5% and the Green Party is hovering close enough  to the threshold to make it possible it might not make it back into parliament and we’d return to a two-party system in spite of MMP.

Possible isn’t probable and in spite of being the most popular party, National lacks any allies with sufficient support to enable it to form a government with more than 50% of the vote.

Act could gain another MP or two, but it hasn’t managed to do that in recent elections and would have to do so without taking votes from National to make a positive difference.

The Maori Party might win back a seat or two, but that too is more possible than probable.

Finding another party which could either win a seat or cross the 5% threshold would not be easy.

Some are suggesting a National MP leaves the party to form another one. But National in drag would be a very difficult sell for party members and other voters, and would only help if it got votes from the left and not the centre-right.

Tariana Turia managed to win a seat when she left Labour and formed the Maori Party; Winston Peters did it with NZ First; Peter Dunne held his seat under several manifestations of what eventually became United Future and former Labour MP Richard Prebble won a seat for Act but they are the exceptions. Any other MPs that I can recall who left a party and formed another failed to hold their seats.

The other option is standing back and making an accommodation to let a new party, which would take votes from Labour, NZ First and/or the Greens, take a National-held seat.

But that would be very difficult to do and would be entering very dubious territory.

National voters gave electorate votes to Dunne but he was a sitting MP when he formed his own party. Act voters opted for Rodney Hide of their own volition and not because National made an accommodation. They supported him and subsequently David Seymour but didn’t have to vote against a sitting National electorate MP to do so.

Trying to persuade National voters to swap support from an MP they voted in for someone from a new party would be a very different matter.

National is a victim of its own success and any attempt to help another party is likely to backfire and sabotage its own support.

It’s also a victim of the failure of MMP to give us a party in the middle that stands for something and could go centre-right but what can it do about without endangering its own support?

4 Responses to National in drag difficult sell

  1. Andrei says:

    I’m a social conservative – and I move primarily is socially conservative circles and in such circles there is no natural political home – but perhaps that is my bubble

    Attempts to address gap this have ended in disaster Graham Capill for example

    And Colin Craig never made the deal, he was totally unconvincing

    Bill English should have, IMHO, positioned himself as the rallying point for those who are socially conservative rather than being a shrinking violet when confronted by these issues – he might be Prime Minister today if he had

    Simon Bridges has the credentials to brand himself this way

    He will get hell from the media for doing so but ” faint heart never won fair maiden” as they say.

    The woeful Jack Tame tried to corner him on abortion the other day and he did OK with platitude “Safe, Legal and Rare” but it might have been better for him, long term to launch into a riff about how easy it is to get an abortion in NZ as evidenced by approximately 25% of conception in this country today ending in abortion and that is what needs to be tackled not further liberalising the already liberal abortion regime.

    Sure the Jack Tames of this world would sniff (and Simon Bridges moderate response has brought out the sneers from the usual suspects) but I put it to you the ” silent majority” might cheer at Simon Bridges confronting that Jack Tames of this world head on with a different world view

    That is my 2 cents worth


  2. Andrei says:

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Jordan Peterson Ele

    But he is a man of the moment with a message that resonates, particularly with young men

    If you are unfamiliar with him here is a famous trainwreck of an interview with him by a hard core feminist presenter on British TV

    Watch and learn


  3. homepaddock says:

    Thanks Andrei, I hadn’t come across him. Apropos of your first comment, have you seen this:


  4. Andrei says:

    Well there you go Ele – Simon Bridges should see Labours Abortion agenda as an opportunity not an issue to be dodged. Your link shows that indirectly

    For sure the media for the most part will give him stick he he takes that path but if he is sure of his facts and stands up to them, questions their assumptions and axioms it could be a winner even if Labour get their legislation

    After all he is a sober minded, married man with three young children competing for oxygen with a pregnant, unmarried flibbertygibbet

    Middle New Zealand versus urban yuppydom

    Turn the issue from making abortion easier to obtain to asking why why do so many pregnacies end in “termination” and the loss of potential this is to the Nation and how to address that

    If he gets his ducks in a row and you wont see headlines like Simon Bridges failing to connect with voters – Newshub poll

    Not that you should care about polls, after all the media elite were convinced Donald Trump didn’t stand a chance…

    …and it was a given he would loose until the votes were counted

    Trying to win by gerrymandering a coalition partner – loosing proposition, that is just cynical politics rather than the politics of values

    You have got to stand for something!


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