TOP party over

The Opportunities Party (TOP) has faced the reality that it’s hit the bottom and the only way ahead  is out:

The Board of The Opportunities Party (TOP) has decided to request that the Electoral Commission cancel TOP’s registration as a political party.

TOP was formed in late 2016 to contest the 2017 election in which it polled at 2.4%. Since the election the Board has considered whether it would invest time and money in preparing the Party to contest 2020 and after due consideration has decided against it.

Party founder Dr Gareth Morgan said, “I’m proud of the policy manifesto we developed and have no doubt it was by far the strongest on offer to improve New Zealanders’ incomes, business productivity, social fairness and environmental sustainability. The legacy of that manifesto remains and to be frank was all that personally ever interested me.”

“The voting public demonstrated that best practice, evidence-informed policy is not of significant concern when deciding elections. When 20% of the vote moves in 48 hours simply on the back of a change of leader, with no improvement at all in policy being offered, what makes the New Zealand voter tick is clear.”

We’ll never know if TOP would have done better had there not been a leadership change.

But it takes more than a leader with a lot more money than political understanding, who’s very sure of himself but with no tolerance for a divergence of opinion, to win a seat or at least 5% of the vote.

“TOP was formed to improve the policy options on offer. Too few voters supported our policies. That’s reality and we accept that. With no inclination to compromise policy for political ambition, or to de-emphasise best practice policy for the promotion of whatever else attracts people’s votes, it’s pretty obvious what the appropriate course of action for this party should be.” . .

All sorts of things attract, and repel, voters, at least some of which defy logic.

But anyone who looks back at past elections will be see just how difficult it is for a new party without a sitting MP to get into parliament.

And in spite of the variety of options available, election after election, around 90% of voters opt for either National or Labour.

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